Introductory letter from Debi Albert

Debi Albert

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to our Nursing Annual Report.

It is my pleasure to share with you the stories of nursing excellence from the forefront of exemplary care.

More than 2,400 strong, nurses at our institution make a difference every day by delivering compassionate and comprehensive care to patients with complex needs. In 2016, we elevated access to highly specialized care by raising our population of nurse practitioners to 234. With expansion this year, our Advanced Practice Nurses now provide care in our many outpatient clinics and our acute inpatient services, covering all of our patient populations. We continue to build on the clinical expertise of these valuable clinicians.

And through our nurses’ dedication to our patients and our organization’s commitment to professional growth and discovery, our nurses are driven to take their learnings from the bedside as well as their clinical skills to push for greater patient outcomes every day. To ensure our nurses have the skill sets to lead clinical care in that way, our organization continues to support professional growth. In 2016, 499 nurses received $3.5 million in tuition reimbursements, enabling our nurses to achieve higher degrees while focusing on their passions to become greater experts in care delivery.

As you’ll read in the FY 2016 Nursing Annual Report, our nurses are leaders in research. Their continued exploration and commitment to patient care have resulted in raising standards in quality and safety here at UCM, and across the nation.

Many are in demand across the world for their findings, which have led to higher standards in care delivery. In addition to ongoing research across our organization, we have developed a program, Nurses Using Research to Support Excellence, to provide 18-month-long internships, allowing novice researchers to dig deeper into those burning questions and further our collective knowledge base. One nurse researcher, Jenny Sala, RN, is using this opportunity to identify risk factors for developing hospital-acquired pressure ulcers – something she has wanted to do for 40 years.

Our nurses are well respected operational leaders as our organization continues to evolve. The nurse-driven multidisciplinary team behind the activation of two 100,000-square-foot floors of the Center for Care and Discovery provided greater access to care and smooth, safe and efficient patient moves.

We are partners in care with physicians, therapists, technicians and staff. As you’ll see in our video about Project Walk, an interprofessional team launched a wide-sweeping effort to get our patients up and moving sooner to help them become healthier and gain the strength they need to be with their loved ones – our ultimate goal.

We are also there for each other, to help each other continue to improve our clinical practice. One of our greatest collaborative efforts in shared governance in 2016 was the planning and execution of Peer Review. This process was designed by clinical nurses to create structured opportunities for each nurse to really talk with their fellow clinicians to share learnings and explore paths for growth. We’ve heard immense positive feedback since the rollout as these interactions have enabled nurses to provide meaningful insights to each other in pursuit of clinical excellence.

And with compassion ever at the heart of our practice, you will find our nurses are those who hold the hands of our patients at every age and stage of their lives in their most challenging moments. They are also there in our communities, engaging with our patients and raising awareness to better care. I know that these stories inspire me to lead at the forefront of care, and it is my hope they will inspire you, too.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank each of our nurses for their contributions in fiscal year 2016. From the bedside, behind the scenes in our labs and in our ORs and to podiums across the world, you are the champions of excellence in care. And I look forward to more to come as we continue in our journey to excellence in nursing care at the University of Chicago Medicine.

Thank you, and enjoy.

Sincerely,

Debi Albert

MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC

Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services, and Chief Nursing Officer

Debi Albert

Debi Albert

MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC

Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services, and Chief Nursing Officer