THE CLINICAL NURSE LEADER: NURTURING HEALTHY AND HEALING WORK ENVIRONMENTS
Work environments profoundly influence how nurses feel about their jobs. Thus, healthcare organizations and nurse leaders must do their part to create safe spaces where everyone is valued, included, and held accountable for creating a healthy and healing work environment. Healthy environments improve job satisfaction, support retention, influence patient and student experiences, enhance teamwork, and improve patient outcomes (Wei et al., 2018). On the contrary, when nurses suffer, patients, families, and organizations suffer as well. This chapter will explore what a healthy and healing environment is; explain theoretical, philosophical, and research knowledge that guides nurse leaders to develop one; and describe intentional practices to build and enhance healthy, healing environments for leaders and others. Finally, we will prioritize nurse leaders’ actions for regenerating them through actions intended to renew and restore.
You are a nurse manager on an inpatient medical-surgical unit and have been in your position for two years. While the clinical environment is beginning to settle into a new normal after COVID-19, you have lost a number of staff and experience changes at the bedside at a more rapid pace than before. At the same time, the organization is requesting you start a number of new quality and safety initiatives, and you are faced with competing priorities. In addition to a stressful environment, you have very little time to yourself or to check in with staff due to being in meetings all day long. You get home to receive a call that the unit is short-staffed with three nurses for 24 patients. You have a six-month-old baby at home and want to spend time with your family but feel guilty leaving your nurses short-staffed. These types of situations are occurring more and more frequently at work.
What intentional practices will help you to navigate care for yourself and others, and influence the organization to create a more healing environment?
Answer & Explanation
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