American Nurses Association (ANA) Idaho is a professional organization for all RNs in Idaho. It was originally founded in 1909 as the Idaho State Association of Graduate Nurses. Miss Lillian Long, Superintendent of St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing and Director of Nursing, served as the organization’s first president. Fast-forward to the present, and St. Luke’s Health System (SLHS) nurses continue to lead and guide the profession by holding positions on the Board of Directors and through membership in ANA Idaho. Currently, three SLHS nurses hold Board positions: Brienne Sandow, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, RNC-OB, Senior Director, Staffing/Scheduling, is Vice President/President-elect; Anna Rostock, BSN, RN, CPN, Clinical Support Unit Nursing Supervisor, is Secretary; and Traci Gluch, BSN, RN, CCRN, Surgical Intensive Care Unit Nursing Supervisor, is Treasurer. In addition to the work of these dedicated RNs, SLHS supported ANA Idaho by hosting their Annual Conference in November 2017. The conference was open to RNs throughout Idaho, with SLHS nurses representing inpatient, surgical services, outpatient, MSTI and more, in attendance.
St. Luke’s Elmore responded to bedside nurses’ request for support by implementing a 24/7 nursing supervisor role. The need for additional support was driven by a relatively novice nursing staff supplemented with nursing travelers. Nursing leadership was committed to meeting the needs of their nursing staff and community by providing the “right nurse at the right time.” St. Luke’s Elmore achieved this with nursing supervisors. The supervisors cover the “house” and are cross-trained to at least two specialties in order to support staff in direct patient care when needed. The bedside staff have been thrilled with the change, as stated by Al Donaldson, RN, Emergency Department: “The nursing supervisors help cover immediate needs that cannot always be planned for. They pitch in whenever and wherever we need the help.” The nursing supervisor role benefits patients and staff alike as they help expedite patient flow, especially transfers to a higher level of care, while providing feedback and excellent mentoring to the bedside staff.
Student Services surveys all students, faculty and St. Luke’s Health System educators to gain insight on the student experience and to ensure continual improvement. In the spring of 2017, 235 people were surveyed, and 197 responded.
Student experiences were incredibly positive according to the results, with almost all respondents indicating that they felt welcomed, were encouraged to actively participate in care of patients, and that St. Luke’s was their preferred employer when they graduate. One student commented: “St. Luke’s employees seemed far more genuine, satisfied with their careers and work atmosphere, and eager to help student nurses than my previous student experiences at other facilities in the Valley…thank you!”
Faculty respondents overwhelmingly reported (over 97%) having good collaboration with the unit leaders and educators in the areas they take students, and they felt welcomed and comfortable asking questions. Results of the survey were shared with unit leaders and educators to acknowledge the excellent work and collaboration with St. Luke’s local educational partners.
As the Chief Nursing Officer, I was given the ideal opportunity to serve in a leadership role at the new Nampa medical center with Ed Castledine, Site Administrator, and Dr. Michaela Schulte, Medical Staff President. Together, we led a diverse team of nurses, providers and others who shared our vision to open the 87-bed, full service hospital in Nampa.
With more than 400 employees, over half of them nurses, there was always a focus on safety and comfort for our patients and their families. Working with a strong group of nurse leaders who are specialists in their fields was key to a successful opening of the hospital on an expedited schedule. There was tremendous support from nurse leaders across St. Luke’s Health System who helped our team by providing education and guidance on policies and procedures. I have never felt as supported or welcomed as I was by St. Luke’s Health System! Achieving a successful Joint Commission accreditation just four weeks after accepting our first patient on October 30, and subsequently obtaining our CMS approval, made the whole experience one I will always cherish.
– Joan Agee, DNP, RN, CNOR, Nampa CNO