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They’re the faces that keep you calm when you have to come to the hospital. “We try to be there for the patients, so we need to bring our best to the bedside,” said Erica Schivinski, a nurse resident development specialist with Lee Health.
To do that—a new program is teaching new nurses how to not only care for patients but also how to care for themselves. “It’s not just the stress management; it’s, are they eating enough? Are they able to drink enough throughout a 12-hour shift? Because those are long shifts and they really have to take care of themselves,” said Jennifer Craft, another nurse resident development specialist with Lee Health.
Each year Lee Health hires around 350 new nurses. “The turnover rate for the newly licensed nurses can be really high if they don’t have enough support, resources, and the ability to manage all of that stress and the overwhelming feeling that they deal with on a day to day basis,” said Craft.
Through the nurse residency program, new nurses are learning about the wellness wheel—including how to maintain good nutrition, physical activity, sleep and stress management. “The habits you create now as a new nurse, you will keep for your whole career, so it’s super important that they take care of themselves,” said Schivinski
Learning good habits early in their career will keep them focused and passionate throughout their career. “We put a lot of money and training into our nurse residents and Florida right now, we’re number two in the United States for needing the most amount of nurses,” said Anthony Wright, another resident development specialist with Lee Health.
As part of their introduction, they are also given a tour of the Cape Coral Healthy Life Center where they have access to lifestyle coaching, stress management exercises, and exercise programs. All to keep them healthy and focused throughout their nursing career.