July 27, 2007

Dubree outlines nursing’s multi-faceted role at VUMC

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Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., talks about the role of nursing at Vanderbilt during last week’s Leadership Breakfast Club. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Dubree outlines nursing’s multi-faceted role at VUMC

Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., executive chief nursing officer, shared insights into nursing's role at Vanderbilt University Medical Center at the Leadership Breakfast Club held last Friday.

“It has been a wonderful year for nursing at Vanderbilt, and I'm optimistic about our future,” Dubree told the audience. ”We have an incredible path for growth and opportunities to make us better as we move forward.”

Dubree addressed the group of 40 leaders from across VUMC by summarizing recent accomplishments and discussing key programs that will continue to build in importance.

At the top of her priority list is the issue of nurse supply versus demand. Despite a 10 percent turnover among nurses, well below the national average, VUMC has a need to recruit at least 300 new nurses each year. As Vanderbilt expands in cardiology and with the 100 Oaks site and the third hospital bed-tower under construction, the need for qualified nurses will grow.

Dubree is quick to point out that it's not about the numbers of nurses. It's about having the right nurse with the right experience in the right position to deliver quality patient care.

New programs in nursing include the Lipscomb and Fisk University partnerships with the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, where students receive a baccalaureate education at VUSN and graduate from their home institution. VUMC offers loan forgiveness for students who sign up to work here for two years upon graduation.

Nurse residency programs are under way at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, cardiology and women's services as a training and recruitment tool. Additionally, VUMC has teamed with several area schools of nursing to offer students more and varied clinical experiences. The students earn credit and get a foundational understanding of Vanderbilt in hopes of starting their career here.

Dubree also discussed the focus to enhance the nursing leadership team. In addition to Pat Givens, assistant hospital director at Children's Hospital, there is a national search for a nursing leader at Vanderbilt University Hospital and work is being done to determine the best nursing leadership structure for the Medical Center and clinics.

Individual audience members shared perspectives about issues ranging from ways to improve post-operative infection rates among patients to electronic medical records rollout.

The Leadership Breakfast Club meetings are scheduled for every month and are designed to provide an informal setting for information-sharing and conversation among several levels of management and leadership.

The series is hosted by VUMC's Office of News and Public Affairs.