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Department of Nursing gathers for Spring Nursing Summit with focus on reinvigorating Shared Governance at BWFH

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Department of Nursing recently gathered chairpersons from each of the Unit Based Councils, Nursing Shared Governance Committees and the APP Council for their annual Spring summit meeting. The summit is designed to develop leadership skills, share examples of unit- or committee-level practice improvements and engage clinical nurses in the development of the Department of Nursing’s Strategic Goals. This Spring, the work, which took place in person and under relaxed masking guidelines, was focused on reinvigorating Shared Governance at BWFH.

At the start of the summit, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services Cori Loescher, MM, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, reviewed the progress being made toward the 2022 Nursing Strategic Goals, highlighting efforts around recruiting and retention, including the expansion of the hospital’s Newly Licensed Nursing program (learn more on page 20 of the Department of Nursing Annual Report), a collaboration with Jewish Vocational Service to attract and train assistive personnel and the Periop 101 program. “It’s hard to believe we could accomplish so much given the ongoing pandemic, but it’s really amazing what we have accomplished as a department so far in 2022,” said Loescher.

Later, the focus turned to scholarly inquiry with a presentation by Nurse Scientist Helene Bowen Brady, DNP, MEd, RN, NEA-BC, NPD-BC, and Professional Development Manager Kathy McCarraher, MHA, BSN, RN, CPAN, ONC, followed by an interactive session with Manager of Performance Improvement Sarah Levitin titled “One Gear at a Time: How Performance Improvement Helps Transmit the Power Force of Quality Improvement.” One attendee said the tools for using performance improvement will “help develop solutions to problems we face in our units.” 

The morning concluded with clinical nurses disseminating scholarly work. ICU nurse Meigan Amaral, MSN, RN, shared her group’s Unit Based Council project on nurse driven palliative care consults aimed at promoting early palliative care consults in the ICU. Perianesthesia nurses Nickisha Hurlock, MSN, FNP-C, Pam Park, APRN, FNP-C, and June Nichols, BSN, RN, shared posters accepted for presentation at the 2022 ASPAN National Conference. Other nurses shared experiences and best practices learned from national conferences.

In the afternoon, Nursing Quality and Magnet Program Manager Rose LaPlante, MBA, MSN, RN, gave an update on BWFH’s Magnet redesignation process. Attendees were asked to share examples of excellence within their practice settings that can be used for our 2023 sources of evidence. One attendee said, “It is always wonderful to hear about the great work being done throughout the hospital.” 

Executive Director of Nursing Professional Development, Practice and Innovation Colleen West, DNP, MBA, RN, CPHQ, concluded the day with a summary and evaluation of the program in which participants were asked to identify barriers to Shared Governance here at BWFH and brainstorm ways to overcome those barriers. Some of the barriers identified included the Unit Based Councils’ struggles to recruit new members, access to virtual meeting technology and finding time to meet when so many clinical staff are focused on patient care as a result of staffing challenges. “The fact that so many of you are here today is a true testament to your commitment to this important work and the support from your nurse directors,” said West. “We have been struggling with this pandemic for over two years. It has been a long and hard journey, and I am so grateful for all that you do despite that struggle. Now we can think about how we refresh our Shared Governance model and continue to encourage participation in our Unit Based Councils and committees.”

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