What We Learned from the National Nursing Forum

What we Learned from the National Nursing Forum

This past June, members of the IntelyCare Nursing Leadership Team attended the National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers. This annual nursing forum is a chance for leaders in state workforce development offices to network, discuss lessons learned, and share innovative programs and solutions that are underway across the country around how the nursing workforce is changing.  

It is important to IntelyCare to stay at the forefront of these conversations. We especially connect to the mission of this conference and work to maintain a strong network of workforce professionals to continue to provide proactive support to our partners. The biggest takeaway from this year’s conference: decisions should be driven by data. 

Because of the fragmented setup of our healthcare delivery system, data is challenging to collect and sometimes invisible to those that need it most. We support the work of the National Forum to create space for discussions around innovative solutions, to learn from others group members’ successes and challenges, and to provide driving energy to impact meaningful changes.  

By the Numbers 

We know that nearly a third of nursing professionals are planning to leave bedside in the next few years. Of course, COVID-19 is a contributing factor to many individuals’ decisions to leave the workforce. However, COVID cannot be blamed for systemic issues faced by this profession. A long-standing issue is that nursing students are ill-equipped upon graduation to independently provide the kind of care that today’s workplaces demand. The issue of preparedness has been addressed by costly preceptor or residency programs which are unsustainable. Ultimately, without support, up to 30% of nurses leave their job within a year, and almost 60% leave within two years.

Workforce Centers are Integral to Shaping Policy 

When data leads the conversation, good things can happen. We heard a great example of this in a session from the Nursing Workforce Center in Hawaii, during which we learned how the center was able to successfully lobby for a tax credit for nursing preceptors.  

After laying out the realities of how many nurses leave the profession within the first year due to a lack of support, the nurses from the Hawaii Workforce Development Center successfully lobbied the Hawaiian government to make a change. This tax credit seeks to fill a gap in the system by taking the cost burden off the facilities by pairing new nursing professionals with a preceptor who can help them develop clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills. The relationships that develop in the preceptor/mentor dyad build confidence and support the development of the skills needed to provide high-quality, cost-effective care in a dynamic, rapidly changing and challenging environment.  

“I think the stats are appropriately stunning, heartbreaking, and avoidable. The innovation that the Hawaii Workforce Center implemented to tackle the problem from the state government perspective is a shining example of what nurses can do to solve big problems.”

Rachel West, MSN, MHA, RN

What’s Next? 

IntelyCare is looking forward to working with other healthcare professional organizations and creating partnerships that can create a future for nursing that supports both professionals and patients. We continue to place nurses at the center of everything we do and be a vocal advocate for necessary change. If you want to partner with us or work with us, please go to our Talk to Us page. 

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