$2.2 million in federal funds to help nurse burnout

As a sleep researcher and nursing educator at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Alyson Hanish has seen many colleagues and students burn out during the pandemic.

So when she saw an invitation from the Biden administration, she jumped at the grant opportunity — and will now lead a $2.2 million project to promote resilience and mental health in nurses across the board. ‘State.

The competitive award is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and aims to retain and strengthen nurses of various levels, as well as students and employers, who work in rural and medically underserved areas.

Nurses quit first year

“We’re in a complicated environment,” said Hanish, a pediatric nurse and sleep researcher who teaches at the College of Nursing. “We know that burnout is on the rise and that about 25-30% of new nurses quit in their first year.”

That’s part of the puzzle…an investment in nurses. – Alyson Hanish, PhD, MSN, RN

Her “gut instinct” to do something led the mother-of-three to assemble a team involving the UNMC College of Medicine and College of Public Health, the Nebraska Board of Nursing, the Center for Nursing of Nebraska, Nebraska Hospital Association and Critical Access Hospitals.

“Nurses’ health must be a priority,” Hanish said. She said the team will develop and implement wellness interventions so nurses can, in turn, provide the best patient care.

The team will rely on a stress management program developed by the UNMC called WHOLE (Wellness — How One Lives Effectively). It will be suitable for nurses whose traditional training is to help others, not necessarily themselves, Hanish said.

Declutter the mind and physical space

Examples of stress reduction techniques and strategies to explore with nurses following the grant include: meditation, diet, acute stress breathing, decluttering physical and mental space, even the role that humor can play.

Talking about each other’s stress and burnout is relatively new in the industry, but it’s a pronounced need brought to light by the pandemic, Hanish said.

Certainly, she says, systemic conditions, including staff and equipment shortages, contribute to stress. The outreach offered by the three-year grant will give nurses tools to reduce stress under their control.

“It’s part of the puzzle,” Hanish said. “An investment in nurses.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a grant-supported network of news outlets and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact editor Cate Folsom with questions: [email protected] Follow Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

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