We believe powerful, influential and exceptionally effective Nurse Leaders must be at the core of healthcare delivery and advancement.


February 2021 Homepage Highlight

We are acutely aware as Leaders the impact of stress on both our teams and ourselves. It is difficult to recall a time when stress has been so overtly insidious. It is undeniably and profoundly impacting our ability to both provide care and lead our care teams. The long term potential impact on all stakeholders is beyond alarming. This is why Vocera is our February Partner Focus. They are directly addressing the environment of stress and its impact on care teams and ultimately the efficacy of care with a long term focus. 

For the last two years, Rhonda Collins, DNP, RN, FAAN, Chief Nursing Officer of Vocera, has been writing and speaking about the impact of cognitive overload among nurses and offering solutions to help improve the safety and well-being of frontline workers and patients. The feedback she continues to receive from nurse leaders and other care team members underscores the importance of this topic – now more than ever.

In watching the toll COVID-19 has taken on healthcare workers, Dr. Collins realized that cognitive burden is a growing issue. The mental, physical, and emotional burdens that nurses must carry during this time of need and uncertainty is life altering. For this reason, she devoted her latest CNO Perspective Report to outlining a strategy to help healthcare leaders support nurses, their safety, and well-being. The report presents a short review of cognitive capacity theory, with a focus on four of its eight skills. It examines how these core functions tie to the cognitive burden nurses carry while coping with pressures of patient care in the face of COVID-19. It also looks at how improving care team communication and simplifying clinical workflows can reduce cognitive load to help support nurses’ resiliency.

We must step up and find ways now to protect and connect nurses who will likely experience PTSD for a while to come because of what they have witnessed on the front lines during the pandemic. Join Dr. Collins on March 3 for an NWONL CE webinar to learn more about cognitive overload and discover solutions that can mitigate administrative and cognitive burdens, making it safer and easier for nurses to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

Upcoming Events

March 03, 2021

Strategies to Reduce Cognitive Overload and Improve Nurse Well-being and Patient Safety

Overview/Description: A combination of stress, fatigue, incessant alerts and alarms, multiple demands, and shifting priorities can all lead to cognitive overload among nurses, which can lead to mistakes....

March 12, 2021

Portland & Vancouver Council

NWONL Portland & Vancouver Council  March 12th. 1:30 - 3:30 PM PST
Time, Agenda, Presenter(s) and CE forthcoming. 
Open to Members and non-members who have interest.

March 17, 2021

NWONL CNO & Dean Rounding

Please join us Wednesday morning, March 17th from 7am-8am. Nurse Leaders from OR and WA gather for Rounding on current issues. 

Kindly email admin@nwonl.org to be added...

April 21, 2021

NWONL CNO & Dean Rounding

Please join us Wednesday morning, April 21st from 7am - 8am. Nurse Leaders from OR and WA gather for Rounding on current issues. 

Kindly email admin@nwonl.org to be added...

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February 21st

Snow, ice, power outages, patient surges and vaccines.

Mid-February is upon us like a heavy fog, the visibility scant but slowly lifting. Our "fog" is borne from an amalgamation of factors. Our Leaders are finding that (no surprise) the vaccine rollouts are piling onto already onerous burdens for organizations. That floods down into operations. The staffing situation is amplifying the challenge: the travelers market is making it hard to retain staff and is expensive to backfill the needs. There is also Nurse Leader burnout building, its rapid consumption turning up the heat at all levels of leadership, from bedside to boardroom. This is truly worrisome.

Consider the potential risk: the clinical care teams are the backbone of care delivery and the Nurse Leaders are the cornerstone from which the entire structure relies on to bear the weight. Our Cornerstone Leaders are under pressure that would flatten mere mortals. Fortunately, as Nurses we seem to be imbued with a special DNA. It‘s like a superpower, something in our hearts and minds that gives us the strength to preserver one more day. However like any superhero from our stories, movies and lore, there is always a limit. Our "limits" are being tested.

What I have observed this month is that our Leaders are not quietly standing by, there is no passivity or wringing of hands. No, they are out there are actively updating their strategies and pursuing action to both mitigate and avoid the pitfalls ahead for their care teams and themselves. As much as this pandemic and ongoing challenges have us navigating in a dense fog,  I am reassured by the actions of our Leaders to move forward. You could call it looking for bright spots, I simply call it Nurse Leadership.

You are the faces of Courage, Grace and Grit.


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