Althea Mighten holds a Doctorate in Education from NOVA Southeastern University and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from New York University. Her clinical background incorporates medical/surgical, emergency medicine, orthopedic and psychiatric mental health nursing. She has served as faculty at Medgar Evers College/School of Nursing (Brooklyn) and at SUNY Downstate College of Nursing (Brooklyn). She is currently in the role of Director of Nursing Education/Recruitment and Coordinator for Professional Practice in Nursing. Her additional expertise lies in the areas of adult learning, professional practice, evidence-based practice and quality improvement.
There is a current shortage of perioperative nurses and the problem is intensifying as nurses in this specialty area prepare to retire over the next five years. To further compound the problem, nursing schools have consistently minimized or eliminated in-depth perioperative nursing content in their curricula and clinical observational rotations to the perioperative units. The resultant impact of these practices include: (1) lack of knowledge and interest about perioperative nursing and (2) escalating costs ($80,000.00 to over $100,000.00) associated with recruiting, educating and training a nurse for a position in perioperative services. With the increase in surgical procedures (both in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers) and the projection that 20% of the current 160,000 perioperative nurses will retire over the next five years, the gap between the demand and the supply for perioperative nurses intensifies. Perioperative nurses are older and more experienced than those found in other sectors of the nursing workforce. A profound departure of these nurses poses a threat to patient safety because decades of experience, knowledge and skills would be lost. In preparation for this anticipated crisis, our facility partnered with a local college of nursing to establish a two-week Perioperative Immersion Program which included both didactic and clinical experiences with a focused preceptorship. The first cohort of perioperative interns (nursing students) entered the innovative program in January of 2015. Twelve baccalaureate students met the program’s rigorous criteria and were assigned to either the north or south campus of the organization. The purpose of the program is twofold: (1) to increase graduating students’ interest in perioperative nursing; (2) recruit at least 25% into the perioperative training program. All 12 students successfully completed the program. Feedback indicates positive experiences and comprehensive understanding of the complexities of perioperative nursing. In addition, more than 60% of the students verbalized an interest in perioperative nursing; 50% applied to the perioperative/operating room training program and two students were hired. Although the students completed a three credit perioperative elective course, it is essential to create a mechanism for skills development and application in the perioperative setting. It is therefore essential for both academic and practice settings to work collaboratively to create robust learning opportunities that will facilitate a smooth transition for students to the perioperative clinical setting. This can be accomplished through an interprofessional partnership that is mission driven and strategically focused. Innovative programs such as this immersion program can provide a venue for recruitable candidates thereby reducing the cost associated with recruitment activities (such as advertisement and search agencies) and orientation/training. This immersion program provides a useful and practical framework that can be applied to other organizations faced with recruitment and training challenges in the perioperative environment. Learning Objectives: 1. Discuss three major challenges in preparing the future generation of perioperative nurses; 2. Examine future trends and projections for the didactic and clinical education of the next generation of perioperative nurses; 3. Implement a strategic plan for the development, operation and evaluation of a perioperative immersion program using an academic/clinical partnership model.
Kristina Zimmermann has completed her MSN from Ball State University and is completing her Doctoral studies from Old Dominion University. She is the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of HonorHealth John C Lincoln Medical Center, USA.
Problem: Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize, understand, manage one’s emotions, and influence the emotions of others. The impact of EI on employee turnover, employee engagement, and patient satisfaction within a complex culturally diverse healthcare environment has not been examined. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore relationships between nurse leaders’ emotional intelligence, personal and professional characteristics, and executive leadership performance. Findings may be used to refine nurse leader recruitment protocols, leadership development, and succession planning within complex, culturally diverse healthcare organizations. Research Questions: (1) Is there a relationship between the nurse leader personal and professional characteristics and emotional intelligence scores? (2) Is there a relationship between nurse leadership performance measures and emotional intelligence scores? (3) Are there differences in nurse leader performance measures between nurse leaders reporting high EI compared to nurse leaders reporting low EI? Methods: This study used a descriptive cross-sectional design. A convenience sample of 108 nurse leaders employed by a 5-hospital health system in Arizona was included. Outcomes: There was a significant correlation between nurse leader education and perception of emotion. Additionally, there was a relationship between nurse leader position and perception of emotion. Employee engagement was significantly correlated with managing one’s own emotions, utilization of emotions, and emotional intelligence. Employees reported higher engagement in departments where nurse leaders reported higher emotional intelligence compared to nurses reporting lower emotional intelligence. Lastly, employee engagement and patient satisfaction were significantly higher in departments where nurse leaders reported high emotional intelligence scores. Significance: By becoming aware of one’s EI, nurse leaders can explore how situational awareness may lead to improved leadership performance. The extent and awareness of EI may have a significant influence on the challenges that leaders manage, including the need to retain staff, keep employees engaged, all while ensuring that patients receive the optimal care.