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Nursing Excellence at Shriners Children's

Message From our Chief Nursing Officer

At Shriners Children’s, we are here for the kids – pure and simple. There is no one more important than the children entrusted to our care. Our commitment to nursing and patient care excellence, whether virtual or in-person, will be evidence-based, innovative and exceptional. We look forward to being a part of each child’s specialized healthcare journey. We are all here for every patient and their family.

On this page, you can learn more about our organization and our achievements in patient results, the patient and family experience, and quality of care.

Our Nursing Team's Commitment to Patients Extends Beyond Exceptional Medical Care

Our nurses are truly extraordinary and essential to making Shriners Children's such a special place, going far beyond their professional promise to provide compassionate, high-quality care. The support they provide during a child's time with us helps build lasting relationships. They're that crucial link to families and are deeply committed to a child, and their family's, overall well-being.

For the nurses at Shriners Children's, it's all about treating patients, not conditions. Our patients and their families overwhelmingly agree that our nursing team makes their overall experience with Shriners Children's a positive one.

Supporting Those Who Are Vital to Our Success

Because this team is such a crucial piece of our ability to provide amazing care to children everywhere, we must support them as much as they support our patients. Shriners Children’s leadership is committed to providing our nurses with the tools, education and advancement opportunities that help them thrive professionally. Our nurses, including our per diem nurses, have access to a range of online continuing education programs. These programs are designed to help them maintain their license requirements, while promoting ongoing education and providing access to professional courses that prepare them for national specialty certification exams.

We also cover the cost of national certification exam fees and offer tuition reimbursement for training and professional development programs that our nurses engage in to advance their careers.

Shaping the Shriners Children’s Patient Experience Since the Beginning

When our first hospital opened in Shreveport, Louisiana, 14 nurses cared for all of our patients. The first hospital administrators at Shriners Hospitals for Children  Shreveport (now, Shriners Children's Shreveport) were also nurses. Since the very beginning, nurses have provided strong leadership for each of our patient care programs.

Nearly 100 years later, more than 900 direct care nurses continue this legacy, setting the standard for the high-quality care we provide.

Caring for Patients Throughout the Organization

Our direct care nursing teams work in a number of areas throughout Shriners Children's, including:

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Our intensive care unit includes highly skilled and certified nursing professionals who provide care for our patients with acute and chronic medical conditions. From supporting children with extensive burn injuries and complex orthopedic conditions to providing post-operative care following complex surgeries, our PICU nurses meet our most demanding patient care needs.

Inpatient Unit

Our team of highly qualified nurses, respiratory therapists, rehabilitation therapy services, child life specialists, pharmacists, patient care assistants and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) provide care to all surgical patients prior to and after surgery. They are also responsible for providing care for our patients during their rehabilitation stay.

Acute Care Rehabilitation

Our acute care rehabilitation nurses are members of an extraordinary interdisciplinary care team. They are central to effective communication with the family and to develop and execute a child’s personalized rehabilitation care plan. These nurses, along with physical, occupational, speech and language therapists, physicians, psychologists, nutritionists, social workers, child life and other specialists, work to restore pre-injury mobility or optimize post-operative and other functional corrections.

Outpatient Services (including Ambulatory Care)

Our ambulatory care nurses and nurse care managers work with patients and their families to support all aspects of patient coordination and care. Shriners Children's APRNs are a critical part of our outpatient care delivery model. Their expertise and leadership help drive system policies by using evidence to support the practices that promote the highest-quality patient outcomes.

Meeting A Higher Education Standard for our Nurses

Nurses throughout the Shriners Children's healthcare system are highly trained and educated. At the end of 2020, 80% of our direct care nursing staff held a bachelor’s degree in nursing or higher. Many healthcare organizations have yet to accomplish this milestone, which the National Academy of Medicine recommends as its standard for a direct care nursing workforce.

Today, our nursing leadership team is aligned with the Future of Nursing 2020–2030 National Academy of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on the strategic vision for nursing, to promote advanced nursing education and professional certifications.

Delivering a Care Model FOCUSED™ on Patients and Families

FOCUSED™ is a system-wide practice model we've developed to optimize patient and family-focused care, engage clinicians and guide quality improvement to enhance patient satisfaction. We use this model to identify and target opportunities to optimize care delivery and the use of resources across our entire healthcare system.

