12 May is International Nurses Day, the birth date of Florence Nightingale. The theme for 2023 is “Our Nurses. Our Future.”
The last three years have seen dramatic changes in the health industry. Nurses have had to adapt accordingly to these changes in healthcare including extensive reform, workforce shortages, ongoing outbreaks with covid, gastroenteritis and the pending flu season have all added complexity that has tested the resilience of many of our front line workers.
With the imminent start of 24/7 RN requirements and care minutes, the profile of nurses has never been higher. The critical importance of nurses in our industry has been brought into focus.
Across the globe there is a very real concern about the future of nursing with a growing demand for nurses and care workforce. We need to consider the looming loss of baby boomer nurses who are rapidly reaching retirement age and a shrinking supply of younger workers. This is seen even more so in the aged care sector. The last three years have been a perfect storm with regards to workforce levels in aged care. Combining ageing workforce with the challenges of COVID-19, the pending reforms, the ongoing negative media of horror stories of neglect and abuse of the elderly and the results of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. It’s not hard to see why the sector now has recruitment issues.
So how do we shape the future of nursing? We need to invest in our new RNs and front line workers whilst celebrating the efforts of those who have remained in the industry. We need to help prepare nurses for the future. Retention programs need to be innovative and aim to empower a well-resourced aged care workforce. These programs also need a focus on providing transition-to-practice programs for new RN graduates, mentoring and skill development.
- Transitioning to practice in nursing can be quite challenging. Well planned programs help to bridge the gap between academia and practice. New nurses will seek out programs that best support their professional development. Make yourself a preferred employer by providing a formalised program to assist new RNs to transition into clinical practice.
- Mentoring – By investing in coaching and mentoring services, you can ensure that your staff are receiving the support and guidance they need to succeed in their roles as well as whilst establishing your organisation as an employer of choice who values the professional growth of their staff.
- Skills development – With the new reform requirements, it has never been more important to ensure that your staff have the appropriate qualifications, skills, and experience to provide care. It is now a requirement for providers and governing bodies to “demonstrate clearly that they are ensuring staff have appropriate qualifications, skills, and experience to provide care, whilst also providing staff with opportunities to develop their capabilities.” Your nurses need to maintain this level of capability.
Today CSS would like to thank all of the nurses that support our industry and let them know that we truly value their contribution.