South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday September 17, 2019
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May 2008 - Volume 4 - Issue 11

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Finding Solutions to Nursing Trends and Challenges

At Martin Memorial Health Systems we recognized that a nurturing, learning environment is key to retention and recruitment for RNs - advancing education is always at the center of advancing the profession of nursing. Over the past year we implemented several practices to support that notion.

1. Because of increased patient care acuity that prevails on the inpatient side, the LPN role has been transitioned to the outpatient part of our business. We have experienced LPNs in our health system and all LPNs were given an opportunity to enroll in an RN program with our tuition assistance and flexible hours, providing support if the LPN chose to do so.

2. Martin Memorial is an institutional partner with Florida Atlantic University for the Clinical Nurse Leader Program. In August 2007, four Martin Memorial RNs graduated with masters degrees from the first graduating class in this field at FAU. This role and curriculum were designed to meet the challenges of coordinating care for inpatients of specific patient populations. We have seen increased patient/family satisfaction, lower length of stay and increased communication with physicians and the team of caregivers through the clinical nurse leader role. It also provides an inspiration for bedside nurses who choose to advance their education to lead the collaboration of care at the bedside.

3. Nurses have the ability to impact practice by participating in nursing research, particularly those questions that can directly make a difference at the bedside. The obstetrics department, with the support and leadership of a faculty member at Florida Atlantic, had a study published in the July/August 2007 edition of the Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing. This effort was recognized throughout the organization and has begun an effort of additional nursing leaders and staff to frame nursing research questions for practice.

4. Experienced critical care and perioperative nurses are in limited supply. Both of these tracts of nursing care require a comprehensive didactic learning experience as well as bedside learning under the watchful eyes of an experienced preceptor. In the fall of 2007 we were able to provide residencies for both of these areas to fill vacancies. The critical care residency graduated five novice RNs after 20 weeks of learning. The perioperative residency graduated four students who continue to learn their specialized area of OR nursing.

Nursing is so diverse and rich with unique opportunities, one who chooses a career in nursing will never be bored and will always make a difference in a life on any chosen day.

Karen Ripper, Vice President/Administrator of Martin Memorial Medical Center and Chief Nursing Officer, can be reached at kripper@mmhs-fla.org.
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