Nursing Excellence

Jonathan Bees, March 1, 2017

Leadership development and engagement empower nurses for professional success.

Leadership development and engagement empower nurses for professional success.

This article first appeared in the March 2017 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Nursing is an exceedingly demanding profession, typified by long hours and a high-stress work environment as nurses provide care and respond to a multitude of patient needs. But while their role is mostly clinical, increasingly it is also part care coordinator, social worker, therapist, teacher, customer service professional, and executive.

This tug-of-war between nonclinical and clinical requirements exemplifies one of the core challenges facing the nursing profession—delivering improved outcomes to satisfied patient-consumers. A quick look at nurse performance measurement is revealing. Notably, 76% of respondents in our survey say HCAHPS or other CMS surveys are the top nurse performance measurement tools used at their organizations, measuring mostly nonclinical nursing activities. Given that nurses typically remain dedicated to the clinical side of providing care, it is somewhat surprising that a tool such as the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) (42%) finishes in the midtier of responses.

Top nursing challenges
Respondents in our survey say that nurse retention (61%) and nurse recruitment (59%) are the top nursing challenges that their organizations are facing. The next level of responses are nurse engagement (35%) and nurse leadership development (33%). Note that compensation requirements (26%) falls in the middle of the responses, indicating that money is not one of the main drivers in nurse employment, and that factors such as engagement and leadership development play a larger role in nurse retention.

Jonathan Bees

Jonathan Bees is the senior research analyst at HealthLeaders Media.

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