A Welcome from Chief Nursing Officer Sheena Ferguson

Dear Nursing Colleagues,

As we welcome 2015, I wanted to share a few thoughts about the year that was! And a bit about what we have accomplished in 2014.

One thing that I think we can all agree on is, and if we didn't know it already, our planet is that much smaller. We are linked more than ever before by our human interactions, and not just thru the internet. It will always be something new in the world of infectious diseases; Ebola certainly brought that point home...literally. And yet our country, our hospitals, and our staff rose to the occasion. Several times in 2014, the call came and our staff responded....hats off to the ED, 6S, and MICU for their excellent preparation, and seamless, superb care...none of you knew these patients would rule-out when you responded!

We had other terrific examples of how the Division of Nursing reached to that next level to provide unique care for our patients, our community and our state. The tremendous difficulty in sharing some examples of stellar nursing is that one inadvertently leaves out something equally as awesome, albeit unintentionally. But here goes:

The Adult Hospital has implemented Discharge White Boards and while it takes a bit to get it started, our patients love it! This is something they repeatedly share with me on rounds; it helps them to be part of their care team. Additionally, the Adult Hospital is preparing for tele-tracking in February; this is another patient-centric gift for our patients and their care.

The Children's Hospital has continued to develop their Pediatric Cardiac Surgery program; services are now available in our state for care that previously required all patients to travel!

The Women's Hospital received The Baby-friendly Hospital Designation! And although getting babies a healthy start in life has been our plan of care for years, we were the first in ABQ

Our Children and Adult Ambulatory Clinics had the Pediatric Clinic, YCHC and Carrie Tingley Clinics designated as Level III Patient Centered Medical Homes, as well as the following adult clinics: NEH, SEH, 1209, Family Medicine, Senior Health, ASAP, and West Side! SWM is applying for Level III next.

Both of our Behavioral Health Hospitals, CPC and UPC, implemented new programs that are changing the standard for patient care. The Children's Psychiatric Center, in addition to implementing direct admission to the hospital as part of their patient-centric plan, also implemented Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)*. UPC expanded as a center of excellence their ECT program for patients refractory to medications; it has changed lives and families.

Practice: Again, a record number of nurses are seeking the highest level of CAP III. Your certification rates exceed the national benchmarks! Your unit Shared Governance groups are establishing Peer Review to support quality standards that your practice demands and your patients deserve. 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.

Congratulations on their re-accreditation! Patient satisfaction scores are improving as well. And Pathways and Magnet teams are planning next steps (Have each of you applied for a scholarship to attend national?)

Education: Additionally, many of you have started or completed your next level of nursing degree. The Governor has recognized the College of Nursing for their leadership with a major funding initiative for Nursing. UNMH is at the 77% nationally for the number of advanced degrees our educators, practitioners and leaders that we have ever had at our institution. We are still 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 and role modelling.

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 and we had another successful TCAB conference! Congrats to those of you whose posters have been accepted by UHC, WIN, and the Pathways to Excellence conference nationally!

As your CNO, I want to thank each of you. We have doubled the number of patient compliments and continue to slash patient concerns. Our Daisy Award recipients are being recognized in the national postings, how wonderful for our patient care mission! 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 continued to share your thoughts and ideas, your good wishes and support, and your expectations, has continued to help me know what direction we need to follow.

Congratulations on your professional and unit achievements!

Peace to All,
Sheena Ferguson, Administrator & Chief Nursing Officer University of New Mexico Hospitals

*DBT is a therapy designed to help people change patterns of behavior that are not effective, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking and substance abuse. This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings and behaviors that lead to the undesired behavior. DBT assumes that people are doing the best that they can, but either are lacking the skills or are influenced by positive or negative reinforcement that interfere with one's functioning.