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Nursing Departments

A nurse in the Tower hospital building at Rush

Inpatient Nursing 

Medical, Oncology and Cardiology Nursing

Nurses in the seven inpatient units in this department provide care for patients with a wide range of conditions from age 18 to end of life.

  • General medical: There are three separate 32-bed general medical units. Nurses on these units care for a variety of conditions, including infectious diseases, congestive heart failure, respiratory problems, endocrine disorders and others.
  • Medical oncology: A 32-bed unit for people with acute medical conditions and cancer patients receiving the following:
    • High-dose interleukin therapy
    • Chemotherapy for hematological/oncologic treatment
  • Hematology/bone marrow transplant: A 32-bed unit for stem cell transplant patients and patients with the following hematologic malignancies:
    • Lymphomas
    • Leukemia
    • Multiple myeloma
  • Medical intensive care unit: A 24-bed intensive care unit for critically ill patients with acute and chronic conditions, such as sepsis, shock, COPD exacerbations, liver or renal failure. Within the unit is a three-bed biohazard specialty unit for those with highly contagious airborne diseases; it is staffed by a core team of highly trained intensive care clinicians.
  • Cardiac intensive care unit: A 28-bed unit for patients with acute and chronic illnesses that involve multiple systems, such as coronary syndrome, myocardial infarctions, ventricular assist systems, heart failure and pulmonary hypertension.

Quality improvement initiatives: Reduction of central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, falls with injuries, hospital-acquired pressure ulcer; patient flow; patient experience; staff engagement; implement bedside reporting and culture of safety

Psychiatric Nursing

The four inpatient psychiatric nursing units and two outpatient psychiatric programs at Rush provide comprehensive care and services to children, adolescents, adults and geriatric patients who have psychological disorders.

  • Child and adolescent: Nurses on the 15-bed unit provide therapeutic and educational services to children and adolescents ages 4 to 17. These patients have emotional and psychiatric disturbances, such as mood disorders, paranoia and attention deficit disorder.
  • General adult: A 16-bed unit for adults age 18 to 65 who have a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, drug-induced psychosis or substance abuse.
  • Geriatric: Nurses on this 16-bed unit provide compassionate care to adults 65 and older who have psychiatric disorders.
  • Mood disorders: A 16-bed unit that offers intensive therapeutic care to acutely ill adults ages 18 to 65 who have mood disorders (also known as affective disorders), including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive and dual diagnosis.
  • Rush Day Hospital: An intensive, goal-oriented, group-based, outpatient program for adults age 18 and older who have mood and anxiety disorders, personality disorders and other psychiatric conditions that interfere with their relationships and daily functioning.
  • Rush Day School: A not-for-profit outpatient program that provides education and treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder and emotionally disabled children ages 6 to 14.

Surgical, Neuro, Musculoskeletal and Rehab Nursing

Nurses in the surgical services units at Rush provide care to patients who have had complex surgeries.

  • Neurosciences intensive care unit: A 28-bed intensive care unit for patients who have had neurosurgery and/or neurologic conditions that require critical care.
  • Surgical intensive care unit: A 24-bed intensive care unit for patients after open-heart surgery, organ transplant and complex general surgeries. The nurses in this unit also care for people who need extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
  • Orthopedics: A 32-bed unit for patients with complex orthopedic conditions (including joints and spine), along with orthopedic oncology patients. Each patient room on this unit has specialized lift equipment, which helps decrease nursing injuries associated with lifting and moving patients.
  • Cardiovascular and neurospine: A 32-bed unit for highly complex patients, including neurospine patients and those transitioning from intensive care. Because these patients require complex care, the unit has an acuity based staffing model, with a nurse to patient ratio of 1:3 (or 4).
  • Neurosciences: This 32-bed unit is the primary general stroke unit at Rush. In addition to stroke patients, nurses on the unit care for the following types of patients:
    • General neurology
    • Neurosurgery
    • Epilepsy
    • Neuro-oncology
  • Transplant and general surgery: A 35-bed unit for patients who have had solid organ transplants, along with patients who have had complex general surgeries. Nurses on this unit specialize in physiologic monitoring, such as electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring and apnea monitoring.
  • ENT, gynecology and general surgery: A 25-bed unit for patients who have had cancer surgery and those with complex ear, nose and throat conditions. Nurses on this unit are trained in the following:
    • Administration of chemotherapeutic agents
    • Care for patients with tracheostomies
  • Rush rehabilitation: This 42-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit has all private patient rooms and is located on three separate floors. Nurses on this unit are part of a multidisciplinary team that helps patients who will benefit from aggressive acute care after they are medically cleared for discharge from the hospital. This includes the following types of patients:
    • Stroke
    • Brain injury
    • Cancer
    • General medicine
    • Heart
    • Complex orthopedics

