Improving Engagement

Reducing Stress and Burnout Through Increased Engagement

Rush is committed to engaging its nursing staff — and it shows. Our commitment to increasing employee engagement begins with listening to the needs of our nurses.

Through employee surveys, focus groups, leadership rounding and biweekly meals with the CNO, we are able to identify and prioritize improvements that allow Rush nurses to do their best work.

To improve engagement in 2015 and 2016, collective efforts aligned around improving stress and burnout, a malady experienced disproportionally by health care workers all over the world.

Samantha Sarris

To address stress and burnout, several tactics were developed and implemented, including the following:

  • Decreased vacancy rates
  • Increased ability to meet staffing requests
  • Implemented a core charge nurse model
  • Offered staff training for end-of-life care
  • Provided leadership training to identify and mitigate incivility among colleagues
  • Trained and supported 25 unit champions to introduce stress reduction activities to their peers.
  • Visited each unit with self-care activities including yoga, journaling, physical activity and healthy snacking
  • Celebrated employee appreciation with chair massages
  • Continued to provide Pet Pause, a program where staff can come to pet a dog during their shift
  • Provided increasingly popular mindfulness and resilience courses for nurses
  • Planned to implement Code Lavender to assist nurses experiencing an extremely stressful event

In addition, the Professional Nursing Staff (PNS) Work-Life Committee developed a robust website with supportive resources and a promotional poster to get the word out.

Through these efforts to increase engagement, in less than one year, Rush nursing positively impacted its stress and burnout survey metric, improving nearly 9 percent and increasing overall engagement by 3.4 percent.

Nurses also reported feeling better informed about the organization’s direction and how leadership actions aligned with Rush’s mission and values.

Nursing continues to set ambitious goals for staff engagement that can be achieved through collective actions that staff can see and feel each day.

Reducing Pressure Ulcers