Maximizing strengths and finding common ground
For years, Highland Hospital has been opening its doors to students in the School of Nursing’s accelerated programs so that they can complete clinical hours and gain experience from seasoned nurses. Now, though, Tommye Hinton, RN, MSN, Highland’s new chief nursing officer, and Kathy Parker, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean, would like to pursue new ways to expand the relationship and capitalize on each institution’s strengths.
Since being named CNO in February of this year, Hinton’s top priority has been preparing staff as they move forward in their application for Magnet designation, a recognition awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to hospitals that satisfy a set of criteria designed to measure the strength and quality of their nursing. The process is familiar to Hinton, who, as associate vice president of patient care services/interim CNO at Detroit Medical Center-Detroit Receiving Hospital, led the development of that organization’s successful 2009 Magnet application. While the Magnet process is an arduous undertaking, it has provided ample opportunity for Hinton to see the commitment of Highland nurses to quality and excellence as well as the unique contributions Highland can bring to future collaborations with the School.
“I believe we are in a wonderful position to have a presence and define community benefit as we weave the priorities of the Medical Center into practice,” said Hinton. “We have great diversity in terms of our patient population. We have a very clearly defined model of care. And I believe our nurses distinguish themselves in the way they interact with patients and families. We do that well and we teach students to do that well.”
Among the ways Hinton sees Highland and the School of Nursing supporting each other is having the hospital draw on the expertise of faculty as an initiative gets underway to create a stronger culture of evidence-based practice. She also hopes to work with the School to offer nurses leadership training and development, something Parker would like to see as well. In turn, these interactions with faculty and exposure to higher education may lead to student recruitment opportunities for the School, which in the long run could benefit Highland. “Increasing the number of nurses with master’s degrees will increase the leadership capacity and knowledge base. We know from the literature that better leadership outcomes result in better patient outcomes,” said Hinton. Click here to learn more about evidence-based practice ».
Both she and Parker are committed to moving nursing efforts out into the community. Finding the right projects, ones that will allow the two organizations to merge their priorities, will be the key. “I think there are a number of things we can do jointly,” said Parker. “Given the shared values and the tremendous amount of talent at both places, as well as a willingness to collaborate, the stage is set for a rich partnership.”
Tommye Hinton has been in the nursing profession for 36 years. She has a deep understanding of the impact that nurses and all those who care for patients can have on their recovery and well-being. Her enthusiasm and commitment are best reflected in her own words.
- What attracted you to the position of CNO at Highland?
- I’m very passionate about positive patient experiences. Highland Hospital is a highly collaborative environment, where everyone is focused on patient outcomes and the entire patient experience. Highland is also a data-driven environment where we make decisions based on hard data, and I like that.
- What was your first priority when you came here?
- I wanted to work in conjunction with nurse leadership, councils, and Magnet champions to create a shared vision for nursing. This is an important first step for me as CNO and also in the journey for Magnet recognition.
- What is the Highland Hospital Nursing Vision Statement?
- Highland Hospital will be a community of empowered nurses that use evidence-based nursing and evidence-based leadership, and act with competence, confidence, and compassion to produce superior outcomes—creating care and service distinction at all levels and sites of care.
- What will Magnet designation mean to Highland?
- Magnet status will officially recognize us as a hospital committed to nursing quality and excellence.
- What are your other goals in your new position?
- Rochester is a wonderful community and offers many opportunities for nurses to make a difference outside the hospital environment. My goal is that we will establish community partnerships and become very visible in the community. I also plan to be involved in the academic community as well, as I’ve been throughout my career.
Multimedia in this Issue:
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