May 11, 2007

VUMC nursing’s present, future strong: Dubree

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Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., delivers this week's State of Nursing Address. (photo by Kats Barry)

VUMC nursing’s present, future strong: Dubree

Magnet, quality, satisfaction, partnerships and safety were all high on the agenda at this week's 2007 State of Nursing address and annual nursing awards ceremony.

Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., kicked off the celebration with a recap of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's successful journey for Magnet Designation and then highlighted various programs that will propel VUMC nursing into the future.

“It has been an incredible year for Vanderbilt nursing,” said Dubree. “We have joined an elite group of hospitals to earn Magnet Designation. Our nursing school is ranked 19th, having jumped 10 spots, and current and former Vanderbilt nurses are in key leadership positions in our state and community.”

Dubree first thanked the community of physicians, nurses and staff members who embodied the Magnet principles in their daily work environments as well as the more than 450 people who contributed to the site visit last fall. VUMC is among the 4 percent of hospitals in the nation to earn this distinction.

She emphasized Vanderbilt nursing's accomplishments this year and shared many examples of strength as well as her vision for the year ahead.

Among the highlights:

• Employee retention and job satisfaction are strong. Medical Center retention is 14.2 percent, compared to the national average of 21.5 percent; VUMC vacancy rates are 14.6 percent, compared to the national average of 16.1 percent; and job satisfaction feedback as rated among other Magnet hospitals is high. Vanderbilt nursing ranked in the top 25th percentile of Magnet-recognized hospitals in the 2006 survey.

• The implementation of Smooth Moves has significantly increased patient safety and decreased nurse and caregiver injuries.

• VUMC nursing has developed partnerships as an effective staff nurse recruitment tool. Programs include the Vanderbilt Experience Student Nurse Internship Program (VESNIP) as well as VUSN's partnerships with Lipscomb and Fisk Universities.

• The Center for Frontline Nursing Leadership was launched to strengthen nursing leadership in clinical areas through education and mentorship in areas such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication and delegation. “Nurse managers, assistant managers, and charge nurses are playing a significant role, and this is our opportunity to make an investment in their development,” said Dubree.

• New informatics applications are supporting more effective scheduling and credential tracking. The VandyWorks electronic scheduling system will be live in all inpatient units by July and will then expand across non-nursing units.

Dubree told the audience that VUMC is making great strides in becoming the care provider people prefer and would recommend to others and that patient safety is a big part of that.

“We want to be the safest health care provider in the country,” said Dubree. “Implementing Horizon Expert Documentation (HED) was a critical puzzle piece that had to be launched first, and now we are implementing the AdminRx system throughout the Medical Center.”

Admin Rx is a bar-coded medication administration system that has been proven to reduce medication errors and adverse drug events. Several VUMC units have implemented the system, which involves scanning a patient's wristband for medication information. The system is scheduled to go Medical Center-wide by the end of the calendar year.

Other plans for the upcoming year include an emphasis on beside reporting, clinical follow-up calls, patient privacy and a personalized plan of care for patients.

The Medical Center will launch Veritas II, the second phase of risk and occurrence reporting software that is more user-friendly and intuitive than the initial program.

“Everyone has worked so hard to create a Magnet culture,” said Dubree. “We have a tremendous focus on the future and the momentum to reach new heights together.”