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Vicki  Hess

Vicki Hess

Employee Engagement Expert & Registered Nurse


Vicki Hess, RN, teaches healthcare leaders & staff how to improve and sustain employee engagement; decrease stress and burnout; and, retain valued employees. Organizations that implement her tools, tips and ideas experience increased engagement, productivity, safety, quality, retention, patient satisfaction, creativity and more. Leaders and staff receive strategies for employee engagement that are evidence-​​based, relatable and real world. Read More >

As a nurse, keynote speaker, trainer, consultant and author of 5 books; Vicki’s goal is to inspire healthcare leaders and staff to take action by sharing ​high impact, easy to implement ideas that transform the way people work​. As a cancer survivor and victim of a surgical mistake, she brings the voice of the patient into her programs.

Ms. Hess earned a BS (Nursing) from the University of Florida and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Towson University. She was an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University Graduate School of Business for five years.

Vicki is proud to be one of ~300 women in the world to have earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation…the speaking profession’s international standard for platform skill. She have been voted a TOP 5 Healthcare Speaker 4 years in a row by Speaking.com and have been recognized as a TOP 25 Speaker overall.

In 2020, Vicki became a ​Certified Virtual Presenterwhich means you can rest assured that she understands the delivery of content in virtual settings. She is also a Certified Trauma Professional. In 2020, Vicki took additional coursework so that clients receive evidence-based strategies for managing the effects of stress, burnout & trauma in the workplace.

Vicki Hess is the author/creator of:

  • SHIFT to Professional Paradise in Stormy & Uncertain Times (Healthcare Edition)
  • Shortcuts to Employee Engagement: Lead & Succeed in a Do-​​More-​​with-​​Less World (Business Edition & Healthcare Edition)
  • SHIFT to Professional Paradise: 5 Steps to Less Stress, More Energy & Remarkable Results at Work
  • The Nurse Manager’s Guide to Hiring, Firing & Inspiring (Sigma Theta Tau International)
  • 28-Day Professional Paradise e-Diary
  • Engagement Excelerator™ Virtual Coaching Program

Vicki has written for the Association for Talent Development (ATD) blog, AONL Nurse Leader, American Nurse Today, Hospital & Health Network, Becker’s Hospital Review, NurseTogether.com, the Baltimore Business Journal and more. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Employee Engagement: The Dishwasher Story

Speech Topics

Stress, Burnout & Trauma: Picking Up the Pieces After a Pandemic

Healthcare leaders are struggling with employee engagement. Some employees are overworked and exhausted while others are feeling undervalued and neglected. Levels of stress and burnout are exceeding those we’ve seen in the past. The stakes are higher than ever as organizations grapple with financial challenges and fear. During this interactive, engaging program, healthcare leaders learn counterintuitive ideas for sustaining engagement. Read More >

A Certified Trauma Professional, author and nurse, Vicki Hess brings a fresh perspective to the management of stress, trauma and burnout. Using concepts from her new book, ​SHIFT to Professional Paradise in Stormy & Uncertain Times, she shares out-of-the-box ideas for leaders to use to help pick up the pieces and move forward.

Participants walk away with practical, proven tools to support their team now and in the future.

At the end of this virtual or in-person program, leaders are able to: Read Less ^

  • Define the differences between stress, burnout & trauma.
  • Tap into their own empathy to support others.
  • List new ways to communicate with staff to bridge the engagement gap.

2020 & Beyond: Engaging the Next Generation of Healthcare Talent

Since the birth of healthcare as a profession, doctors, nurses and other staff have encountered many enduring challenges. Doing more with less, competing priorities and the constant pace of change are just a few. As we move into a post-pandemic decade, the knowledge, skills and abilities of healthcare professionals must evolve to meet the current demands. Read More >

During this session, Vicki Hess, RN, Top 5 Healthcare Speaker and author shares proven ideas to make engaging the next generation of talent rewarding. She outlines 4 “roles” everyone needs to embrace. Technology, change, innovation and care-taking are keys to success as we continue to adapt and drive forward motion.

At the end of this virtual or in-person program, healthcare leaders are able to: Read Less ^

  • Discuss the changing landscape of healthcare in the new decade.
  • Describe 4 key roles of successful healthcare professionals.
  • Share proven strategies to engage the next generation of healthcare talent

The Journey to Joy for Leaders: Shortcuts to Personal & Team Engagement

What are you and the members of your team doing to connect to joy at work? Does it feel more and more challenging with all that’s happening in healthcare (and the world) today? Read More >

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) doesn’t think so. In 2017, the group wrote a white paper entitled ​IHI Framework for Improving Joy in Work. Unfortunately, finding joy in healthcare sounds like a lofty aspiration when you’re managing teams who are handling complex patients, complicated budgets or complaining stakeholders.

Here’s the great news. During this program, healthcare professionals will learn how to find their own joy; help team members find theirs; and, become more resilient in stormy & uncertain times. Vicki has worked with thousands of healthcare leaders and staff across the country. She knows what joy in work looks like and what produces it. During her keynote, you’ll discover new beliefs and mindsets that promise to drive positive actions and joyful & resilient outcomes.

At the end of this virtual or in-person program, healthcare leaders are able to: Read Less ^

  • Describe how finding and connecting to what makes people satisfied, energized & productive at work leads to more joy.
  • Explain the shared elements of responsibility when it comes to finding & choosing joy.
  • Share 3 ideas for how to connect team members with their own joy.

SHIFT to Professional Paradise in Stormy & Uncertain Times

Does finding “Professional Paradise” at work feel like an oxymoron given all that we’ve recently experienced? Healthcare professionals from all disciplines are experiencing more stress and burnout than ever before. In this informational and uplifting program, Vicki shares proven tools for becoming the Chief Paradise Officer™ of your job, no matter what is happening around you. Read More >

An author, registered nurse and Certified Trauma Professional, Vicki provides real-world, easy to remember strategies for focusing on what’s within our control. Participants discover new beliefs and mindsets that promise to drive positive actions and joyful and resilient outcomes.

This is not your typical workshop…healthcare leaders and staff walk away empowered to create sustainable change so that they’re healthier, happier and more connected to what matters most.

After participating in this virtual or in-person program you’ll be able to: Read Less ^

  • Describe what makes you feel satisfied, energized & productive at work (AKA – what matters most).
  • Explain the shared elements for responsibility when it comes to finding & choosing joy.
  • Demonstrate a 5-step process to decrease stress and burnout.

Becoming a Champion of Change: Your Checklist for Success

Working in healthcare can be the best job in the world…until it’s not. Today’s healthcare environment is volatile and change and uncertainty continue to roll in. Your job includes doing more with less; handling the crisis of the day; living with uncertainty; evolving technology; an increased focus on productivity; getting patients and their families engaged; getting along with other team members; rapidly changing regulations and the list goes on. You’re so busy keeping up…how can you possibly stay connected to your initial commitment to producing innovative high-quality care with a positive attitude? Read More >

Pull out your Checklist for Success. Using concepts from her recently released book, SHIFT to Professional Paradise in Stormy & Uncertain Times, Vicki shares insights to transform the way you work. You will learn how to bounce back when hit with challenges. You’ll receive evidence-based tools and techniques for raising the bar on your own positive experiences at work. You will feel re-energized and ready to work with purpose and passion.

At the end of the program, you will be able to: Read Less ^

  • Role model a state of high engagement – with several specific ideas for re​​-energizing yourself.
  • Identify beliefs and minds that are holding you back from full engagement.
  • Demonstrate a proven 5​​-step process for transforming workplace challenges into positive outcomes.