As a modern nursing professional, you recognize the impact your career decisions have on the healthcare community. The weight of the current public health emergency and the unprecedented nursing shortage mean that you’re in greater control of your career lattice, but that you’re also at greater risk of burnout.
Assessing what’s required to secure nursing workforce success in 2022 (and beyond) is made easier when you are heard and your needs as a healthcare professional are supported.
The American Hospital Association recently released its 2022 Health Care Talent Scan to guide facility leaders toward best practices that can improve their ability to support those needs. These insights were gathered with the specific intention of providing “a snapshot of America’s healthcare employment” during a vital period of transformation.
This report highlights the need for facilities to provide flexibility, compassion for mental health, support in the form of resilient staffing, and commitment to diversity and inclusion. When hospital leaders are “intentional about investing in the necessary support to retain and position” you and your fellow nursing professionals, they provide the greatest opportunities for you to thrive.
Acting intentionally is paramount to tackling the needs of today’s — and tomorrow’s — healthcare professionals. Let’s take a look at four primary goals raised in the report and what they mean to your career journey.
Goal #1: Resilience
The AHA notes that hospitals and healthcare systems are tasked with reestablishing a “robust healthcare workforce to promote well-being, mental health, and resilient staffing.” The report recommends taking steps such as:
- help healthcare professionals process trauma and stress related to the public health emergency
- confront organizational concerns that impede collaboration and work
- nurture a sense of resilience with trauma-informed leadership
- provide psychological PPE to protect and nurture clinician resilience
- invest in innovative support initiatives
- assess barriers to improving well-being and resilience faced by clinicians
- advance team-centered and interprofessional approaches
So what do these recommendations mean for you as a nursing professional? As facilities assess their resilience strategy, there may be more opportunities for you and your colleagues to have your voices heard. To “rethink innovatively” as the AHA report recommends includes creating an environment where you feel comfortable speaking up on recommendations such as those above.
Lauren Beechly, Director of Client Consulting at employee listening company Perceptyx, notes that the “onus is on all hospitals and health systems to identify and address” reasons for team burnout. For instance, facilities may seek to tackle #5 above by encouraging you and your colleagues to take more time off, establishing peer-to-peer support groups, or using flexible staffing models.
With our marketplace platform, CareRev can help your facility unlock access to nurses in their area. And with our app, you can create a schedule that supports the things you value the most while leaving burnout behind.
Goal #2: Workforce flexibility
Cultivating a sense of joy and nurturing agility are core components to providing flexibility to nurses as well as all other healthcare professionals. The AHA report emphasizes the need for facilities to recognize the “shared responsibility among the organization, department, leaders, and individuals” to bring those components to life.
Creating an organizational culture that actively promotes flexibility requires focused effort. We’ve seen a flexible workforce model transform transportation, food services, construction, and retail with on demand workers who fill short-notice shifts. As professionals in patient care, you recognize how flexibility can impact patient outcomes as well as retention and engagement among your colleagues.
Also according to the AHA report, acting with intention to create more flexibility is vital to keeping pace with the future of healthcare. That can include:
- using diverse staffing models
- committing to cross-training and on demand training
- leading recruitment and retention initiatives with flexibility at top of mind
- encouraging healthy work/life balance
- investing in technology that keeps pace with the future of healthcare as well as in professionals who are receptive to it
CareRev can support hospitals, healthcare systems, outpatient centers, and skilled nursing facilities as they build the flexible workforce that the future of healthcare requires.
We can also provide professionals like you — with titles including Registered Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant, ICU Nurse, ER Nurse, and MedSurg Nurse — the flexibility to command your career and professional freedom.
Goal #3: Capacity
To increase workforce capacity, facilities need access to highly qualified professionals like you to grow and to support population health. But how can they best tackle that challenge with skyrocketing omicron rates and the trauma that brings to nursing professionals?
Part of this begins with the need to increase nursing faculty in colleges to meet the demand. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “nursing schools across the country are struggling to expand capacity to meet the rising demand for care given the national move toward healthcare reform.” The association also reported that 80,407 qualified applicants were turned away in 2019 from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs over an “insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, and clinical preceptors, as well as budget constraints.”
With a limited pipeline to future nurses and a growing number of nurses leaving the profession, you will likely see facilities struggle to increase workforce capacity.
Understanding your needs and the need to grow opportunities in your profession is crucial for facilities to circumvent this struggle. Now more than ever, you and your nursing colleagues need to feel safe, according to the AHA report. Compassion, access to mental health services and trauma-informed care, transparency, and inclusion without barriers are all valuable avenues facilities can provide to ensure your safety and to help facilities grow opportunities in your profession.
At CareRev, we offer our professionals an active community of experienced healthcare professionals for support. You can ask questions, share your experiences, and get real-time responses from qualified industry peers. You also have access to take care of yourself with our preferred partner offers, including:
- Stride Health’s affordable health insurance options
- Care.com’s assistance in providing respite from caregiving duties at home
When facilities choose to partner with us, they are signaling to nurses that they are investing in helping clinicians thrive. When professionals like you join our platform, you are investing in becoming your best professional self so you can better care for your community.
Goal #4: Strategy
To best support decisions by hospital and health system leaders that prioritize the nursing workforce, the AHA report highlights the need for a culture where professionals know they will be heard.
So what does that mean for you as a modern nursing professional? It means that among other initiatives, you could see facilities:
- rebuilding trust through active listening
- making sure leaders model rest and recuperation strategies
- generating positivity while still honoring grief experienced by clinicians
- understanding that virtual learning challenges for new nurses can have a domino effect on nurse educators
- recognizing that team-based nursing allows team members to work at the top of their practices
- supporting diverse learning and communication styles
These initiatives are opportunities for you to be included in strategic plans for the future of hospitals and of the healthcare community. Your voice is a core component of the AHA report. It encourages facilities to listen and better support your needs.
It also recognizes that you are influential as the healthcare community continues to emerge from the pandemic. Now is the time to act with intention on behalf of yourself, your colleagues, and your profession. There isn't a shortage of qualified nursing professionals; there's a shortage of qualified nursing professionals willing to work where they're not heard, valued, or supported.
“Nurses leaving the profession will bring our healthcare system to its knees,” according to Amanda Bettencourt, president-elect of American Association of Critical Care Nurses. “You or your mother, brother, child, or dear friend may suffer alone without a nurse beside them providing care. This is the last thing we want to have happen. It is avoidable, and it is the public who can help take the pressure off our overwhelmed nurses at the bedside.”
What initiatives would you most like to see in your facility? Apply to join CareRev Nurse Squad to share your ideas. It’s a private Facebook community for CareRev nurses and a safe space to share your experiences and receive support from your nursing colleagues.