I am excited and proud to present the Professional Nursing Staff (PNS) Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2022. During my presidency, I continued to witness RUSH nurses navigate through a constantly changing health care landscape. As we faced new challenges together, our shared governance committees remained committed to our patients through consistent delivery of quality care. The focus this fiscal year included nursing engagement, supporting the professional development of our nurses, and collaborating with our executive nursing leaders to ensure that the clinical nurse’s voices were heard and considered.
Providing professional development within nursing cultivates a culture of curiosity and skillset enhancement. The RN3 Validation Committee worked to standardize and refine the clinical ladder checklists. A unique aspect of the committee is that it includes representatives from all departments. Together, the checklists were standardized across the medical center and ambulatory. In addition, clinical ladder information sessions were initiated to provide an update on checklist changes as well as give clinical nurses and nurse leaders an opportunity to ask questions and give feedback. This fiscal year, 98 nurses advanced from RN2 to RN3 — a record high! The committee continues to make improvements to the clinical ladder program.
In alignment with the system-wide think tanks, PNS hosted its own PNS leaders think tank to reimagine the future of RUSH Nursing within shared governance. The think tank goals focused on three areas: PNS Committee Succession Planning, PNS Education/Engagement, and Innovation. PNS Executive Committee and Committee Chairs held three planning sessions to narrow down priorities for integration into the Nursing Strategic Plan as well as guide the fiscal year 2023 PNS goals.
After two years of the pandemic, PNS was finally able to participate in community outreach. First, we hosted a children’s book drive with the mission of giving back to our communities. The first round of books was delivered to the parents in the women’s and children’s departments to encourage early reading to their babies. The second phase of the community outreach involved a children’s health fair at KIPP Academy Primary School in the Austin Neighborhood. Nurse volunteers taught kindergarteners the importance of handwashing, toothbrushing, nutrition and exercise/safety. The remainder of books from the children’s book drive were donated to KIPP Academy Primary School to create a library for the school.
Although there is always work to be done, I am proud of the many accomplishments of the RUSH nursing team. It is an honor and privilege to say that I have persevered through one of the most challenging times in health care alongside all of you.
Justine K. Alipio, BSN, RN, CCRN
President, Professional Nursing Staff