Well-being and resiliency program aimed at professional burnout

September 10, 2021

Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation was awarded a $410,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to implement a well-being and resiliency program focused on front-line nurses who experience high rates of professional burnout. The program builds upon a similar program Novant Health launched in 2013 to address burnout among physicians. More than 800 Novant Health physicians have participated, and the program has hosted over 1,000 physicians from 39 states. For the nursing program, The Duke Endowment grant funding will support six cohorts of 20 nurses each. Novant Health will fund three additional cohorts. Over the three-year grant period, the program will serve 180 front-line nurses. Program leadership will provide guidelines for participation and begin recruiting cohorts later this year.

“Nurses often work long shifts in high-stress and often emotional environments that can take a significant toll on their well-being,” said Dr. Tom Jenike, Novant Health senior vice president and chief well-being officer. “Nurses are the backbone of every Novant Health care team, and we are sincerely grateful to The Duke Endowment for enabling us to offer our nurses the meaningful support they deserve.”

Dr. Jenike pointed out that when disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic strike, nurses must remain on the front line of response even when those disasters affect their own homes and families. The professional and personal challenges nurses often face can lead to burnout, which is broadly defined as a combination of exhaustion, cynicism and perceived inefficacy in the workplace resulting from long-term excessive demands on energy, strength or resources.

“This partnership with The Duke Endowment will not only make a significant difference for our valued nurses but also will ensure continued remarkable care for our patients,” said Ann Caulkins, senior vice president of the Novant Health Foundations.

The voluntary program will consist of a three-day wellness retreat, one-on-one coaching and mentoring, and intimate group conversations aimed at building nurses’ leadership skills, peer and patient engagement, and improved work/life balance. The program includes critical elements including developing a deeper personal understanding of purpose, creating an “attraction to well-being,” developing a new mindset and new habits, and aligning personal values, purpose and vision in order to live life from a place of authenticity and fulfillment. The program will establish a strong community of professional support and mobilize participants as champions to address organizational forces that drive burnout.

“We are pleased that our funding will help Novant Health expand its successful physician-focused program to develop and implement support for nurses,” said Lin Hollowell, director of The Duke Endowment’s health care program area. “Providing well-being and resiliency resources for front-line workers is critically important during these challenging times.”

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