May 6-12 is National Nurses Week. We are excited to share a number of new developments at the UVM Medical Center as well as celebrate the incredible work our nurses do every single day. Watch our blog and Facebook page this week to learn more about nursing at the UVM Medical Center.
Earlier this year, nurses at the UVM Medical Center began a transformational journey with the launch of Nursing Professional Governance. This innovative structure consists of nurse driven councils through which frontline staff partner with leadership to improve the care we provide to our patients and families.
NPG is a model of shared governance, a dynamic framework that empowers nurses to influence decisions regarding their practice. This structure places inherent value on the wisdom and expertise of the nurse. Their insight contributes not only to the professional image of nursing, equitable and necessary in an ever-changing health care environment, but most importantly, impacts the quality of care provided to our patients and families.
At the UVM Medical Center, patient and family advisors are included in all council membership. These volunteers work alongside our nurses to provide valuable insight from their experiences as a patient, or loved one. As members of our NPG councils, they contribute to more meaningful outcomes for patients and families as integral members of the health care team.
So, what does this all really mean?
As a patient or family member, I feel heard and included. The feedback I provide makes a difference. I am at the center of my health care team, involved in my care as I receive it, but also influencing the care provided to others. I am proud that my nurse, my confidant and advocate at the bedside, is supported in this way. I live in a community and service an organization that places such value on not only their patients, but their staff.
As a nurse, I feel tremendously valued and respected by my colleagues. I have been afforded an opportunity to own my practice, to speak and not only be heard, but to act. It means that the twelve hours I spend at the bedside are more meaningful. The joy I find in my profession, the connections made with my patients or family members, the relationships built with members of my health care team contribute to a bigger picture – advancing the care provided and raising the bar for nursing excellence.
During Nurses’ Week, I could not be prouder to be a nurse at the UVM Medical Center.
Michelle Nadeau BSN, RN, CCRN, is a Staff Nurse III in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at the University of Vermont Medical Center. She is also NPG Coordinating Council Chair.