Nurses Thriving in Nursing? We’re in Big Trouble! Our Mission …

The Goal – More Nurses & Nurse Leaders Looking This Satisfied 

The goal is to help nurses thrive in nursing.  The goal is to stop nurses from leaving. 

#RNs Needed and #RNs Leaving 

RNs Needed ….. from the Bureau of Labor

  • Need another 712,000 RNs to care for the new patients related to demographic projections
  • Need another 500,000 RNs to replace the retiring RNs by 2020
  • Need 67,000 additional nurse managers by 2020 to fill the IOM Future of Nursing initiatives.
  • Currently: 3.1 million RNs ; 400,000 Nurse Leaders; 6000 hospitals in US

RN Turnover and Attrition Rates

  • Turnover and attrition rates are rising.  Currently at 20% from 12% ten years ago.
  • 2 Highest groups:
    • New RN grads – . An estimated 30 – 40 % of new grads leave or are thinking about leaving nursing within their first three years of practice
    • Nurse Managers – 50 – 72 % of nurse managers turnover. Yikes!

How to Stop Nurses from Leaving Nursing

2 Paths – What drives us out and What keeps us in

What Drives Nurses Out of Nursing:

Healthcare is a beast to work in

What Keeps Nurses In Nursing: 

Authentic connections with patients & others is what gives nurses purpose and meaning

Retention Path #1 – work environment

Programs that 1. reduce job stressors within work environments,  2. provide support for professional growth & autonomy

Retention Path #2 –      caring consciousness

Programs needed that engage nurses in cultivation of their inner resources & skills that support personal growth and caring consciousness cultivation

Retention programs existing –

Majority of retention efforts are in this track : Shared governance, Lean Six Sigma Programs, TCAB, Magnet recognition

Retention programs needed –

Few programs in this track –     How best to provide personal resource & skill cultivation for nurses on a scale large enough to impact attrition is an unknown. 

Less than half of HC systems offer Wellness programs, and RN participation in these is @35%.

Good research on these retention programs showing impact on nurse satisfaction, effectiveness & retention to organizations…

But These Are Not Enough To Stop Nurses From Leaving Nursing 

Good studies demonstrating the positive impact of authentic connections with patients on nurses.

Little research focusing on attrition.

Nurses need help in navigating caring consciousness exchanges within our high pace technical work environments.

This Is How We Keep Nurses In Nursing

Existing Programs

How we mainstream caring consciousness cultivation in today’s nursing work environments and cultures is something we leaders in nursing must figure out.

The pace and complexity in nurses’ jobs leave too many nurses feeling disconnected from their original purpose in being a nurse.

There are magnificent nursing programs currently helping nurses and organizations today.  An estimated 700 hospitals across the country have aligned with organizations that provide programs that cultivate nurses’ higher level of caring, healing, and holistic and integrative care.  But these programs serve only a fraction of what is needed to impact our attrition rate.

We nurse leaders can do more to reach nurses in additional ways that can help nurses thrive in nursing in all organizations.

More Avenues, More Leaders and More Nurses for this Mission.

We need:

  • to grow collateral pathways of a wider variety to connect with more nurses in caring consciousness cultivation
  • to accommodate more nurses and their varying levels of receptivity to inner growth
  • to put this challenge in perspective… there are over 6000 hospitals, over 3 million nurses, and 400,000 nurse leaders … to touch … We have a lot of territory to cover …. a lot more …

Mission :  Make leadership of authentic caring realistic and doable for more nurse leaders and real for more nurses

We can do this ….. 

2 thoughts on “Nurses Thriving in Nursing? We’re in Big Trouble! Our Mission …

  1. Lisa Allison says:

    I’ve worked for nearly 2 decades as a nurse, most recently in a leadership/management position. I’d like to network to create better tools for leading, for reducing burnout, and for communicating better with our leaders. I grew up professionally at Memo in COS, in no small part to you, Pat, so Saving Nurses is near and dear! 🙂 How can I help?

    1. pmcclendon says:

      Hi Lisa. I’m thrilled to hear from you. Thank you for writing. Good job for your leadership position. You are in the right place. First step: my book is out in 6ish months. I define a really simple leadership practice… that you can use pronto .. that made a difference for me. After book is out and circulating … I would like to gather with nurses in a local group (I’m in CA) and in an online group to listen and talk about my leadership practice suggestion and other ideas. I’m presenting at the IAHC (International Assoc for Human Caring) conference in May. Networking with grassroots groups is my plan. I will keep you posted.
      Thank you. We will work together on this.

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