home Featured, Hospital Staffing, Patient Experience Solve the nursing shortage by caring for patients?

Solve the nursing shortage by caring for patients?

I just read an article about an initiative in New Jersey led by the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation aimed at educating and supporting nurses so they can increase the amount of time they spend at with patients and in the process improving their job satisfaction. In turn this should help address the nursing shortage by stopping or at least slowing down the leaving of nurses from the profession.

The hope is that by giving nurses, particularly more experienced ones, a chance to stay connected to patient care they will stay passionate about caring for others and stay in the profession. The program is receiving a substantial funding of a $732,000 grant and will focus on three goals:

  • Give performance improvement education and training for front-line staff nurses to help give them the tools needed to make improvements in their units and determine and test changes in their units
  • Give staff nurses the ability and power to make changes needed to improve how much time is spent on direct care in their unit
  • Make training and education available for nurse managers so they can help facilitate their nurses’ work and make the leadership decisions needed to make positive changes to the way their unit works
  • I must admit I had never thought about this connection before, that of nurse satisfaction improving the closer a nurse can get back to delivering patient care. This is very understandable. The extra duties that that get added to nurses’ jobs are most often not what motivated them to get into nursing in the first place. So why not address the burnout problem by letting them do what drew them to the profession in the first place.

    What about your state or hospital for that matter? Are there any initiatives underway to help nurses get closer to the patient? What about on a more micro-level? What are you doing in your nursing units?