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UVA Taking Initiative to Reduce Stress for Nurses to NPR

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia School of Nursing is taking to the airwaves around the nation to highlight a new initiative that aims to keep nurses from getting overwhelmed with the daily stresses of their profession.

UVA's Compassionate Care Initiative is dedicated to empowering nurses to help them to stay centered in their high-stress career.

"We have yoga several days a week. We have guided meditation several days a week. We have Tai chi. We have reflective writing and art and a massage program," said Compassionate Care Director Susan Bauer-Wu.

Baur-Wu says everyone benefits from more mentally and emotionally stable nurses.

“If they are less stressed, if they are more attentive, they are more likely to fully show up and be present for the patients," the director said.

UVA's School of Nursing is hitting the airwaves with that message with a two-part series on National Public Radio called Resilient Nurses. The broadcast will share research looking at what's causing burnout in nurses and the best practices for preventing it. 

Nursing student Laura Goad understands the pressures put on her profession.

"I'm really passionate about providing the best care for my patients, and I know that that starts with self-care and taking care of my own emotions and mental well-being," she said.

Goad hopes the radio broadcasts can help nurses everywhere.

"I think it's extremely important and it's going to change the whole environment of healthcare if we can spread it throughout the nation and the world,” said Goad.

UVA says it wanted to sponsor the series because of the national nurse turnover rate, which stands at 20 percent.

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