Resource support

New initiative provides peer support for NJ nurses

PRINCETON, New Jersey, October 11, 2021 / PRNewswire / – With nearly two-thirds of nurses nationwide saying they feel overwhelmed by COVID-19, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (RUBHC) and the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) have created a new peer support resource for nurses, by nurses.

Nurse2Nurse offers one-on-one peer support, virtual support groups, wellness webinars, and a host of additional resources through its website. After a smooth launch this summer, Nurse2Nurse now also offers a toll-free number, 844-687-7301, made up of active and retired nurses from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“For 18 months and more, New Jersey nurses have suffered unprecedented stressors due to the COVID pandemic, ”said NJNI director Susan W. Salmond, IA, executive vice-dean and professor of the Rutgers School of Nursing. “In order to care for others, nurses need to consider their own emotional health. Mental health is important. This emotional resilience is required for self-compassion, compassion for peers, and compassion for the patients we care for. Our hope, through the Nurse2Nurse helpline, is to provide empathetic support to nurses from someone who has walked in their shoes. “

Nurse2Nurse is built on a model developed by the Rutgers University National Peer Support Center, which has successfully provided crisis counseling, peer support and disaster response support to other groups, including law enforcement officers and veterans. It uses a holistic approach that covers physical and mental well-being, but also other dimensions of health, including professional, spiritual and social needs.

“Peer support is not judgmental,” said Matthieu bouragina, supervising mental health specialist at RUBHC. “The shared experience allows participants in peer support to achieve measurable benefits, including increased self-esteem and confidence, a greater sense of control, better self-care, and a heightened sense of hope. Peer services have provided great support to many populations and we are delighted to now provide these services to all. New Jersey nurses. “

Nurses providing peer support are RUBHC employees who have been trained in mutual peer support and wellness principles. The program is looking to hire more nurses to staff the helpline.

Nurse2Nurse is made possible by $ 441,000 in funding for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. NJNI, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program and a collaborative program of the New Jersey Hospital Association, also supported funding for $ 250,000 for the Nurse2Nurse initiative.

The need is great, according to the experts behind Nurse2Nurse. In a december 2020 surveyed of more than 12,000 nurses across the country, the American Nurses Foundation found that 72% report being exhausted in the midst of the pandemic, 64% feel overwhelmed and 57% report feelings of anxiety or irritability. Health impacts identified by nurses included difficulty sleeping, overeating, and alcohol consumption.

“As nurses it can be difficult to share what’s going on with us, so we keep it inside,” said Barbara Brilliantine, RN, one of the Nurse2Nurse peer counselors. “Nurse2Nurse is a sacred space to receive the gifts of connection and well-being that every nursing hero deserves.”

SOURCE New Jersey Hospitals Association (NJHA)

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