The need for care providers and organizations to work on nurse engagement is far from something new for the healthcare industry, and we have blogged about the risks of nurse disengagement before. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world of healthcare upside down, especially in terms of how care professionals feel about their work and their employers. Not only are many nurses considering leaving the profession, but those who stay in the profession are likely going to feel the impact of trauma and burnout for quite a while. Healthcare organizations will need to focus on tactics for strengthening nurse engagement, which may be more important than ever for maintaining a competent, committed workforce.
Why Nurse Engagement Is Critical
When nurses are engaged in their work and with their organizations, they feel happier and can experience better health. According to HealthLeaders, “Organizations with a culture of engagement demonstrate that people are valued. Employees feel rewarded and recognized.” The positive results are not just restricted to employees. Rather, patient outcomes see a clear benefit as well. The same article offers that “Nurses involved in professional governance have the opportunity to have their voices heard and impact outcomes. This allows the nurses to work smarter and produce better outcomes, which fosters innovation. Engaged nurses are dedicated to the mission and feel more energized and committed to their work.”
Key Drivers of Nurse Engagement
One way to foster engagement among nurses is to aim organizational efforts at the characteristics of nurses who are in sync with providing care and with the mission of where they work. HealthLeaders also suggests 6 ways that healthcare providers can promote nurse engagement:
Specific Nurse Engagement Strategies
In addition to big picture efforts focused on creating a work environment more conducive to nurse engagement, here are some specific tactics that may be beneficial:
Ultimately, improving nurse engagement needs to be one of the ways that healthcare organizations work to increase nurse retention, a vital goal in the face of looming nurse shortages and growing care demands on the healthcare system. Nurses who feel valued and supported, as well as more engaged with their employers, are more likely to stay, as well as contribute to better outcomes.
HealthStream Focuses on Nurses and Clinical Development
At HealthStream we spend a lot of time focused on improving outcomes by supporting and developing the clinical workforce, an important contributor to improved nurse engagement. Learn more about our specific solutions that support nurse engagement.
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