Today’s nurses and allied healthcare professionals want and need to feel empowered– whether it stems from providing quality care or by feeling a sense of confidence in both their work and professional practice. Healthcare leaders are taking note and learning very quickly that a disengaged workforce leads to higher staff turnover, which in turn negatively impacts the hospital’s bottom line. The ability to change the status quo requires a strong leadership style as the overall morale and engagement of the entire hospital workforce emulates from the top down. If you look at history and a company’s overall performance, its apparent that organizations both rise and fall because of leadership.
Having positive energy and a sincere sense of caring can allow today’s CEOs and leaders to build trust, engagement, meaning, and happiness into people’s work that spreads like wildfire among coworkers. One newer leadership approach that seems to work well in healthcare is the transformational leadership style. This type of leader is an effective communicator who builds trust and loyalty among all stakeholders. Today’s savvy consumers harness the power of the internet to search and seek healthcare services with organizations that have positive patient reviews, HCAHPS, and Press Ganey ratings. In healthcare organizations, caregivers also seek the same information when choosing to work and stay at a healthcare organization.
According to the Press Ganey employee engagement database, “15 of every 100 nurses are considered disengaged”. Essentially, this means that nurses are struggling with productivity levels, and satisfaction levels are ultimately decreasing. Another serious ripple effect of disengagement is a higher risk for caregivers developing fatigue and burnout. To help alleviate this problem and provide caregivers with a sense of empowerment, it is important to spark creativity and ignite engagement with the concept of shared governance.
On April 18th at Schenectady Community College, I had the honor of meeting Linda McClarigan, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC a Chief Nursing Officer who shared her inspiring story of how one rural healthcare system implemented the concept of shared governance to increase nurse engagement. The hospital, Adirondack Health, is a 95-bed facility located in a beautiful rural part of northern New York State. The leadership team embraced the process of increasing engagement that included providing leadership support, educating staff members, and creating practice councils. After the implementation of these changes, the organization witnessed “positive trends in nurse satisfaction, decreased staff turnover, new graduate retention, and better patient care outcomes”. It is evident that this new concept of shared governance has positive outcomes on the nursing care model.
Shared governance is not only a way to embrace the core values of nursing, but also it is a means to achieve the highest quality of care. Although a multitude of different models exist, it is imperative that your organization chooses the one that best fits with its overall mission. According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), The Pathway to Excellence® Program awards and recognizes healthcare organizations that are committed to creating a positive practice environment that empowers and engages staff. If you are reading this blog and you work at a healthcare organization with a transformational environment of tolerance, shared ideas, and mutual respect, I want to hear your story! Please share how an inspirational leader has had a positive impact at your healthcare organization.
Send us your story here.