How do nurses create change, develop balance and relieve stress?
by Naomi D. Jones RN, MS, CRNI
Are nursing leadership and work life balance contradictory terms? Many nurses are wondering if this idea of a balanced life is fact or fiction. Many organizations state they promote “work life balance” as a recruiting tool. When speaking to those same nursing leaders, the feeling of balance seems to be elusive. I had a great conversation this week with a fellow nurse friend of mine about how we attain equilibrium in our lives as nurse leaders. What became very clear early in our conversation is that managing our careers is difficult to say the least. There are so many things you have to coordinate i.e. yourself, your staff, (direct and indirect reports), co-workers, your upper management team and don’t forget the work itself! Then we have a “Life” that also needs management. Relationships with spouses, partners, children, grandchildren and parents pose their own challenges. Handling personal finances is another factor where achieving balance necessitates confrontation. In today’s economy, so many nurses I know work more than one job. Nurses in management may experience some limits since they are salaried and already work long hours.
Balance vs Imbalance
In all of these arenas, balance is the key to having a great life! If we don’t balance all of these areas well, we may become discouraged and lose our passion and joy in what we do which leads to burnout.
Burnout is the result of imbalance. Frustration, disappointment and stress are encompassing nursing leaders in homecare, at the bedside and behind the desk (depending on where you work). Expectations of higher productivity, increasing demands to do more with less, the squeeze between staff and company goals intensifies the stress nurses feel. That stress makes for short tempers which can lead to episodes of disrespect and bullying which plague our profession.
How do we create change in our lives, develop balance and relieve the stress from these situations? Read More…