Sustaining Trust: Why Nurse Professional Development is Key

Sustaining Trust: Why Nurse Professional Development is Key

Nurses were recently awarded, for the 22nd consecutive year, the honored title of ‘most trusted profession’ according to a longstanding Gallup poll. While this is a coveted recognition and nod to the value of the profession, it comes in contrast with much of the news we hear from the nursing frontline where the situation on the ground around staffing and work environment remains incredibly challenging, some might even argue, bleak. Still, the public’s perception appears to remain unwavering in solidly placing nurses at the top of the list for honest and ethical professions.

Why do we trust nurses so much? 

Nurses play a vital role in bridging the gap between patients and doctors, advocating for their patient’s needs and ensuring they receive the best possible treatment. They spend the largest amount of time involved in direct patient care, often present during a patient’s most vulnerable moments. They serve as advocates, educators, and problem-solvers, all while using their scientific training and expertise to deliver patient care. When looking at these components together, it’s not surprising how positive public ratings are. 

Their dedication, compassion, and expertise are essential in providing quality care and navigating the complexities of delivering patient care.

With the value of nurses so critical to our health systems, what can we do to ensure they stay?

Nurses are integral to healthcare, particularly in connecting the dots of treatment, providers, and resources that are often distant and complex. They have a direct influence and impact on both the patient experience and health outcomes.

Therefore, it is critical to focus on effectively supporting and retaining nurses, especially considering the challenges posed by their departure from the workforce. Whether through nurse professional development or encouraging professional governance, we can leverage the exceptional trust that the public places in nurses to strengthen our healthcare system and strive for better outcomes collectively.

Creating an environment where nurses feel empowered to enhance their skills is crucial for ensuring successful care delivery. However, a mere fraction of nurses express satisfaction with the professional development opportunities provided by their organizations, indicating a significant gap in support. 

To address this issue, consider implementing these three straightforward strategies to support nurse professional development in your organization. 

Three Strategies To Support Nurse Professional Development

Honor and Encourage Nursing Professional Governance

Empowering nurses through professional governance fosters a healthcare landscape that values their expertise and contributions. This approach acknowledges their vital role by granting them a voice in shaping policies, protocols, and the overall work environment.

Cultivate and Advocate for an Environment of Safety, Empathy, and Trust

Establishing a workplace culture that prioritizes safety, empathy, and trust benefits not only nurses but healthcare as a whole. This fosters improved decision-making, reduces stress and the risk for violence and trauma, and creates better outcomes and a more positive experience for both caregivers and patients.

Promote and Protect Time for Education and Training

Investing in nurses’ professional development through protected time for education and training is not just beneficial, it’s crucial.  This ensures nurses possess the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to deliver exceptional patient care and are able to continue to grow and develop professionally.

Ensuring your organization is attuned to the needs of nurses by asking and listening to where they desire support and development opportunities benefits everyone. The large majority of nurses want to continue to develop their skills and their career. It is natural to want to feel confident and competent in one’s ability to deliver exceptional patient care. And we know that satisfied nurses deliver better care and stay longer, resulting in more satisfied patients, improved experiences, and better outcomes.

Imagine if we viewed an investment in the development and education of the nation’s most trusted profession, not as a liability, but as a springboard to achieving an exceptional care experience. I am certain we will all be better for it.

Now, more than ever, skill-building in healthcare is crucial. If you’re seeking assistance to kickstart your organization’s continuous improvement journey, get in touch with us now!

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