1. Murray, Kathleen MSN, RN, CNA

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Q I've been a CNO at my organization for 25 years and plan to retire next year. Do you have any suggestions for transitioning during my final year?


What a great opportunity for you to plan with the organization your leadership exit strategy. The legacy you leave behind will need to be planned so that the transition ends your career on a high note, acknowledging all of your accomplishments throughout your 25-year CNO passage. Spend the next year handing over the leadership baton and focus on positively supporting the organization's leadership team during your transition.


In your final year, your calendar should be filled with planning transitions, reviewing your accomplishments with the marketing department, and enjoying the organization's celebrations highlighting your career. Remember, just as you lose your association with work when you retire, you also lose those parts of work that supported your sense of self and lifestyle, necessitating that you form a new identity for yourself. As you prepare for retirement, include your family in planning next steps based on key questions inclusive of family needs, financial needs, and work-life balance.


You may need to update your resume to highlight your strengths for a potential job you may want to pursue after retirement. Send your resume out to those in your network who may be able to offer you advice and information about a particular opportunity that interests you. As you leave the CNO role, you'll need to be open to new transitional retirement prospects, which may range from doing interim work to consulting. It's time for you to enjoy the next steps after your retirement.

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Talking with staff about wellness screenings

Q Our organization is now requiring yearly employee wellness screenings to receive a health insurance discount. Can you provide staff talking points for nurse managers as this relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?


The ACA has created new incentives to promote the health and well-being of employees regardless of their current health status. The permissible reward under a health-contingent wellness program for nonsmokers ranges from 20% to 30% of the cost of health insurance coverage.1 On average, the employee savings for health insurance premiums equates to approximately $650.00 a year.


There are regulations in place that require wellness programs to follow certain criteria. Employee wellness program criteria include the following:


* The program needs to offer qualifying options for employees who are unable to meet the requirements based on the organization's wellness screening program (test, screening, measurement). It must include an avenue for employees to have an option to improve health or prevent disease and not be excessively difficult for individuals to obtain.


* The program must offer reasonable alternatives for all employees "whose medical conditions make it unreasonably difficult, or for whom it's medially inadvisable, to meet the requirement."1


* For employees who have difficulty obtaining the health insurance rewards (such as a current smoker), a notification process detailing alternatives in understandable language must be in place.



Many organizations have approached wellness incentives through using an educational and supportive approach for employees to make lifestyle choices by promoting wellness, supporting disease prevention, and encouraging management of chronic health problems. The services provided usually include completion of a yearly health assessment, BP checks, weigh-ins, waist measurements, body fat percentage, wellness challenges, health coaching, and access to fitness facilities at a reduced fee.


Wellness incentives are clearly moving in the right direction for prevention as opposed to medical treatment based on symptomatic, episodic care. Many employees are setting personal goals based on the screening processes, resulting in healthy, life-long, sustainable changes.




1. U.S. Department of Labor. Fact sheet: The Affordable Care Act and wellness programs. [Context Link]