The pillars of our FOCUSED™ model are:

Family and patient-focused care – We believe that the family is the patient’s source of strength and support.

Open communication – We are committed to providing timely and transparent information to patients and their families.

Collaborative – We believe that safe, high-quality and accessible care requires interprofessional collaboration (an approach that supports shared decision-making)

Understanding and compassionate – We value a culture of compassion and take time to actively listen and understand the needs of our patients and their families.

Safe and seamless – With patient safety being our top priority, we focus on seamless transitions of care within our system, with other care providers and the community.

Expertise and education – We foster learning environments that embrace innovation and creativity, ongoing staff development and interprofessional collaboration.

Driven by research and best practices – We are always searching for new and innovative approaches to patient care based on research, data and evidence-based discoveries.

Supporting Our Nurses' Success and Satisfaction

Each year, through a collaborative effort that involves collecting input from nurses throughout our system, the Shriners Children's Nursing Executive Council identifies our top strategic priorities. These nurse-led initiatives engage nursing staff at all levels, to help shape our patient care policies, ensuring that we are continually identifying new ways to provide compassionate, quality care.

We have four strategic priorities for 2021:

  • Nursing Excellence Assessments
  • A system-wide plan to support transition and operating model changes
  • Continuing to enhance operating room efficiency (inter-professional team)
  • Creating a system-wide nurse manager professional development program

Enhancing Care Through Informatics

Our informatics nurse specialist supports the nursing division in its use of healthcare technology. Their role includes using data and information to improve nursing workflows – following evidence-based practices – and developing processes that ensure optimal use of electronic health records in the delivery of patient care.

Outcomes of their work are instrumental in the improvement and expansion of our nurses' efforts, which allows us to implement more effective treatments based on evidence found in our own organization.

Building Leaders with Our Clinical Advancement Program

The Shriners Children's Clinical Advancement Program (CAP) supports the professional advancement of our direct care professionals, including our nurses, and it provides opportunities for their career development. It also recognizes the valuable contributions these professionals bring to the Shriners Children’s healthcare system and their individual achievements.

Our CAP program inspires our direct care staff to grow as leaders. This professional promotion program empowers them to analyze their own practice and identify the professional goals that align with our system's strategic priorities. We believe these strong and engaged professionals will ensure the reputation of Shriners Children's as a leader in pediatric specialty care continues into the future.

Promoting Quality Patient Care is a Team Effort

Each member of our team possesses unique expertise and skills. We encourage them to use these talents to help us advance and guide the way we care for patients and their families. One way we support this is through the integration of Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP) into our team's systems.

The IPCP approach to workforce culture supports and encourages communication and collaborative decision-making, along with promoting shared knowledge and skills among teams. Our nurses highly value this approach because it allows those on the frontlines to contribute to how we shape and define our policies on a larger scale.

With our partners in organizational development and learning strategy, we are also creating an internal nurse manager professional development program using the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) competencies standards. This program is based on the Nurse Manager Learning Domain Framework that promotes evidence-based clinical practice. This development program will span three countries, 15 states and approximately 60 nurse managers throughout the Shriners Children's healthcare system.

Creating a Roadmap for Nursing Excellence through the Magnet® Model

The Magnet Recognition Program® provides a roadmap for nursing and patient care excellence. As we continue to seek and define excellence in our nursing practice, the Shriners Children's Nursing Executive Council has adopted the Magnet® Model. This model will guide our nursing leaders in their drive to align nursing and system strategic priorities that support our culture of interpersonal collaboration and communication, clinical inquiry and innovation.

The DAISY™ Awards

Through the Daisy Awards, we recognize and celebrate the extraordinary work our nurses do for patients and families every day. The DAISY recipient is surprised during work hours by the staff and patients and awards are typically announced during Nurse’s Week. Whether they are recognized by a member of the healthcare team, a patient or a family member, our nurses find this recognition very special and heartwarming.

female nurse and female patient

Nursing Excellence Through Innovation and Leadership

The nursing team at Shriners Children’s is committed to providing high-quality, compassionate, personalized care for patients and their families.