Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, furloughs and layoffs have been a concern for nurses and healthcare executives alike. Tipton Health Communication’s May 19 Nursing Leadership Webinar featured Nikki Sumpter, senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Atlantic Health System, an experienced HR executive.

The last of our three-part blog series focused on furloughs and layoffs gives insight on how nursing leaders can connect with their HR department to support their nurses. It also touches on the best ways to provide resources for struggling team members.

  • HR Can Support You in a Variety of Ways: Your HR department should be there to help you redesign roles, assisting with staffing support and benefit changes, and provide support as you have crucial conversations with other departments, such as finance. They can also assist with the redeployment process to make sure shifts are covered and work out how to offer hazard pay or “pandemic pay” for your staff.
  • Listen to Your Nurses’ Requests: To ensure you’re accurately providing the self-care your staff needs to boost their resilience, you can use this model. The model contains multiple ways to understand your nurse’s requests, such as protect me, hear me, see me, etc. The model can serve as a filter to help leadership make meaningful changes to support their staff.
  • Wrap Your Arms Around Your Team: Focus on the physical and mental health, as well as self-care, for your nurses. Also, continue to provide services to your team members who are exiting the organization at this time by giving them continued access to your EAP services. Losing your job or being furloughed, especially during this time, can be traumatic and it’s important to take care of your current and former staff. Remember that patients connect specifically with nurses, so when your nurses are healthy, happy and well cared for, so are your patients.

Learn More From Our Executive Consultants

You can learn more strategies presented in the webinar, Managing Nurse Expectations and Engagement During Layoffs or Furloughs, by visiting

Be sure to join us for our upcoming June sessions, Employee Communications Essentials in the “New Normal” Hospital Environment and How Nurse Autonomy Helped Hospitals Manage the Crisis (and Will Help Build the New Normal). Click here to learn more or register.