Prior to Trusted Health, the community forums for nurses were fragmented among individual Facebook groups, each serving a specific purpose or niche. In contrast, the Trusted Health community provides a wealth of opportunities for nurses to connect with each other, seek employment, and advance their careers.
“When we asked nurses what they're looking for in a community, overwhelmingly the word that we saw again and again and again, was support,” says Nicole Warshauer, Head of Community for Trusted Health.
Despite widespread attention given to the mental health of healthcare workers since the onset of the pandemic, results from a Trusted Health survey highlighted that the vast majority of nurses nationwide feel unsupported at both a facility and industry level; in addition, 95 percent of nurses feel that their mental health and well-being was either not a priority or that there were inadequate measures in place to support it.
“Nurses need support from each other, support from their facilities, support from the industry at large. Unfortunately, it has taken this past year for the public to collectively recognize the indispensable role that nurses play in our healthcare system, and the strain that the pandemic added to an already demanding job. They truly deserve to be cared for from all different angles of their career and their wellbeing.”
Nicole and the Trusted Health team began to look for ways to effectively connect and support their community as the pandemic took hold around the world and made physical events impossible. “We realized we needed to go virtual so we decided to look for a platform that was easy to manage and could facilitate connection among the thousands of members in our rapidly expanding community.”
Their search led them to BevyCares, an initiative of Bevy4Good that gives people the tools they need to organize virtual or in-person events that provide relief and care in a time when the world needs it most.
Trusted Health launched their first virtual event in May of 2020 using a version of the Bevy event community platform offered through BevyCares. “It was really a lifeline for us, enabling us to get up and running quickly and connect with nurses through our events and communications,” Warshauer says. “BevyCares provided us with a space that could amplify support for the nursing community through a variety of events and communications tools. We have former bedside nurses on nearly every team at Trusted, which helps us keep our nurses-first focus so we stay connected to the community and find the best possible ways to support them.”
Over a period of one year, Trusted Health hosted nearly 60 virtual events, with each drawing up to 250 people, depending on the subject area. As the community grew, Trusted Health decided to transition to a dedicated site using the enterprise version of the Bevy platform, enabling them to continue offering support through community-driven events across a broad base of mental health, career, lifestyle, specialty, and travel nursing topics.
Having their own branded site — which is a feature of the Bevy enterprise software for virtual conferences and community events — is also a way to strengthen ties with the community. Warshauer explains, “It's white labeled, and so it looks like Trusted and sounds like Trusted, so our nurses are familiar with the brand and the experience.”
“It was really a lifeline for us, enabling us to get up and running quickly and connect with nurses through events and communications.”
Warshauer says the learning curve on the platform has been exceptional. “Bevy is one click and you’re on the site and then one more click to access a virtual event, so it’s easy to use from a technical standpoint. The adjustable automated communication options and features are really, really helpful.”
“The analytics are great as they help us tweak and tailor the types of events we host. Also, the pre- and post-event communications allow us to get survey feedback so our hosts can tailor specific content for their audience. That’s valuable,” says Warshauer.
Beyond the technological ease of use, the emotional side is even more critical, she notes. “Mental health is an enormous part of what we do. People are coming back again and again saying ‘This was so fun’; ‘This was the joy I looked for‘; ‘I needed this so badly, I felt nobody cared’; and ‘This was a really good experience’. That kind of feedback is why we’re doing this.”
Trusted Health continues to expand content to include activities and events to support the educational, vocational, and mental health needs of their audience. According to Warshauer, “Nurses have very complex, full, multifaceted lives. They might want to participate in everything from a workout class to a cocktail making class. They may want to learn about wilderness nursing or something very specific about travel nursing. Hopefully we'll expand upon that in the coming months and years.”
Like many organizations, the plan is to return to in-person events when the pandemic has eased.
But Warshauer believes there is a silver lining in the work they have done on the virtual front that will continue in the foreseeable future.
“Bevy has helped us connect with nurses that we would have never connected with before. We've been able to support nurses and offer events to anybody who's interested, regardless of their location. Hybrid events are going to be really interesting.”