Nursing Professional Practice
New Hanover Regional Medical Center works to help its nursing staff develop professionally through the following programs:
Nursing Congress is shared governance model of accountability for nursing practice, and its represent the more than 1,400 nurses who practice at NHRMC. Nursing representatives from across the organization make decisions regarding practice, resource allocation, and professional growth, based on current research and measurement of outcomes. Since becoming Magnet, nurses report higher levels of participation in decision-making. In 2005 and 2006, results of the NHRMC nursing satisfaction survey showed that nurses at NHRMC scored higher than nurses nationally in their satisfaction with involvement in decision making.
The Institute for Nursing Excellence (INE) is an annual professional development program that recognizes and rewards excellent direct care registered nurses. The Institute is an intense learning experience for the selected nurses. A significant portion of the learning experience is gained through group experiences. Each nurse will have to opportunity to expand their nursing network through relationships formed with the other INE nurses.
Nursing Resource Fund was established through contributions to the NHRMC Foundation. The Nursing Congress Finance Council can make available funds for nursing-related research projects and continuing education. Nurses are encouraged to apply for this funding as they pursue clinical research.
Nursing Certification is supported through educational training opportunities. Nurses receive a stipend upon certification in their area of practice. This certification requires the nurse to exhibit expert knowledge that is measured by an exam, as well as maintain specific annual education requirements. As of October 2006, there were 283 nationally certified RNs at NHRMC. To date in 2006, there are 283 nurses with national certification, compared to just 97 in 2002.
Professional Ladder program has been revised to direct staff nurses in completing performance improvement and educational projects. This program, which offers two levels of achievement, also rewards nurses for completion. In the last two years the number of nurses submitting letters of intent to participate in the program has increased over 100%.