Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ - #healthynurse Spotlight Series - Melinda Taylor, DNP, BSN, CDP, AGNP-C 4184

Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ - #healthynurse Spotlight Series - Melinda Taylor, DNP, BSN, CDP, AGNP-C


Nurse creates a resiliency room as a resource for health care professionals.

With the right approach to self-care, nurses can buffer daily stress. That’s the idea #healthynurse Melinda Taylor pursued during her DNP project.

Resilience is crucial for nurses who will inevitably face hardships and adversity on the job. However, it can be difficult for nurses to find resources. As a nurse herself, Melinda understood this, which is why she implemented a two-step program in the emergency department (ED) at UNC Health Care to give nurses opportunities to improve their resilience. She opened the program to all health care professionals (HCPs) recognizing that everyone was affected by stress.

The first step was to provide evidence-based Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) in a series of slides. Employees could access this resource in the ED at their convenience. The goal of the training was to help participants build resilience through various mind and body principles and self-care interventions.

Over the next 5 weeks, Melinda attended morning and evening huddles twice a week to provide 10-15 minutes of education and demonstration for each concept. At these meetings, Melinda supplied a pamphlet containing website links with QR codes and mobile app recommendations.

The second part of the program involved the creation of a resiliency room based on SMART concepts and cultural considerations. Employees could come and go as they wished, but Melinda encouraged them to use it at least once a week for 5 minutes, as the research supported.

When health care providers entered the room, they could take advantage of:
  • Soft lighting, imagery, and aromatherapy
  • Adult coloring books with mindfulness themes
  • A white noise machine with peaceful sounds like rain, ocean waves
  • Comfortable chairs
  • Yoga and massage
  • A variety of religious materials
  • Tangible items to hold onto, such as rocks or stress balls, for comfort

Despite facing issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, a busy ED, and short staffing, nurses used the resiliency room an average of 4 of the 8 weeks it was offered.

Making an Impact on Nurses’ Self-Care
Melinda recorded both the quantitative and qualitative results of the program. All were positive, including the feedback from participants.

“I asked participants to rate their ability to cope on a 0-10 scale when they walked in [the resiliency room] and again when they walked out,” said Melinda. “The average with folks entering the room was 4 and coming out was 9.”

On the qualitative side, participants said the room made a complete difference in their perspectives. Simply walking into the room and taking a breath made monumental changes for each nurse’s personal perspective.

Melinda’s Advice
“If you think you don’t have time for yourself, think again,” she says. “You can reset by just closing your eyes and taking a simple long breath while washing your hands. Remember, you cannot take care of others if you don’t care for yourself.”

A resiliency room at work is an amazing benefit. If your organization doesn’t have one, use these tips to create one:
  • Talk to staff who can make it happen: Bring the idea to your nurse manager, wellness committee, or human resources department to get the process moving. Think outside the box for location. For example, the room for this project was a repurposed mail room.
  • Find budget: Work with your wellness committee or leadership to find enough funding to bring the resiliency room to life. Research and apply for organizational and national grant possibilities. Include other interested stakeholders such as clergy or volunteer services.
  • Gather the resiliency room components: Be sure to include staff during the creative process and incorporate materials like aromatherapy, a sound machine, a comfortable chair, and other items needed for the room.

Melinda Taylor, DNP, BSN, CDP, AGNP-C, is a nurse at UNC Lenoir Health Care and recently earned her DNP from East Carolina University.

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Blog #healthynurse Spotlight 05/31/2022 1:18pm CDT

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The #healthynurse Spotlight is a shout out to nurses who are making changes in their lives to improve their health and wellness. You can too! Read their stories for inspiration here.