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Transformational Leadership

Brienne Sandow, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, RNC-OB, Senior Director, Staffing/Scheduling and ANA Idaho Board of Directors Vice President/President-elect (left), and Anna Rostock, BSN, RN, CPN, Clinical Support Unit Nursing Supervisor and ANA Idaho Board of Directors Secretary, attend the 2017 ANA Idaho Annual Conference. 

St. Luke's Nurses Leading Professional Nursing Organizations in Idaho

St. Luke’s Longstanding History Supporting ANA Idaho

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.

Joan Agee, DNP, RN, CNOR, Nampa CNO and President-elect of NLI (second from right) celebrating Certified Nurses Day.

St. Luke’s Nampa Chief Nursing Officer President-Elect of Nurse Leaders of Idaho

Nurse Leaders of Idaho (NLI) is a non-profit, professional membership organization established for the promotion of common business interests of nurse leaders in Idaho including nursing education, practice and workplace conditions. The organization provides a leadership course twice a year and an annual leadership/academic (LEAP) conference. In addition to educational opportunities, nurse leaders and educators throughout Idaho who are nominated by their peers for their excellence are recognized at the LEAP conference dinner event. This past year, there were several St. Luke’s Health System nurse leaders recognized (see Outstanding Achievements for SLHS winners).

Moving forward, President-elect of NLI, Joan Agee, DNP, RN, CNOR, Nampa CNO, aims to keep the focus on the core mission of NLI and work toward ensuring a quality nursing workforce in Idaho. Dr. Agee identified fostering the partnership between academia and clinical nursing practice to work toward the goal of an 80% BSN prepared workforce by 2020 and identifying strategies to increase the number of specialty prepared nurses in perioperative, critical care and obstetrical services, as key opportunities for NLI.
Ryan Sigler, BSN, RN, Administrative Supervisor (standing), and Al Donaldson, RN, Emergency Department RN, review staffing for the next shift.

St. Luke’s Elmore Implements 24/7 House Nursing Supervisor to Serve as Sentry to Patients and Staff

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.

St. Luke’s Nurses in the Role of Leader to Students: Imparting Knowledge and Assisting with Skill Acquisition

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.

Nurse Sonja Brinkel, BSN, RN, presenting a gift basket to parents Phyllis and Terry Brenner for having the first baby born at St. Luke’s Nampa. Grayson Robert Benner joined siblings Kaysia, Corbyn, Haylee and Brooklyn.

A Nursing Leader’s Account on Opening a New Facility – St. Luke’s Nampa

Nurse Sonja Brinkel, BSN, RN, presenting a gift basket to parents Phyllis and Terry Brenner for having the first baby born at St. Luke’s Nampa. Grayson Robert Benner joined siblings Kaysia, Corbyn, Haylee and Brooklyn.

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

Cristal Torres, CNA, relaxes in a new recliner during a break.

Jerome Staff as Healers for Self and Colleagues, Rally for Break Room Remodel

When Kat Dow, BSN, RN, Director of Nursing/Patient Care Services, Jerome OB/Med-Surg/ED/Swing, asked her nursing staff how she could help them, among their list of requests was a new break room. The break room in Jerome consisted of three bar stools and lockers, which did not provide a functional space for the staff of 60-plus RNs and other disciplines. Lacking a budget for a remodel in 2017, the staff did not want to wait for the next budget cycle. Instead, they rallied to raise money to establish a fund through St. Luke’s Jerome Foundation. Jody Bruffett, LPN, Process Improvement Coordinator, worked closely with Ms. Dow and St. Luke’s contractors to design the new space. The 1950s-style carpet and flowered wallpaper was replaced with a new floor and fresh coat of paint. The room was reconfigured to allow for a table with space for 10 to sit and enjoy lunch, while three additional staff relax in new recliners. The change created a space for camaraderie and bonding by providing a safe, private area for staff to talk about their day. Staff are now planning to use foundation funds to create a day room for their patients.

Download Full Copies of Our Nursing Annual Reports


2017 Nursing Annual Report

This report covers nursing initiatives and excellence, including our celebration of our professional practice model: Relationship-Based Care.

2016 Nursing Annual Report

Our 2016 report expanded to include the entire St. Luke's Health System, including our successful implementation of a system-wide electronic health record.

2015 Nursing Annual Report

This report detailed nursing highlights in our west region, including our 4th Magnet designation.

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