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Address highlights VUMC Nursing’s achievements

May. 25, 2017, 10:00 AM

Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., revisited the successes of Vanderbilt Nursing over the last year and looked to the future in her 2017 State of Nursing address on May 25 in Light Hall.

Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., delivers last week’s State of Nursing address in Light Hall. (photo by Joe Howell)

The Medical Center’s Strategic Compass, the recent Magnet site visit, nurse recruitment and retention and Epic Leap were some of the main themes of Dubree’s address.

Dubree said she was grateful for the Strategic Compass that serves as a fundamental guide for where Vanderbilt Nursing is going. The compass has four Strategic Directions for VUMC — design for patients and families, make diversity and inclusion intentional, amplify innovation and discover, learn and share.

Those principles guided more than 500 individuals who participated in the Magnet site visit from April 24 to 28. More than 60 Magnet escorts helped the appraisers from the Amercian Nurses Credentialing Center visit more than 100 units, clinics and departments, the last step toward receiving a third Magnet designation. “We had a fabulous week,” Dubree said.

To maintain Vanderbilt’s excellence, recruiting and retaining nurses is a critical priority. “We are building a workforce that is smart, dynamic and innovative,” she said.

As a part of that effort, Vanderbilt launched a 100-day nurse recruitment campaign in March. VUMC is doing more community outreach to find the best candidates — with digital and outdoor advertising encouraging nurses to text directly with a recruiter. Recruiters are staffing local events such as Nashville Sounds baseball games and building a talent network that serves as a pool for hiring. Many more events are planned that will reach out to potential candidates.

“We want to make sure that this community knows about Vanderbilt nursing and Vanderbilt University Medical Center,” she said. “A lot of people are moving to Nashville, 80 to 100 people a day… It’s a great place to live and Vanderbilt is a great place to practice nursing. However, we know there is competition for nurses in our city and the surrounding areas.”

Numbers show that Vanderbilt’s nurse recruitment efforts are already paying dividends. In the campaign, as of May 12, 150 experienced nurses have accepted positions and 281 nurse residents have been accepted in the cohort that starts this summer. VUMC has been hiring about 4.5 nurses a day during the campaign.

Recruiting is just part of the equation. “We also have to rethink how to onboard those individuals in a way that they feel confident to practice nursing in our large academic Medical Center. We also want to show them they can develop their career here and that allows us to retain them for as long as we possibly can,” Dubree said.

Amid this flurry of effort, Vanderbilt nurses are also preparing to switch to Epic clinical systems in November, a project called EpicLeap.

“We are about to be in the middle of what I would describe as the largest change most of us will experience in our careers,” she said.

All hospitals, clinics and departments will switch systems at the same time, which is the best approach because of how VUMC is structured, she said.

Amid all the change and hard work by Vanderbilt nurses, “we want to make sure that whatever we do, we continue to achieve the remarkable,” she said.

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