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May 6, 2011 > Nurses: Trusted to Care

Nurses: Trusted to Care

Washington Hospital Honors Its Nurses During National Nurses Week

During National Nurses Week, celebrated May 6-12, Washington Hospital honors its nurses, the health care professionals whose hard work improves the health and well being of their patients and the community as a whole.
Nursing staff members are an integral part of the patient care team from bedside care to research and education of the community on a range of health care topics.
Achievements and accolades for nursing staff
Washington Hospital's nurses have consistently dedicated themselves to the highest quality patient care, combining compassionate bedside care with strong evidence-based practices reflected in the awards the nursing staff receive and the patient care improvement research that they generate.
In a hospital-wide achievement that speaks highly of the nursing staff, Washington Hospital received the 2011 HealthGrades Award for Patient Safety Excellence, which places the hospital among the top five percent in the nation for patient safety, according to HealthGrades, a leading, nationwide health care ratings, information, and advisory services company.
"We have had a number of quality initiatives that have had great success," says Lauren Lucas R.N., nurse manager of Washington Hospital's 6 West Unit. "Nursing units at Washington Hospital have focused on multiple evidence-based initiatives, including ones to help better monitor and prevent hospital-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and Clostridium difficile."
Nurses from Washington Hospital also regularly receive accolades for excellence in beside care from the Diseases Attacking the Immune System (DAISY) Foundation.
"For more than six years now, Washington Hospital has been honored to be nominated as a DAISY Award hospital," according to Washington Hospital Nursing Director, Alice Santos, R.N. "We have many fine dedicated nurses whose dedication and commitment is reflected in the number of specialty certifications that our nurses obtain."
Attracting the best
In the face of a growing nursing shortage, Washington Hospital continues to attract quality nursing candidates through measures to fully support nurses' efforts to care for patients in accordance with the hospital's Patient First Ethic, which states all decisions and actions must be based on what is best for the patient.
For nurses just beginning their careers at the hospital, Washington Hospital's administration has committed to being one of the few local hospitals to offer a comprehensive New Graduate Nurse Program, which provides new nursing school graduates with both hands-on and classroom training.
The program lasts between eight and 10 weeks, with two and a half weeks of classroom training spread throughout a preceptorship, a period of time in which an experienced nurse is teamed with a new graduate to work together so that the less experienced person can learn and apply knowledge and skills in the practice setting with the help of the more experienced person.
"Not all hospitals have a dedicated program like we do," says Nurse Manager Sam Avila, R.N., who coordinates the program. "I think it's really important for us to have the program for both the clinical training and ongoing emotional support that new grads receive, because it is a big adjustment going from student nurse to practicing R.N."
Commitment to high quality nursing care
In study after study, quality nursing care correlates highly with better patient outcomes. In an effort to reinforce its dedication to high-quality nursing standards, Washington Hospital's leadership has continued to strive for Magnet Status Recognition, a prestigious designation for nursing excellence awarded to only a small percentage of hospitals.
The Magnet Recognition Program(r) was developed by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center (ANCC), an affiliate of the American Nurses Association, and recognition is granted only to hospitals that satisfy a set of criteria designed to measure the strength and quality of their nursing.
For hospitals to become a Magnet-recognized institution, they must demonstrate that nursing delivers excellent patient outcomes, nurses have a high level of job satisfaction, and where there is a low staff nurse turnover rate and appropriate grievance resolution. Magnet status also indicates nursing staff's involvement in data collection and decision-making in patient care delivery.
Nursing excellence
For more information about Washington Hospital's continuing efforts to achieve Magnet status, visit and click on the video link "Voices InHealth: Nursing Excellence - Journey to Magnet Status."
To learn about nursing careers at Washington Hospital, visit and click on the "Careers" tab.

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