A Welcome from Chief Nursing Officer Sheena Ferguson

Dear Nursing Colleagues,

This year we've done much to:

  • Share how our specialty units uniquely provide care and support to patients
  • Introduce the next generation to our profession
  • Celebrate diversity in our patients and ourselves
  • Honor those who have served in other unique ways in our armed forces
  • Embrace the art of children who remind us of the promise that each day brings
  • Perform research that improves patient outcomes and refines our practice
  • Remember that to be the best for patients we must also take time to rejuvenate and much, much more.  This has been a year of significant growth and achievement for the nursing division. It is hard to select what to talk about in this short letter! A few highlights follow.

Practice: A record number of nurses are seeking the highest level of Clinical Advancement Program (CAP) status at the third (III) level. You are pursuing board certification as a mark of excellence and specialty in your practice. Your unit Shared Governance groups are establishing quality standards that your practice demands and your patients deserve. Our clinical councils are being lead by senior staff and RN supervisors. This is essential for autonomy at the point of care, wherever patient care is delivered - at the bedside, in the clinic, or in the home. The nurse residency is a continued success and is a leader nationally, as demonstrated by turnover reduction and career satisfaction. Patient satisfaction scores improve as well. And Pathways and Magnet teams, you are phenomenal!

Education: Additionally, many of you have started or completed your next level of nursing degree: we have the largest number of advanced educators, practitioners and leaders that we have ever had at our institution. As part of our academic mission, we were able to work together on what I consider a public health urgency. We are one of the only organizations in our community to accept nursing students when others are limiting access or have declining access. Our contribution to nursing is enhanced even more when the students have the benefit of your expertise. You were able to work as a team to open all of our physical beds. To our community, access is a concern and this was an essential feat.

Research: Our clinical experts continue to demonstrate state-of-the-science care, based on the incorporation of our professional science and interdisciplinary teamwork. The division of nursing research and the council has successfully facilitated unit-based programs that benefit our patients. We are members of the "Transforming Care at the Bedside" project (4S, 5W) and other programs.

As a new CNO, I want to thank each of you. The stories that are shared by your patients, co-workers and other team members are a testament to your care and your professionalism. That so many of you have shared your thoughts and ideas, your good wishes and support, and your expectations, has helped me to know what direction we need to follow.

Congratulations on your professional and unit achievements!

Sheena Ferguson, MSN, RN, CCRNr, CNS
Chief Nursing Officer
University of New Mexico Hospitals