May 31, 2019

State of Nursing address reflects on success and focuses on future

Nurses Week is celebrated each May. This year’s theme was “4 Million Reasons to Celebrate,” highlighting the work of more than 4 million nurses in the United States


Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree

Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC, looked back on the successes of Vanderbilt Health’s 6,584 nurses over the last year and looked to the future in her 2019 State of Nursing address on May 28 in Light Hall.

Nurses Week is celebrated each May. This year’s theme was “4 Million Reasons to Celebrate,” highlighting the work of more than 4 million nurses in the United States.

Nurses spend the most time with patients than any other medical professional and they were just voted the most trusted profession for the 17th consecutive year, Dubree said. Vanderbilt’s nurses are regularly perceived as the best nurses in the Middle Tennessee market and received more than 600 letters of recognition from patients for Nurses Week.

“We have the opportunity to stand with individuals and their families at the most sacred times of their lives, from the most wonderful things that happen to them to the most tragic,” she said.

Nursing quality at Vanderbilt continues to improve and Dubree offered several examples. Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital reduced hospital-acquired pressure injuries by 80% from August 2018 to March 2019. At Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Central Line-associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSIs) were reduced 22% through the third quarter of fiscal year 2019. Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital had a 28% reduction in falls with injury compared to the same time last year. And in Vanderbilt Medical Group, there were 265,357 total preventative assessments, screenings and well child visits performed since January 2018.

More than 50 nurses have been recognized in the Good Catch Awards, which honors those who prevent a potential serious safety event and recognize and elevate a system problem to prevent possible harm. Meanwhile, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses awarded Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) a Bronze Level Beacon Award for its commitment to improve patient care.

Dubree recognized the Vanderbilt Nursing Informatics Committee, which helped implement the switch to Epic clinical systems in November 2017 and continues to refine improvements and leverage data collection from the eStar system. “For nursing, it’s really critical to us that we have the input of people who touch our patients most,” she said.

New models of care are improving the patient and family experience across the Vanderbilt Health enterprise, Dubree said. The new Ambulatory Care Model has been designed to decrease emergency room visits, readmissions and clinical office visits as well as improve patient outcomes and patient and staff satisfaction. And a new Couplet Care model gives a delivering mother and her child the same nurse, improved communication and improved patient education.

Dubree also highlighted the accomplishments of Vanderbilt’s advanced practice nursing. Vanderbilt Health OnCall, a smartphone app that sends an advanced practice nurse to a home, hotel or workplace, expanded to a more than 600 square mile service area. Advanced practice nurses are embedded in the community in locations such as the Melrose neighborhood and The Clinic at Mercury Courts.

Vanderbilt is also seeking national accreditation of its Nurse Residency program, which will improve and standardize processes and further distinguish VUMC in a competitive market, Dubree said.

Through outreach activities, Vanderbilt nurses are making a difference in the community and internationally, from providing foot care to the homeless at Room In The Inn to educating nurses in the South American country of Guyana. And it all starts with one nurse.

“The impact of each nurse with each patient is what we do every day,” Dubree said. “We do it together in teams, alone and in concert with a system that supports nursing and offers the very best care. I am honored to stand with you and am so proud of you.”