News spotlight: Program earns national award and provides education on sleep for nurses

Nurse Leader Insider, October 19, 2009

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The amount of sleep a healthcare worker receives each day or night affects everyone in the hospital, but for those nurses new to the profession and the night-shift, it is especially difficult to regulate. Cheryl Burnette, M.Ed, B.S., R.N., CPLP, Centra Health nurse retention coordinator, realized this and developed a poster presentation to educate new nurse graduates on the importance of regulating sleeping cycles.

"With so many new nurses adapting to night shifts, lack of sleep can become an issue that impacts their satisfaction," said Burnette. "In particular for new grads, because their first year is so vigorous as they try to find a balance between work and life."

"Smart Sleep: Implementing a Creative Sleep Program for New Nurse Graduates," focuses on sleep education and strategies for sleep hygiene. As part of the program, Burnette has a sleep consultation with each new nurse graduate and offers them a sleep mask and ear plugs. New nurse graduates also receive information from Centra's Sleep Disorders Center.

The national Nursing Management Congress Planning Panel presented Burnette with the 2009 Judges' Choice Award for her Smart Sleep program. As a result of Burnette's program, Centra Health has seen a rise in the nurse retention rate during the past year.

"The quality of life issues for our nurses are so important in their retention and work life balance," says Burnette. "This started out as a performance improvement, and I'd like to look forward to expanding it more. I'm very proud that we are leading the way across the country in an innovative nursing program."


Editor's note: To read more on the program, visit The News & Advance (VA) Web site or the Womack Publishing Company.

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