Nursing

Strategies to keep nurses injury-free and at the bedside

Nurse Leader Insider, May 21, 2007

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is the nation's largest foundation devoted to improving health and healthcare, and one of its main focus areas is nursing. To reduce the effects of the country's increasing nursing shortage and improve the quality of patient care, RWJF identified a need to encourage experienced nurses to remain at the bedside, where their knowledge and leadership can be harnessed to deliver high-quality patient care and to train the next generation of nurses.

RWJF's program--Wisdom at Work: Retaining Experienced Nurses--was created to study how hospitals around the country are keeping nurses satisfied and on staff for the long haul. The foundation selected 13 facilities to participate in the program. Each facility was awarded approximately $75,000 toward the 18-month research project.

"We need to take advantage of the knowledge that experienced nurses have accumulated through their years in practice, and to identify changes that will encourage more nurses to stay in their jobs," says Nancy Fishman, research and evaluation senior program officer at RWJF.

One of the 13 facilities selected is St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta. St. Joseph's Hospital wanted to improve staff satisfaction, and focused on keeping nurses injury-free when lifting and moving patients.

Before being awarded the grant from RWJF, St. Joseph's already had a basic minimal lift program in place, but the grant allowed it to expand and enhance the program through conducting research and using better materials. According to Diana Meeks-Sjostrom, PhD, RN, MSN, FNP-C, ONC, director for nursing excellence, St. Joseph's Hospital is striving for a greater focus on staff and patient safety as it continues expanding the minimal lift program from the grant.

St. Joseph's Hospital is using some of the grant funds for the following:

  • Providing incentives to encourage nurses to participate in minimal lift program studies
  • Creating education materials for implementing unit-based meetings to start minimal lift programs on individual units
  • Encouraging hospitalwide participation in minimal lift program activities and educational materials
  • Developing videotaped minimal-lift training modules for hospital employees, and creating other projects that are focused on decreasing patient movement-related injuries to nurses and caregivers

"Efforts resulting from the RWJF grant will assist in nurse retention, satisfaction, and recruitment [as well as] benefit our patients, their families, and the community by providing the highest quality, compassionate care," says Stephanie Lopuszynski, RN, BSN, BS, research nurse and admission nurse.

Source: Magnet Status Advisor, May 2007, HCPro. Inc.



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