Friday, May 20, 2011

Celebrating Nurse Recognition Week

NURSE RECOGNITION: The MGH Staff Nurse Advisory Committee and Nursing leadership at the steps of the Massachusetts State House

“THE FIRST REQUISITE in sickness is a kind and skillful nurse,” wrote Drs. James Jackson and John Collins Warren in the 1810 circular letter that led to the establishment of the MGH. Nurses have been integral to the hospital since its founding, and during Nurse Recognition Week, the Department of Nursing honored its past while looking to its future.

Kicking off the week on May 2 was the release of the bicentennial nursing history book, “MGH Nursing at Two Hundred,” highlighting historical milestones of MGH Nursing. This year also marked the launch of a series, “Two Hundred Years Later,” featuring presentations by national nursing leaders. During the week, the series focused on patient care, quality and safety, and ethical dilemmas in practice.

On May 3, Chief Nurse Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, MS, FAAN, welcomed members of the Staff Nurse Advisory Committee to an MGH Nursing exhibit on display in the Massachusetts State House. The exhibit highlighted many of the photos and information in the new history book. The committee also toured Nurses Hall and the Senate Chamber, where the 1811 MGH charter signing was reenacted earlier this year.

“The exhibit was very inspiring,” said Angela Abate, RN, of Cardiac Surgery. “It’s wonderful to see how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown as a profession.”

The scientific achievements of MGH nurses were celebrated May 4 with an interactive poster session and the annual Yvonne L. Munn  Nursing Research Lecture and Awards Ceremony. Laurie Lauzon Clabo, RN, PhD, dean and professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing, discussed care units as cultures of practice. Awards were presented to Jennifer Brock, RN, of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit; Andrea Thurler, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, of the Gastrointestinal Unit; and Lieba Savitt, RN-C, of Surgery. Peggy Doyle Settle, RN, PhD, of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU), received the 2011 postdoctoral fellowship.

The Chief Nurse Address was given by Ives Erickson May 5. Staff gathered in the O’Keeffe Auditorium and via teleconference for the multimedia presentation, which offered an overview of the progress of MGH nurses over 200 years and highlighted recent accomplishments. Several special guests participated to help illustrate the scope and influence of nursing: Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president; Bernadette Quigley, RN, of the Medical ICU; Julia Shea, RN, CCM, of the MGH Care Management Program; Frank Robinson, an MGH patient; Muriel Poulin, EdD, RN, FAAN, an MGH School of Nursing alumnus; and four nurses from Huashan Hospital in China, which has an exchange program with the MGH. The event ended with an interview with Eddie Martin, a 20-year-old patient who received lifesaving care at the MGH, and his mother, Karin. The Martins shared their appreciation for the patient- and family-centered care they received from the MGH, particularly their nurses.

Jen Kelly, RN, a nurse in the ICU residency program, said, “I just started here a month ago, and it is inspirational to see all of these people who are so dedicated to this hospital and providing the very best care to patients. I’m glad to be a part of it.”

The week ended with scientific session presentations by Mary Ellin Smith, RN, MS, and Donna Perry, RN, PhD, both of the Institute for Patient Care. “At 200 years old, the MGH – which is home to the world’s best nurses – has never wavered from the ideals and principles of its founders,” says Ives Erickson. “We will forever be guided by the needs of our patients and their families in delivering the best possible care.”


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