By Brandon Hair, Executive Director of Springmoor
As 2024 revs up, I want to share some positive information pertaining to Springmoor and the long-term care sector in general. The results of a recent study indicated that employee morale improved during the first half of 2023, and three out of five nurses and CNAs reported being optimistic about the future and their careers.
Additionally, long-term care workers said they are handling work stress much better. I believe there are several reasons for this. First and foremost, ending many Covid restrictions has played a significant part in improving employee morale. Since early 2023, staff members have not been required to wear masks in our Stewart Health Center (unless the facility was in outbreak status).
For almost a year, our employees also have not needed to have their temperatures taken each time they clock in or to undergo mass testing when there are two or more positive Covid cases in the community. These changes alone have been a huge relief to staff.
Second, the nursing shortage has dramatically improved. Beginning in spring 2023, Springmoor has not needed any agency nurses to work in our health center. This has greatly reduced overtime and staff burnout.
Finally, increasing the starting wages for CNAs and nurses in 2023 was the most significant factor in boosting employee morale. By raising starting wages, we were able to hire new, dedicated caregivers and increase the pay of our current staff.
To confirm staff morale has improved significantly at Springmoor, I compared the first 6 months of CNA and nurse turnover in 2022 to the first 6 months of 2023. The turnover rate decreased by 15.5%—from 19% in 2022 to 3.5% in 2023.
To affirm that my numbers were accurate and that staff morale has improved, I contacted our Director of Nursing Debbie Sivnksty, Assistant Director of Nursing Gail Bailey, and Nursing Supervisor Katie Schumann to get their thoughts. All agreed morale has improved tremendously and felt the pay increase was the primary factor.
As many of you know, we are deeply committed to showing appreciation for our employees. To name one example, we celebrate National Nurses Week (May 6–May 12, 2024) and CNA Week (June 13–19, 2024) annually. However, with the current high prices for gas, groceries, utilities, and almost everything else you need to live, this pay increase is needed now more than ever.
I am hopeful this positive trend in morale will continue, and that long-term care nurses and CNAs feel proud of the important work that they do every day. Each of our employees is very caring and compassionate. We must attract the best caregivers so that we can provide the best possible care in our health center.
Springmoor is a nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement Community offering seniors a variety of residence options that range from apartments to larger villas and homes. If you’re looking for an active senior living community in Raleigh, call us at 919-848-7080 with your questions.
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