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Industry Pressures Revitalize Perioperative Nursing

May 10, 2023


Industry Pressures Revitalize Perioperative Nursing

Former AORN president Vangie Dennis calls COVID “the great revealer,” which uncovered the saturating fault lines in healthcare delivery. Lack of perioperative nursing educators, an aging workforce, and institutional atrophy were not unknown variables. The consequences of inaction have arrived. Dennis shares her insights with Whitman Partners CEO Josiah Whitman.  

Why it matters: These issues directly caused the current nursing shortage. Perioperative leaders need to step up and be part of the solution.  

Details: Dennis outlines several ways individuals and organizations can do their parts. 

  • Engage. Rinse and Repeat. Get involved in your professional organization, such as AORN. “It’s like football. You can go to the game, but there is nothing like playing,” Dennis says. 
  • Invest in people. Emphasize lifelong learning and let staff know the organization is willing to invest in them. Stagger early starts for parents who must drop their kids off at daycare. Use retired nurses to mentor and educate the next generation. Make new grads and travel nurses part of the family.  
  • Partner with Schools of Nursing. Encourage DNPs and PhDs to teach to increase the capacity of schools. Work with cohorts to get a perioperative elective course established.  

The bottom line: Be disruptive. Leave no idea left unturned. Take down barriers between departments and be a team.