Passing the Torch: Empowering Future ASC Nurse Leaders
The Need for Nurses
Already, the U.S. is facing a shortage of registered nurses, fueled in part by aging baby boomers creating a greater demand for health care services. This shortage is even more pronounced in perioperative nursing. Surgery is not a focus in most nursing programs. Therefore, interest in and exposure to a career in OR nursing in increasingly low and it’s likely to get worse. According to an article titled “Shift Change: OR Staffing Shortage,” 65 percent of baby boomer OR nurses plan to retire by 2022, taking decades of experience and institutional knowledge with them.
The obvious thoughts on the minds of seasoned nurses preparing to retire are: Who will be there to grab the baton when I am ready to lay it down? Who will continue to build upon the good work we have begun? All valid and important questions that need to be addressed.
Hospitals are responding by offering better benefits, flexible scheduling, higher pay, growth opportunities, and tuition reimbursement. Most ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) cannot match the compensation and benefit package offered by the local health system to recruit and retain OR nurses, but they have a few items working in their favor.
The 2018 Medscape Nurse Career Satisfaction Report found that of the more than 10,000 nurses surveyed, only 1 percent of RNs and 2 percent of licensed practical nurses listed money as the most rewarding aspect of their job. Instead the chief reward among respondents was “helping people/making a difference in people’s lives.” This paired with nurses valuing work-life balance and loathing “administration/workplace politics” bodes well for ASCs.
ASC business hours are conducive to work-life balance. They just need to cultivate a culture that prioritizes quality and safety without bogging nurses down with unnecessary politics and administrative distractions. In short, we need effective nurse leaders!
ASC Nurse Leadership
More Than a Job
Nursing, and ambulatory surgery nursing in particular, have been good to me. I have enjoyed success and, more importantly, found value and meaning in my work. I am passionate about the industry and supporting the nurses coming behind me to lead these facilities so vital to serving our entire health care system. My hope is that this conference will help to pass on my institutional and industry knowledge into the field for other dedicated nurse leaders to draw upon when I go.
With that said, please join me in my efforts to assure the sustainability and success of ASCs long into the future. If you own an ASC, invest in your nurse leaders. If you are an ASC nurse leader, advocate for your growth and development to maximize your effectiveness and influence. Set your sights on being a future industry leader. Don’t miss this invaluable opportunity to expand your leadership skills and transform your ASC culture.