Poster Presentation

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
This presentation is part of : MCH Invited Posters
First Fridays: Celebrating the Nursing Profession
Valarie Ricks, RN, MS and Rebecca Suzanne Miltner, RNC, PhD. Women's and Infants' Services, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA
Learning Objective #1: describe how perinatal staff nurses perceive their role in a busy, urban, teaching hospital.
Learning Objective #2: describe how storytelling can be a powerful tool to re-engage staff nurses in their professional role.

Staff nurse engagement is critical to implementing change within the work environment.  As part of the STTI Maternal Child Leadership Academy, this team proposed to implement a new parent education program to meet the needs of our ethnically diverse patients.  However, there was considerable staff resistance to a change in practice.  To try to understand this resistance, twenty staff nurses were interviewed about what inspired them to become nurses, how they viewed their profession, what motivated them, and the meaning of team work.
In the interview, nurses expressed that nursing was a childhood dream; many spoke of pretending their dolls and or pets were their patients. Most viewed nursing as a profession due to educational and licensing requirements, however agreed that the increasing number of task sometimes masked the professionalism. Many nurses stated being motivated by patients, mentioning the joy they feel when patients understand their disease processes and how best to care for themselves and their babies.  Financial well being was also important to them. Overwhelmingly all nurses stated the significance of teamwork for positive patient outcomes.
From these interviews, it was decided that the project needed to be refocused to remind and re-engage staff nurses in their work by empowering them to be better and more effective practitioners in a positive way. The First Friday program was initiated in January 2007 to celebrate the complexity and joy in nursing work.  A storyteller provided fun and laughter with a fable and led the nurses in an interactive game that paralleled a nurse’s ability to multitask and juggle many people simultaneously to achieve patient care. This event will be held on a regular basis, each with its own vibe, to celebrate all the facets of nursing practice and remind staff why they chose nursing.