Nursing Education Drives Employee Engagement to Improve Organizational Outcomes

Sunday, 29 October 2017: 11:05 AM

Mary Anne McNamee, MA
Karen Buckley, MSN
Department of Nursing Education and Professional Development, North Shore University Hospital, Northwell Health, Manhasset, NY, USA

Employees make a critical difference when it comes to innovation, organizational performance, and ultimately business success. It is imperative for organizations to attract and keep creative, dedicated, and thriving employees that make the organization flourish. The Department of Nursing Education and Professional Development at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) has worked diligently to implement structures and develop programs that inspire and motivate RNs and patient support staff to be engaged and achieve excellence.

The Nursing Education team has made an enthusiastic effort to create a culture that promotes and supports specialty certification. In 2012, 26% of the nursing staff was certified. An innovative cohort-style program entitled “Passport to Professionalism” was branded for the medical surgical nursing staff. This certification initiative expanded into a hospital-wide campaign called “Operation Certification” which encompassed numerous preparation strategies for different clinical specialties. Currently, 53% of direct care RNs hold a Magnet approved board certification. The NSUH 2016 NDNQI RN satisfaction scores are reflective of professional empowerment, as noted in the professional development opportunities (4.92 vs. Magnet mean of 4.44) and access categories (4.8 vs. Magnet mean of 4.43).

The nurse educator role helps facilitate a human resource champion model that aligns with the organizational and patient experience initiatives. Patient care service employees are encouraged to seek out champion opportunities that they find meaningful, and which promote their professional and personal development. They must satisfy pre-determined champion role criteria. Champions are provided class time to attend fundamental knowledge and skills development sessions. They attend regularly scheduled meetings and/or enrichment workshops. There are opportunities for rewards and recognition at special events, or when applying for the clinical ladder. Mentoring and support fuel intrinsic motivation for ongoing participation in these programs.

The Department of Nursing Education provides mentoring leadership for the RN and ancillary staff member that chooses to climb the clinical ladder (clinical advancement system). This is an opportunity for the employee to be proactive and show initiative, take charge of their professional development, and participate in quality improvement projects and research that promotes evidence based practice.

The NSUH Press Ganey employee engagement survey results increased from the 38th percentile in 2012 to the 72nd percentile in 2016. Our engaged patient care staff has contributed to the delivery of exemplary care and the achievement of impressive patient outcomes. This is evident in the performance measures on the NSUH organizational dashboard, which are inclusive of 7 quality indicators. In a most impressive manner, NSUH has outperformed the benchmark Magnet mean or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR) for all quality indicators for 2016. The dashboard for each patient care unit is prominently displayed and discussed in staff meeting venues. The Nursing Education team closely monitors unit-specific and organizational dashboard trends in order to guide the development of programs and engage the staff in focused performance improvement efforts.