More Than Continuing Education for Nurses
To understand CODE YOU, one must imagine a continuing education activity where nurses don't just attend a course but embark on a transformative journey that restores and strengthens their professional and personal lives.
Since launching at the end of 2021, CODE YOU has been honored to work with 85 nurses seeking more than just knowledge – seeking renewal, growth, and healing. Going beyond the confines of a conventional 5 CE hour course, CODE YOU, for them, was a sanctuary where burnout, moral injury, and compassion fatigue were met with resilience, where compassion became a wellspring of strength, and self-care transformed from a concept to a way of life.
In CODE YOU, healing is not an abstract notion; it's a tangible process guided by a validated compassion fatigue assessment tool. This tool, carefully crafted by the Advisory Board, acts as a compass, directing participants toward self-awareness and healing. Scores on this journey aren't mere statistics; they are indicators of the path to be taken – "No cause for immediate concern" (0-2), "Investigate root causes" (3-5), and "Seek additional professional counseling" (6+).
Pause and reflect on this: Of the 85 participants, seventy-five percent discovered they suffered from compassion fatigue. Thirty-eight percent were invited to uncover the layers beneath the surface. And, let this sink in – thirty-seven percent, a substantial fraction, acknowledged the need for additional professional counseling.
The post-course evaluation surveys serve as portals into participants' journeys, offering glimpses of their struggles, revelations, and triumphs. The teaching models, the styles, and the materials for the course are shown to be highly effective. With a mean response of 4.8 on a 1-5 effectiveness scale, it's evident this is more than education; it's a transformative process, turning challenges into opportunities for growth.
Attendees also noted a 30% surge in knowledge, an awakening to their own understanding of spirituality and self-care. To them, CODE YOU offers more than information; it's the beginning of new understandings and transformative healing. As the course journey culminates, each participant crafts their spiritual care plan, a testament to their commitment to healing. 87% report committing to infusing these practices into their daily lives.
The survey asks a poignant question: "What barriers lie between you and your healing?" 74%, report that the primary barriers arise from within the contours of the workplace – financial constraints, administrative complexities, and staffing challenges. Only 26% note that the barrier is their lack of personal commitment.
The retreat is proving to be effective in healing the hearts and souls of nurses and preventing burnout and compassion fatigue. However, what became clear through our survey and a concurrent study by nurse.org is that true transformation needs to start with nurse leaders. In 2023, CODE YOU decided to expand course offerings to those empowered to shape working conditions and dismantle the barriers discerned by our participants – be it financial constraints, staffing issues, or administrative support.
Thus, this summer heralded a new chapter for CODE YOU as it unveiled a Wholistic Nursing Leadership Course. This six-session course awards an additional 15 CE hours for nurse leaders. Participants are equipped with indispensable tools to orchestrate a wholistic transformation within workplace culture. Core teachings focus on nurturing the heart of the nurse leader and expanding their capacity to tend to their teams. The first three classes focus on the heart of the nurse with interactive training on active listening, storytelling, and enneagram. From this empowered posture comes discussions on some of the most challenging issues plaguing nursing today: workplace violence, bullying, and trauma. In the final session, leaders are coached on how to incorporate the course teachings into their work plan to shift workplace culture in their area of leadership. This course seeks to transform nursing culture from the inside out.
In the world of nursing leadership, the journey of the first cohort reached a significant milestone on August 1, 2023. This inaugural group of leaders showcased an impressive set of qualifications. Among them, sixty percent were dedicated to the demanding in-patient setting. They boasted not just decades, but over twenty years of nursing experience under their belts, and a decade or more spent in leadership roles. Moreover, each of these trailblazers held a Master's degree.
What sets apart a successful leadership program is its ability to not just educate but transform. In this regard, the course clearly hit the mark. Feedback from participants echoed resounding praise for the teaching models, styles, and materials provided. On a scale from one to five, the course earned a stellar mean response rating of 4.9 in terms of effectiveness. The post-course survey showed a 37% increase in knowledge on all topics.
The participants, clearly energized by their experience, pledged to weave the course's teachings into the fabric of their nursing leadership practice. Notably, a resounding eighty percent of them identified active listening as their primary focus for implementation. They recognized their path to growth in this area lay in the art of slowing down, allowing them to truly hear what their staff members were communicating.
The CODE YOU journey doesn't end with course completion. These dedicated leaders are committed to continuing their monthly meetings throughout the fall, providing mutual support as they implement their newfound knowledge. Participants have been offered a unique opportunity — to facilitate a CODE YOU retreat in 2024, sharing their wisdom with the next generation of nurses.
For those eager to embark on their own transformative journey, mark your calendars. The next 6-session Wholistic Nursing Leadership Course is set to commence on January 18th, 2024. This new cohort follows in the footsteps of their predecessors, poised to transform nursing from the inside out.
CODE YOU is proving to be more than a course; it's a voyage of self-discovery, a narrative of resilience, and a symphony of renewal. Little by little, we, together, will resuscitate and strengthen the heart and soul of nursing.
2,000 nurses reveal the realities of nursing in 2023. Nurse.org. (n.d.). https://nurse.org/articles/state-of-nursing-2023/
Featured insights. Compassion Fatigue Assessment. (n.d.). https://www.advisory.com/topics/nurse-engagement-and-burnout/2019/05/compassion-fatigue-assessment