A Letter From the Chief Nurse
In the spring, the Nurse Executive Board held a strategic planning retreat, where we reflected on the work already accomplished to advance our practice in service to our patients and their families. To focus our work in the coming year, we identified four strategic goals, or pillars: advancing an inclusive environment, advancing patient and family centered care, ensuring that all nurses and nurse leaders have the skills needed to be successful in the future, and providing affordable care for patients.
An inclusive environment requires that all patients, families and staff feel welcomed and valued by BWH nurses. During our Ujima celebration earlier this year, visiting scholar Dr. Beverly Malone challenged us to move beyond tolerance of differences to embrace and celebrate the richness of our collective diversity. To this end, we will continue to cultivate the diversity of our nurse workforce as a reflection of the community we serve, while advancing interdisciplinary collaboration and our commitment to creating and sustaining a healthy environment for our patients and their families, our colleagues and ourselves.
To advance patient-family centered care, the Nurse Executive Board members and Nursing directors are committed to patient rounds to ensure we hear the voices of our patients and their families directly. Inviting patients to become part of our committee structure will be an important step in achieving this goal. Further, this fall we will work with interdisciplinary teams to launch innovation units focused on redesigning care to ensure that individualized, interdisciplinary plans of care that include the input of the patient are well executed in order to decrease patient readmissions.
We will continue to distinguish ourselves as an employer of choice, recruiting, enriching and retaining the best and most talented nursing staff and leaders. We know from the original landmark Magnet study, published in 1983, that nurses are attracted to and stay at organizations where they have a voice in influencing their practice, experience autonomy in their role, enjoy collaborative relationships with interdisciplinary colleagues and have the opportunity for professional growth and development. Since then, research has demonstrated a correlation between these organizational characteristics and better patient outcomes. In support of this goal, we will send a group of leadership and staff to the Magnet Conference in October. We hope to do an assessment of our environment and identify potential gaps which will further define our work in the upcoming year.
Finally, nurses must lead and take part in the development and realization of our vision for value at BWH - the best outcomes and affordable care for all. As nurses, we know where there is waste in the system, and we can help redesign care to reduce costs while ensuring a consistently high quality of care. We will continue to staff to our patient needs in a dynamic environment where patient populations and acuity—“the need for nursing care”—are constantly changing.
As I approach my ninth month at BWH, I want to reiterate that I have the best job in the world. I thank each of you for all you do every day, for the caring and compassion I witness in this role and which I have recently experienced first hand as a family member of a BWH patient. As a nurse, I was never prouder. To serve you is a privilege and joy.