A message from Angelique Richard, Senior Vice President, Hospital Operations & Chief Nursing Officer

Angelique Richard, PhD, RN, CENP

It is with a special sense of pride and gratitude that I share with you the Rush University Medical Center’s Nursing Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020 (July 2019 — June 2020). As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic radically transformed our work and our world in the final four months of this year, as it continues to do today.

Rush Nurses responded valiantly to the challenge of the pandemic, and we have dedicated a special section of this year’s report to stories about our pandemic response. The courage, dedication, compassion and resilience of Rush Nurses during the pandemic has been inspiring, and I am immensely grateful to you all.

In addition to the exemplary performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rush Nurses continued to advance nursing practice and improve patient care. This report showcases all of the exceptional work for FY 20.

We continued our efforts to improve our patients’ experience while in the hospital, including a rapid improvement event that imparted lessons gleaned from purposeful leader rounding.

Our continued commitment to empowering and supporting Rush Nurses to take initiatives to enhance care also is reflected in this report. You’ll read about an initiative to improve patient handoffs between nurses that began as a unit-based project and ultimately was rolled out throughout the organization. And you’ll learn how we’ve facilitated the transition to practice of acute care nurses to our outpatient practices.

Our continuing efforts to advance professional practice also are evident in this report, which includes accounts of an educational workshop to improve the assessment and care of hospital-acquired pressure injuries; a hospital-wide evaluation and update of our suicide screening process and response; and the education of acute care nurses to identify patient decompensation early and respond rapidly in order to decrease unplanned intensive care unit readmissions.

Innovation is one of Rush’s core values, and it is an intrinsic part of Nursing at Rush, where our nurses’ innovations generate new knowledge and improvements in care. This report highlights several innovative practices, including how we reduced hypoglycemia rates with workflow changes, standardized insulin administration and other adjustments; took steps to ensure a safe sleep environment for all newborns and infants both while they were in the hospital and when they returned home; and reviewed the activities of our Evidence-Based Practice and Research Committee.

The nursing profession looks to Rush Nurses and nurse leaders to set the standards of practice, excellence and innovation in developing evidence-based care, and to direct and advance the practice. This year during a global pandemic Rush Nurses continued to meet and exceed their expectation. We can all take great pride in the accomplishments highlighted in the Fiscal Year 2020 Nursing Annual Report.

Thank you to all Rush Nurses. As always, I am Rush Nurse Proud!

Angelique Richard, PhD, RN, CENP
Senior Vice President, Hospital Operations
Chief Nursing Officer, Rush University Medical Center
Chief Nursing Executive, Rush University System for Health
Associate Dean, Clinical Nursing Practice, Rush University