by Rachel Kennedy Clinical Nurse Manager 3, University Hospital Limerick and Jennifer Dixson Senior Manager, Clinical Professional Development Glen Cove Hospital, Northwell Health
‘Don’t confuse your path with your destination’: UHL site visit May 2022.
University Hospital Limerick (UHL) in Limerick Ireland, part of the UL Hospitals Group, is a Model 4 Hospital with 533 licensed beds and approximately 1500 clinical RN employees, running at an average daily census of 600. Glen Cove Hospital Northwell Health, which received its first Magnet designation in 2021, is an acute care community hospital in Glen Cove, NY with 232 licensed beds and approximately 250 clinical RN employees, running at an average daily census of 155. Michael Dowling, the CEO of Northwell Health System hails from County Limerick and so it is fitting that UHL and Glen Cove were twinned!
Irish people are renowned for their humility. Nonetheless, this humility proved a disservice to the UHL contingent when the initial Gap Analysis was conducted in mid 2021. This, coupled with confusion over definitions and misunderstanding regarding ANCC definitions led to despondency and demoralisation with the sheer scale of the project ahead of us. However, the Glen Cove Magnet committee showed UHL that the path to Magnet is a series of little steps in which true learning occurs along the journey. Glen Cove’s visit to UHL in May 2022 highlighted the great work being undertaken in terms of nursing research, nursing education, patient safety data collection and an excellent nursing executive infrastructure. Glen Cove provided UHL with deeper insight in how to embed the shared governance model through the creation of councils, fostering talent to increase retention and ensuring meaningful recognition occurs at all levels of the organisation. Their visit injected UHL with momentum and renewed invigoration. This palpable energy was put to good use with the further development of councils, widespread implementation of quality boards in all inpatient wards, the nursing in practice initiative, employee appreciation events and the establishment of a graduate nurse programme. Needless to say the second GAP analysis showed significant improvements!
‘Magnet4Europe comes to the Big Apple’: Glen Cove site visit March 2023
In March 2023, the Glen Cove Magnet Team had the opportunity to host their UHL colleagues for a three-day site visit, with a robust agenda carefully customized to the wants and needs of the UHL team. The site visit encompassed not only Glen Cove Hospital, but other selected locations throughout the Northwell Health System to give them the most comprehensive experience to take with them on their continued Magnet Journey.
Day One opened with a bang: a crowd of Glen Cove Hospital nurses waving Irish and American flags “clapped-in” the UHL nurses for a literal red-carpet welcome at our main entrance. After this spirited beginning, the UHL nurses were guests of honor at Glen Cove Hospital’s Strategic Plan Retreat, where interdisciplinary leaders collaborated in a report out to Northwell’s Eastern Region Leadership Team. After the retreat, our colleagues met with Glen Cove Hospital’s System Chief Nurse Executive, Maureen White. The first day closed with a very special surprise visit from the CEO of Northwell Health System, Michael Dowling.
Unit tours over the three days included Emergency Departments at 5 different Northwell Hospitals to ensure maximum exposure to various ED models of care. Other notable units toured included paediatrics, oncology, acute rehab, and the Family Medicine Clinic.
Our UHL colleagues visited the Northwell’s Institute for Nursing (IFN) which is the corporate entity for education, practice and research for nursing. Topics of discussion included Northwell’s shared governance structure, transition to clinical practice program (PTAP), mentorship program, resources and support for nursing research. After the IFN, Northwell’s Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI) was explored which is the corporate university for all healthcare disciplines within the system. The grand finale of our site visit, a panel discussion with Glen Cove Hospital clinical nurses, brought to light the lived experience of the structures we have in place to support our frontline staff.
In the words of Glen Cove Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer, Theresa Dillman, (c), MSN, MHA, RN, NE-BC: “The Magnet4Europe collaborative demonstrates excellence in clinical practice in a myriad of ways. We are raising nursing across the globe with a true spirit of inquiry and innovative approaches to the care delivery of the patients and families we serve. This collaboration has provided infrastructures for stellar quality, safety, and exemplary patient experience. We’re deepening our culture of evidence-based practice through improvement projects, many of which are led by our clinical nurses. Together, both teams are raising the bar by pursuing lifelong learning and fostering a true professional governance infrastructure focusing on interdisciplinary partnerships and team member engagement.”
Take-aways and Future directions
In the spirit of bidirectional learning, twenty Glen Cove Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) BSN students from Long Island University (LIU) will study abroad at University of Limerick, Ireland in Summer 2023. UHL is incredibly excited for the commencement of the Graduate Nurse Program in November 2023 with the first group of 30 graduate nurses enrolling in the program, not to mention further development of our shared governance model and further investment in nursing research.
We began with a quote by Florence Nightingale so it is fitting that we close with a quote by the founder of modern nursing:
‘Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses, we must be learning all of our lives’
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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 848031.
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