The ability to recover from difficulties or stress is animportant characteristic all nurses should possess. This ability, known asresiliency, is the capability of “bouncing back” from hardships or adversity ineveryday life. This quality is of dire importance to possess as nursing is astressful occupation. Resiliency allows the nurse to remain focused on the taskat hand; offering the safety, care and compassion owed to the patient. Withoutit, nurses are at higher risk for developing stress-related illnesses such asanxiety and depression. The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept ofresiliency, and how it affects the lives of those in the nursing profession. Highmorality, support, and affective leadership are just some of the factors thatinfluence the levels of resiliency amongst the profession.
Resiliency can belearned through multiple channels including training through workshops thatteach coping mechanisms for stress and how to deal with situations that mightmake a nurse’s career almost seem unbearable at any given time. Learning thesemechanisms will assist the nurse in exercising good judgment and in providingbetter patient care as he or she will be more positive, alert, and be able tocommunicate more effectively. Nurses that are less stressed are more energetic,motivated, and capable of handling tasks and extra responsibilities which areall positive qualities.Two articles will be reviewed in this paper. The first articleis an exploration of the concept of resiliency amongst new nurses via aresearch study that was conducted. The study focused on the implementation of astress management and resiliency training program that coincided with a newnurse orientation program and the efficacy of this early intervention. Earlyintervention is crucial, especially for new nurses being exposed to highlystressful situations.
Many have not yet learned the ability to move on aftercertain ordeals that might otherwise make them second guess their choice ofprofession. The second article focuses on the need for nursing leadersto discover solutions for the recruitment, support, and retention of nurses whomay experience burnout as a direct result of stress in the workplace. Theconcept of resilience is reviewed to include the contributing factors leadingto the need for resilience as well as the strategies to build it in the processof recruiting and retention of nurses. Focusing on retention is of utmost importance; high retention ratesreflect high levels of job satisfaction, which in turn reflects on the qualityof care at any given establishment.Enhancing Resilience Among New NursesAnyone starting a new career can attest to the stress of uncertaintythat comes with change. As such, orientation introduces new employees to theirnew job, giving them a general understanding of their duties, expectations, andoften, company policies. However, many places do not integrate strategies forcoping with the stress to come, especially in a health care setting.
Thestressful transition from nursing school to the real world can easily decreaseretention rates due to the challenges they face in the complex setting that is,as prepared as they might think they are, completely alien to them. Challengingpatients, situations unfamiliar to anything they have experienced before,lacking time management skills, or the ability to quickly think on their feetare all over-stimulating when diving head first into their dream job. Historically, stressors in a clinical setting tend toinclude work overload from staffing shortages, unordinary patients, critique,criticism not taken lightly, the relationships between colleagues, lackingsupport from direct supervisors or even peers, and abiding by the rules andregulations. These stressors can not only negatively impact one’s own healthand well-being, but they can also impact the safety and welfare of patients intheir charge. Excess stress is often a preamble for substance abuse, poormental health, tardiness or absenteeism, and injury, just to name a few. Thesein turn relay to inadequate staffing which puts patients at risk forless-than-mediocre care. Despite these downfalls, remedies to reduce stresshave been rare, though not nonexistent.
A study was conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN toobserve the outcomes of a “Stress Management and Resiliency Training” (SMART)program within a new nurse orientation program. This SMART program has shownpromise in its pilot. It has helped participants understand the dynamics ofstress.
Throughout the program, participants learn crucial skills in adaptingto the prevalent cursors of stress by refocusing their attention on coreprinciples, including gratitude, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, andhigher meaning. Statistical methods were used to gather data from the studywhich reflected that those who participated in the SMART intervention programdid not have a significant change in perceived stress, but mindfulness, anxietyand resilience levels improved in the group. The control group was noted tohave an increase in anxiety and a decrease in resiliency and mindfulness. Inconclusion of the study, the integration of a SMART program was noted to befeasible as a crucial method of intervening stress and anxiety while enhancingmindfulness and resilience amongst new nurses.
Resilience in Nurses Seasonednurses are also prone to the stresses of the workplace. Resiliency is a dynamicprocess and a trait that sets one aside from others when faced with obstaclesof everyday life. The second topic of discussion is an evaluation of theconcept of resilience as it relates to potential strategies for strengtheningthe current nursing workforce. The intent of the research was to gain knowledgethat will help nurses and managers learn how to enhance and improve resiliencewhile working in this field. Conducting an integrative assessment createscurrent nursing research of resilience in nursing practice and recognizes what islacking in the literature to focus future research.
The study involved researchand literature reviews over a time span that seemingly reflect minimalattention regarding new nurses entering the workforce and the retention ofexperienced ones. Several analyses on resilience have been published since asresearchers have grasped the importance of the concept to clinical performancein hospitals. It was recognized that recovering and carrying on from stressfulsituations, possessing a sense of self-worth, willpower and a helping attitudetowards others are crucial characteristics of resilient nurses. It is veryimportant to possess strong relationships with one’s cohorts as they providethe framework for rebounding, reintegration, and social support. Possessing asense of humor and self-efficacy are just as important.