Engaging Nurses to Promote Clinical Outcomes

Friday, 28 July 2017

Allison Kathleen Peters, DNP, RN, CNOR, NEC
College of Nursing, Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

In a profession where it is critical to be engaged, nurses are said to be the least engaged of all of healthcare providers. As reflected in the research reviewed for this scholarly project, patients cared for by engaged nurses have been shown to have positive outcomes in their care. It is crucial to understand the factors facilitating nursing engagement and how we can create the work environment needed for nurses to achieve and maintain high levels of engagement in their workplace. To better understand the basic factors that help facilitate a healthy work environment for nurses, the Maslow Hierarchy of Inborn needs was paired with a corresponding Maslow Triangle of employee needs to investigate the effects of evidence-based workshops on levels of nursing engagement. This quality improvement project was conducted in a large academic medical center that has 850-beds and a Level I Trauma Center in its third Magnet®designation status. The two top rated engagement challenges in the unit were identified through the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) survey. Selected staff development workshops were conducted along with the utilization of the evidence based Press-Ganey® Action Planning Tips Guide (Toolkit) which targeted specific engagement challenges. 32 nurses participated in this project. The effectiveness of the project and its impact on nursing engagement was measured by comparing responses pre- and post-workshops using Utrecht Work Engagement Survey (UWES). In addition the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PES-NWI) was given post implementation of the project. Increases in vigor, dedication and absorption were measured and observed across all of the engagement benchmarks evaluated. Limiting factors included length of time project was in place and study size. As part of Magnet status, nursing satisfaction/engagement is required to be measured and maintained at a high level and this project supports that it is a potentially modifiable construct.