May 8, 2009

VMC nursing’s successes, achievements highlighted

Featured Image

Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., delivers Tuesday’s State of Nursing address. (photo by Susan Urmy)

VMC nursing’s successes, achievements highlighted

The strength and talent of Vanderbilt Medical Center's nurses contributed greatly to a year of considerable accomplishment, said Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., executive chief nursing officer for VMC, during Tuesday's State of Nursing address.

Before delving into the details, Dubree and the packed Light Hall audience of nurses, nurse managers and Medical Center administrators acknowledged Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor of Health Affairs, as colleague, mentor, Magnet champion and supporter of all things nursing.

Dubree had a lot of good news to share. Nursing turnover for the fiscal year to date is 10 percent, compared with the national turnover rate of 14.5 percent. Additionally, the NDNQI Nursing Satisfaction Survey shows VMC nursing consistently ranks high. Licensed practical nurses were officially identified as regular clinical staff and revisions were made to advanced practice nurses' scope of practice, privileging, credentialing and billing.
Communications played a key role in activities this year.

Dubree, right, gets a hug from JoAnn Emerich following Monday's State of Nursing address. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Dubree, right, gets a hug from JoAnn Emerich following Monday's State of Nursing address. (photo by Susan Urmy)

The award-winning VMC Nursing Web site gained momentum as a portal for current and potential Vanderbilt nurses, reaching 20,000-plus hits in April. Nursing administration launched Nurse Alerts!, e-mail updates on various nursing activities, as well as VMC Nursing News, a monthly electronic newsletter.

“It is profound how our nurses attempt to make sure that every interaction is meaningful, so that when our patients and families leave, they have had an experience unlike any other,” said Dubree. “While I know we have the best nurses anywhere, we also have data to back that up.”

Information from a survey of Middle Tennessee residents shows that more than twice as many prefer Vanderbilt nurses than the next closest hospital.

“We earn these scores because of what each of you do every day,” Dubree said.

She also underscored the importance and momentum of VMC nursing research, due in large part to a new nursing research committee that has sponsored poster presentations and will launch an evidence-based practice Web site this summer.

“It's the curiosity and inquiry of many of our nurses about making patient care better that has resulted in these seemingly simple studies that can make a huge difference in nursing care,” said Dubree.

She discussed the Nursing Design Shop, an interdisciplinary group who came together to address informatics-based standardization and simplification.

Dubree acknowledged that the time documentation takes is a challenge. She shared that there have been 127 million pieces of data in HED so far this year and 2.8 million doses of medication charted with AdminRX during the same period.

Dubree cited the Graduate Nurse Residency Program as one of the biggest successes of this fiscal year, with a second incoming group of 119 hires drawn from an applicant pool that represents 175 nursing programs in 38 states during a time of expansion in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, VanderbiltHealth at One Hundred Oaks and the Critical Care Tower, which is scheduled to open later this year.

“I appreciate the humbling experience to lead with you and stand with you,” she said. “I look forward to what is next and your contributions within our Medical Center and beyond.”