“You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to others”. This is an anonymous quote that should be the cornerstone for nurses, but unfortunately nurses are the least likely to take care of themselves. Though the demand for nurses has increased dramatically, the sustainability of nurses in the nursing field has plummeted. From burnout to illness, nurses are becoming a casualty of providing care. According to a nurse satisfaction survey by Becker’s Hospital Review, “17% of nurses are disengaged, another 34% feel unsupported and 26% state they are likely to leave their organization in two years”. These statistics give a bird’s eye view into the reality of the nursing industry in the United States.
One of the main causes for the projected flight of nurses from the nursing industry is the lack of self-care that nurses are providing to themselves. That’s right! Nurses are showing up to work for 12-hour day or night shifts, without properly preparing for the out-pouring of energy that it will take to have a successful shift. Not only do nurses care for their patients, but they also care for and interact with families, doctors, and other ancillary staff and care providers that greatly affect their patient’s recovery.
How can a nurse prepare for their shift? By putting self-care at the forefront of their agenda. Nurses know their schedules in advance. On their off days, nurses would benefit from planning activities that they enjoy, ample time with friends and family, ample time with themselves, and proper monitoring of their health—be it regularly scheduled doctor’s visits, dental appointments, chiropractic adjustments, and regular massage therapy sessions.
In addition to the above, the RNEM™ method was developed to make it easier for nurses to practice self-care, thus contributing to the restoration of the nurse. It means:
R—Rest: Experiment with hours of sleep based on how energized you feel.
N—Nutrition (and water): You are what you eat, expand your palette to include more fruits & veggies.
E—Exercise: According to the American Heart Association, 75-150 min of moderate to vigorous exercise per week will improve overall health.
M—Mindset: Focus on the goal of putting yourself first and what it looks like for you. Do not be afraid to experiment with daily or weekly schedules, and modifying when needed.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to the importance of self-care. Awareness is the first step in realizing that change is necessary. Taking action is the next step. What can you do to encourage your self-care efforts? You can join a Nurse Advocacy Group such as Nurses 4 Ever Fit™.
Nurses 4 Ever Fit™ is an advocacy initiative for nurses by nurses. We host monthly events in the Atlanta and Greater Atlanta area to help promote selfcare efforts while combining the ability to network. We call it fun, fitness and fellowship. We encourage you to join and become a “Nurse 4 Ever Fit.”
Our next big event will be in celebration of you! We have joined forces with GNA to host a day of self-care in celebration of Nurses Week. On May 11th, you can come join us and at the GNA headquarters for a morning of Restoring & Renewing: A self-care Extravaganza. Here you will have an opportunity to partake in a group session of yoga, mini massages, cold pressed juices, energy reading, a self-care discussion and so much more! This event has been submitted for approval for 1 contact hour of continuing education credit to the Georgia Nurses Association. Approver is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
Get your ticket to this event at: bit.ly/nursesweek2019
Let us help you make self-care a priority!