Our Philosophy

image of a nurse at a patient's bedside reviewing a care planWe believe that the essence of nursing practice is caring, caring which is a science and an art, is deliverable, teachable, researchable, is accomplished with wisdom, knowledge, compassion and competence. We believe that the clinical practice of nursing is built on a scientific base, that evaluation of nursing practice is a professional responsibility that critical thinking and scientific inquiry are essential to the improvement of quality practice. We believe that we have the responsibility to educate ourselves and to educate others to expand our knowledge and expertise to share this growing body of knowledge to provide such opportunities to the greater health care community.

Our Staff

As nurses, health professionals and Patient Care Services support staff, our every action is guided by knowledge, enabled by skill, and motivated by compassion. Patients are our primary focus and the way we deliver care reflects that focus every day.

We believe in creating a practice environment that has no barriers, is built on a spirit of inquiry, and reflects a culturally competent workforce supportive of the patient-focused values of this institution.

Registered Nurse Staffing

At Massachusetts General Hospital, decisions about Registered Nurse staffing and scheduling occur at the unit level and involve input from the professional clinical nurses directly providing patient care. On all patient care units, there are mechanisms to assure that clinical nursing staff have input into creation of the time plan schedule, while ensuring that there are adequate numbers of direct care staff to meet patient needs. Unit clinical staff nurses collaborate with the Nursing Directors and/or Registered Nurse delegates who are identified as Resource Nurses for the shift to make day-to-day, shift-to-shift or hour-by-hour staffing decisions. Staffing decisions and patient care assignments are based on patient needs, such as current volume including turnover, projected admissions, as well as patient acuity (a patient’s need for nursing care) and nursing care requirements, in addition to Registered Nurse attributes such as skill and experience levels, work schedules and availability, and minimum staffing requirements.

Mass General Registered Nurses use the QuadraMed AcuityPlus™ Inpatient Methodology as a tool for measuring acuity or patients’ requirements for nursing care. Mass General has been using an acuity tool since 1985 and the voice of the staff nurses has been captured over the years in the development of the tool as it has evolved. The QuadraMed AcuityPlus tool supports the work of the nurses, but does not replace the Registered Nurse’s clinical judgment about the care needs of the patient.

Mass General has been publicly reporting staffing level information via the PatientCareLink website since 2006. As such, the budgeted annual staffing plans for Mass General ICUs, as well as the planned staffing versus actual staffing provided for each unit can be found at www.patientcarelink.org. In addition, in accordance with the State of Massachusetts regulations 958 CMR 8.00 "Patient Assignment Limits for Registered Nurses in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in Acute Hospitals", the data demonstrates the actual staffing ratios for Mass General ICUs.