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Excellence is just the beginning.


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Nursing Practice at Rush

From the Professional Nursing Staff president

Here at Rush, we say that “excellence is only the beginning.” To me, this means that the achievement of excellence is not the end goal, but rather just the starting line. It is because of that motto that I am inspired to continually elevate my practice and repeatedly reach new heights. With the collaborative and innovative environment of this hospital, I’m empowered by the shared governance model we have that has been in place for over 35 years. I know that not only do I have a voice, but that somebody is listening because each nurse at Rush is considered to be a leader in his or her professional practice, and we are encouraged to speak up and take a place in our diverse interdisciplinary health care team.

Nursing at Rush has been recognized with four Magnet designations and is involved in a fifth designation process. As the president of the Professional Nursing Staff, I’m privileged to work for a hospital that prides itself on nursing care and where the public has a high respect for our profession and because of that expects to receive the best care possible.

Rachel C. Santarromana, BSN, RN, CCRN
Professional Nursing Staff President

Professional Nursing Staff

At Rush, the Professional Nursing Staff is our shared governance model, which gives clinical nurses a voice in determining nursing practice, standards and quality of care.

This model, implemented in 1983, reflects the high professional stature of nurses at the hospital.

The advantages of shared governance are twofold:

  • It empowers nurses to use their clinical knowledge and expertise to develop, direct and sustain our own professional practice.
  • It allows nurses to network with colleagues and to collaborate among units and departments.

At the core of nursing at Rush University Medical Center is the philosophy that nurses participate in decision making pertaining to the nursing practice, standards and quality of care.

In 1983, under the leadership of Luther Christman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rush became one of the first organizations to have a shared governance model from a professional practice. At that time, the innovation of nurses sharing decision making with administrators was an exemplar for other institutions.

Rush nursing has been an innovator in patient care and professional advancement, and Professional Nursing Staff plays a significant role in solidifying this reputation. Rush nurses are respected and expected to vocalize their concerns to shape the nursing practice. The PNS bylaws were first approved in 1983 by the Rush Board of Trustees, with election of the first officers in 1984. All Rush nurses, including staff, managers and faculty are PNS members.

PNS purpose and mission

The purpose of PNS is to promote excellence in professional performance among the nursing staff, provide high quality and cost-effective nursing care for patients, establish and monitor standards of clinical practice, and to facilitate the quality of professional life of its members. ​​​​​​​​​​​​

The mission of PNS is as follows:

  • To provide high-quality and cost-effective nursing care for patients
  • To establish and monitor standards of clinical practice
  • To promote excellence in professional performance among the nursing staff
  • To facilitate the quality of professional life of its members

Professional nursing practice model

Professional nursing practice model

Relationships and caring are the foundation of the Rush nursing practice model. Care is patient and family centered and holistic in nature. The nurse-patient relationship is characterized by sensitivity, collaboration, intentional presence, communication and respect. 

Our nurses bring knowledge, skills and abilities to their practice which are blended to meet the needs of the patient and family. The necessary skills include critical thinking, technical expertise and evidence-based practice.

Interwoven into each of these aspects is our focus on leadership, which is the core of the model. Leadership takes shape in each situation but differs in scope by nursing position. Rush nurses strive to continuously learn and grow in their nursing practice and to be accountable leaders in any clinical care team.

Mission, vision and strategic plan

Rush’s mission is to provide the best health care for individuals and the diverse communities we serve through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships. 

The Rush nursing vision and strategic plan revolve around the following ideas:

The best people

Our goal is to have a highly engaged nursing staff. To achieve this goal, we are focusing on the following:

  • Succession planning
  • Leadership development
  • Collaboration with schools and universities
  • Intentional hiring for Rush nursing behaviors

The best quality

To achieve this goal, we are focusing on the following:

  • Top performance on all quality and safety measures
  • Culture of safety
  • Teacher-practitioner model
  • Care delivery model
  • Interprofessional education and practice, including simulation training
  • Change management
  • Innovation and performance improvement
  • Research initiatives

Nationally recognized programs

To achieve this goal, we are focusing on the following:

  • Increase nurse certifications
  • Achieve and maintain accreditations and designations

Highest value

To achieve this goal, we are focusing on the following:

  • Resource management
  • Support the value equation in the definition of nursing work

Join the nursing team at Rush

To join the nursing staff at Rush University Medical Center, apply online at