home Featured, Hospital Economics, Hospital Staff Retention, Hospital Staffing, Nursing Staff Management Nurse leaders are making due and getting better for it

Nurse leaders are making due and getting better for it

A recent benchmarking survey discussed at The Leaders’ Lounge looked at impact that the economy’s downturn had on nursing units, with some not all too surprising results, but some that do have a direct impact on healthcare staffing, including nurse managers:

  • Cutting back on educational travel
  • Delaying filling open positions
  • Renegotiating supply costs and contracts
  • Cutting back on overtime

They even had to do things like:

  • Implement mandatory paid time off a couple days through the year
  • Decrease employee’s pension contributions
  • Eliminate  bonuses for management
  • Stop matching retirement fund (401k) contributions

Actions like this had the not surprising effect apparently of reducing the nursing staff’s morale, which led the nurse managers surveyed to rely on actions like:

  • Making verbal recognition from leadership a priority
  • Writing thank-you notes to staff
  • Creating formal employee of the month or similar recognition programs
  • On the upside though the survey showed that nurse managers are expecting to see spending in hiring and travel increase in the next year, with 74% saying their facility is hiring right now, and 65% planning to travel to a couple of conferences in 2010.

    Based on these findings it looks like that despite the negative effects of the economy over the last year, there were also improvements in employee engagement, efficiency and retention efforts. Which coupled with smart hiring practices and smart use of temporary staff as the recession ends should help improve patient care and reduce nurse burnout over the next year.

    What are your thoughts and experiences over this last year?