May 24, 2018

Address highlights VUMC Nursing’s achievements, progress

Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, recounted an epic year for Vanderbilt Nursing and looked ahead to a bright future in her 2018 State of Nursing address on May 22.

Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, delivers the 2018 State of Nursing address in Light Hall. (photo by John Russell)

Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, recounted an epic year for Vanderbilt Nursing and looked ahead to a bright future in her 2018 State of Nursing address on May 22.

In just the last 12 months, Vanderbilt University Medical Center celebrated its third Magnet designation, installed new Epic clinical systems and completed a successful weeklong visit from The Joint Commission.

“We have had some amazing accomplishments this year,” Dubree said, recounting them in front of a full audience in Light Hall.

Throughout it all, VUMC was undergirded by its Strategic Compass — Design for Patients and Families; Discover, Learn and Share; Make Diversity and Inclusion Intentional; and Amplify Innovation. “In 2018, the organization will build on that with a revised strategic plan for nursing, which will be reviewed in groups and conversations starting soon,” Dubree said.

It was those strategic directions that guided Vanderbilt to receive its third Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) last July. The ANCC’s Magnet designation is the highest honor an organization can receive for the provision of nursing care and inter-professional collaboration. Only 475 U.S. hospitals — 7 percent of such facilities nationwide — have the distinction, and Vanderbilt has previously received it in 2006 and 2012. No other health system in Middle Tennessee has achieved Magnet designation.

“We are well on our way now for our fourth designation, and we look forward to that journey,” Dubree said.

Amid the work to demonstrate VUMC’s Magnet status, the organization switched to Epic clinical systems on Nov. 2, 2017. However, it was much more than a one-day operation. “It represented months of planning, training, testing and evaluation,” Dubree said, and work continues to optimize the system for staff and patients and families.

That work did not go unnoticed when The Joint Commission came for its triennial visit during the week of May 14. “The surveyors said they were so impressed with how quickly we had adapted to the new system,” she said. “It has a lot to do with the environment and the culture that we have engendered here at Vanderbilt. And I appreciate that so much because I know the results and the outcomes that it produces for our patients and their families.”

Over the last year, VUMC has made continuing strides in patient safety, nurse retention and physical growth, Dubree said. Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital (VUAH) went more than 3,692 patient days without a fall across five units. The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt went 618 days without a catheter-associated urinary tract infection. Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital went more than 797 days since the last fall with harm. And the clinics had 91,564 preventative screenings and vaccinations.

VUMC has improved nurse retention rates from 79.5 percent in July 2017 to 83.4 percent as of April. This is the result of numerous initiatives, including improved nurse recruitment, increased nurse residency positions, adding more start dates, improving the job transfer process and requesting a two-year commitment from residents. In addition, loan forgiveness, targeted scholarships and retention bonuses are being offered in critical areas.

Growth is a watchword throughout the Vanderbilt Health enterprise, with multiple new walk-in clinics being built or planned, 14 new Vanderbilt clinics at Walgreens locations and a new health and wellness center for Metro Nashville Public Schools. In addition, the main VUMC campus is buzzing with new floors being added to Children’s Hospital, new beds for VUAH in Medical Center East and additional beds at Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital.

Throughout it all, Vanderbilt continues to dominate in market perception in Middle Tennessee, and nursing remains the most trusted profession nationwide, as it has been for 16 years of Gallup Polls.

“I am so proud of what our nurses do every day,” Dubree said. “It is my honor to stand with you and try to be better every day. Thank you so very much.”