National Nurses Week Celebrated

Nursing councils provide steps toward quality and professionalism

May 06, 2015

One of the educational drills held at PH DuBois

May 6-12 is National Nurses Week. This year the theme is "Ethical Practice. Quality Care" which recognizes the importance of ethics in nursing and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion and care nurses display in their practice and profession, according to Janice Hamscher, chief nursing officer  at Penn Highlands DuBois.

Ethics and quality are important to nursing as they reflect what is best for the patient. Both are focused upon year-round at PH DuBois through the nursing councils that continually evaluate evidence-based care standards.

“We want to be on the cutting-edge and forefront of care delivery,” Cheryl Brooks, RN and nursing recruitment and retention officer at PH DuBois, said. “Through research, studies and technology patient care delivery changes constantly.”

To keep up, PH DuBois nurses created their own special councils to focus on ways to stay current with evidence-based standards. The councils at PH DuBois are:

The  Professional Development and Education Council. Its missions are to create a professional nursing culture within the organization. It provides educational opportunities for nurses and finds ways to improve the patient education process. They prepare an in-house nursing newsletter and an annual report.

Most recently, this council started “Nursing Grand Rounds” which are educational programs that nurses can attend at the hospital and a Journal Club, a group that meets outside of the hospital with nurses who read evidenced-based articles and have in-depth discussions over dinner. 

The Nursing Practice Quality Council is a team of staff nurses who meet monthly and work to review, revise and develop policies and procedures, implement initiatives to heighten patient safety and satisfaction, and promote the nursing practice. 

Its work is done through a sub-committee in each department, known as Clinical Practice Councils. This is where ideas are put into action.

During the first quarter of this year, the council has already worked on several projects. They are making sure care plans are being individualized to each patient and are including other services to be included in using this tool. A guide was developed for the council to take back to their respective units and use to develop unique patient outcomes and interventions. 

Since January, this team started a new plan to improve the use of equipment alarms and to be aware of certain patient problems.

Nursing Recruitment & Retention Council strives to promote professionalism within the organization through better communication, improving staff morale, and maintaining consistency of practices and policies. 

For example, this council has nurses from different departments present a case study each month that highlights a disease process. It provides the council with in-depth education on that process. Through the use of the presentations, it has given nurses a better appreciation of the work each unit does.

This group is also responsible for recognizing nurses with awards and promotes nursing pride through events. 

Clinical Informatics Council works with electronic medical record issues and improvements. The 2015 goals for CIC include reviewing and updating the discharge process, improving documentation workflow and reviewing individual case studies. This group also provides a tip of the week for the electronic medical record users in the hospital.

“All of these groups are just one more way that nurses at PH DuBois strive to always improve the care they provide,” Brooks said.“There are so many ways that nurses go above and beyond the care at the bedside to make the hospital a better place, we appreciate having their voices heard in the care of the patients, and we thank them for all of their efforts made each and every day.”

That is why during National Nurses’ Week, PH DuBois hosts several events to thank their nurses for all the hard work they do. It is a small gesture in comparison to what they contribute, Brooks said.


Proclamation Read at Nurses Week Kick-off

Penn Highlands DuBois ushered in National Nurses Week 2015 on May 6, National Nurses Day, with a proclamation presented and read by DuBois Mayor Gary Gilbert at a kick-off ceremony in the atrium of PH DuBois West. Shown receiving the proclamation approved by the DuBois City Council are, from left, Janice Hamscher, chief nursing officer at PH DuBois; Marla Larson, RN, ceremony emcee and chairwoman of the Professional Development and Education Council at the hospital; Gilbert and John Sutika, president of PH DuBois. Larson along with other PH DuBois nurses wore white on Nurses Day in honor of the original color of nursing uniforms.