How to Run Business As Usual When Short Staffed for Nurses

The never-ending battle to find and hire the best nurses for your facility is challenging. Hospitals throughout the world are all experiencing a nursing staff shortage. During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to support and retain the nurses you have on staff.

Here are suggestions for helping your nurses

Value Your Nursing Staff

During a nursing shortage, it is critical to keep talent. To do this, your nursing staff must feel valued. Invest in nurses by delivering a clear career path and growth opportunities so nurses can move up or move to a different lateral position. You might also consider:

  • Flexible staffing policies
  • Adequate training for new nurses and nurses already in the system. Include cross-training so nurses can switch specialties
  • Provide continuing professional development opportunities
  • Demonstrate a belief in workforce well-being
  • Earn a reputation for patient and staff safety

Recognize Burnout

To recognize burnout, you must spend time on the floors to witness what is going on. Look for depression, emotional exhaustion, fatigue and insomnia. Nurses experiencing burnout will display a lack of motivation, negative feelings toward themselves, staff and patients, and reduced physical and psychological energy.

The best way of dealing with nurse burnout is to prevent it from happening in the first place. As a leader, you can take proactive steps to avoid nursing burnout:

  • Help nurses achieve work/life balance
  • Utilize shared governance models
  • Provide nurses with balanced, equitable workloads
  • Make it straightforward for nurses to receive meaningful recognition
  • Offer support services

Give Them Breaks and Healthy Food Options

Nurses must have time to take breaks and have healthy food options. When nurses cannot get off a floor, they will often order carry-out food from restaurants. Let us face it; this is not the best option for eating right. Consider having a food cart that travels to different floors so nurses can feel like they have multiple food options.

Do Not Allow Nurses to be Overworked

When nurses work extended hours, adverse events begin to happen. So check on your staff regularly to gauge possible burnout. Encourage teamwork and team building and have team huddles and informal staff gatherings. Reduce redundancy and align requirements by ensuring that internal policies and procedures do not add to the burden.

Support Stress Management

Flexible work hours, employee assistance programs, and nonjudgmental communications go a long way in helping nurses with stress management. You may, perhaps, also consider:

  • Deep breathing for stress management
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Sleep for stress management
  • Therapy for stress

Need to Get Connected To Top Nursing Talent?

If you are experiencing a nursing shortage, look at what myRNsolutions can do for your health care organization. The recruiters at myRNsolutions can provide your facility with exceptional nursing talent. Get in touch today!

How to Run Business As Usual When Short Staffed for Nurses was last modified: by



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