Quality improvement initiatives: Reduction of central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, falls with injuries, hospital-acquired pressure ulcer; patient flow; patient experience; staff engagement; implement bedside reporting and culture of safety

Women and Children

The five women’s and children’s nursing units at Rush all embrace a family-centered philosophy of care for mothers, babies and children.

  • Pediatric services: Nurses in pediatric services care are part of a multidisciplinary team — including physicians, social workers, child life specialists and others — that provides comprehensive care our young patients in the following units:
    • 18-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU)
    • 22-bed general pediatric unit
    • 60-bed level III (the highest possible designation) neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Obstetric services: Nurses in obstetric services work closely with OB/GYNs, neonatologists, lactation consultants and others to provide care to women during labor, delivery and post-partum recovery in the following units:
    • Labor and delivery: Includes five private triage rooms, 10 labor/delivery/recovery rooms, three operating rooms, five post anesthesia recovery rooms
    • Mother-baby: 34 beds for mothers and babies to recover after labor and delivery


Perioperative nurse at Rush care for patients before, during and after surgery. They typically serve as the liaison between the surgical team and patients’ families.

Outpatient Nursing


The state-of-the-art 59-bed emergency department has earned the following designations for excellence and quality care:   

  • Accredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care and the American Heart Association as a Lifeline STEMI-Accredited facility that participates in coordinated care for heart attack patients
  • Part of the comprehensive stroke center designation team at Rush
  • Recognized with the Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics (EDAP) designation, providing comprehensive emergency services to children

Quality improvement initiatives: Patient flow; bar code medication administration; nurse-activated stroke alerts and door-to-alert times; continuity of care; patient navigation

Ambulatory Care

Ambulatory care nurses at Rush play a critical role in population health and patient care in the following settings:

  • More than 110 physician practices at Rush
  • 20 clinical specialty departments at Rush
  • Clinical trials and other clinical research programs
  • School-based health clinics
  • Community outreach initiatives

Quality improvement initiatives: implementing a departmental advisory committee that aligns with inpatient shared governance; implementing a clinical ladder system

Nursing Administration

Nursing Finance and Resource Management

Nurses and other clinical specialists in this department manage the employee and financial resources for the multiple nursing needs throughout the Medical Center. They manage the following areas:

  • Patient placement: Monitor and facilitate hospital-wide bed placement and patient flow throughout the Medical Center.
  • Nursing finance: Develop the productivity and expense budget for the different nursing cost centers.
  • Clinical staffing office: Provide support to units and clinics throughout Rush through direct patient care.
  • Transfer center: Coordinate acute inter-facility transfers, while safeguarding open communication between the patients physicians at the transferring facility and care team at Rush.

Quality improvement initiatives: Efficient placement of patients from the emergency department and post anesthesia care unit; design a command center to streamline communication to positively impact patient flow and improve response times in patient transportation, environmental services and patient placement; increase RN and PCT fill rate to 90 percent; improve nursing satisfaction

Professional Nursing Practice

Nurses in this department handle all centralized orientation and education for nurses at Rush, including technology training and leadership development.

The department also collaborates with other departments at Rush in the following quality improvement initiatives:

  • Magnet designation
  • Reducing tracheostomy-related pressure ulcers
  • Reducing clinical communication call volumes
  • Yearly educational needs assessment
  • Annual competency training
  • Animal-assisted therapy

Quality improvement initiatives: Reducing tracheostomy-related pressure ulcers; reducing clinical communication call volumes; yearly educational needs assessment; Magnet designation; annual competency training; animal-assisted therapy