At MacNeal, we understand that continuing education is essential to helping nurses be the best that they can be. Keeping current in health care trends and new care giving treatments and procedures is vital to excellent nursing.
New Graduate Program
The New Graduate Program gives MacNeal the opportunity to assist new nurses to expand their knowledge base in a nurturing environment and provide the support that is so vital during the first year in their profession. The program enhances their unit-based orientation and promotes the need for constant learning and best practices, which is the core of nursing. The program also enables the hospital to illustrate its commitment to helping them succeed in their careers and retaining them as long-term employees. This was the program's fifth year.
The yearlong program consists of monthly sessions where presentations are made by multiple disciplines addressing topics relevant to the nurses' needs. They are introduced to the resources that are available to assist in their practice. It also enables the new graduates to socialize and realize that they are alone.
Clinical Advancement Program
The Clinical Advancement Program is designed to have as one of its core components Professional Development. MacNeal nurses have a strong commitment to the profession and the organization. The limitless growth potential of every employee is valued and supported. Clinical advancement supports this growth of professional development. The implementation and maintenance of such a program enhances MacNeal Hospital's ability to recruit and retain professional nurses who, in turn, contribute to the achievement of quality patient outcomes. Our direct care nurse-led Professional Practice Council developed and leads this program.
Participating nurses seek to improve through five levels of excellence that are based on minimum years of experience; advanced degrees and specialty certifications; and credit attained through certain activities. Those activities include returning back to school and getting board certified in their specialty; providing evidence based education for their peers; shared governance participation; service as a preceptor, mentor or adjunct faculty; recognition from local or national nursing organization; community service/volunteerism; participator or initiator nursing research; and author of an article published in a journal.
Our Education Council defines educational needs on a division and departmental basis and plans an annual education calendar. Recent accomplishments include:
- Holding an Annual Skills Fair for RNs and Patient Care Technicians with more than 600 caregivers in attendance. The booths are interdisciplinary and interactive.
- Hosting an all-day seminar on topics that are chosen by the direct care nurses 1-2 times a year.
- Revising the Direct-Care Nurse Educational Assessment Survey.
- Distributing the Educational Assessment Survey to direct-care nurses to determine educational needs for the coming fiscal year. Used the assessment to select the all-day seminars.
- Assisting the Recruitment, Retention and Recognition Council with Nurses' Week activities.