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High-Quality Nursing Care

HealthReach, Winter 2014 | Page 3

Patients admitted to Virginia Hospital Center today are much more acutely ill than what was once standard for admission. The healthcare professionals who have the most involvement with patients during their stay are nurses. Nurses are the constant monitor at the bedside, continually assessing the patient, collaborating with physicians and all clinicians involved in the patient’s care, and educating the patient and family members about the treatment plan. More than ever, nurses are called on to have a high degree of critical thinking skills.
Studies show that when nurses have higher formal education levels, this leads to better care at the bedside and better quality outcomes for patients. That is why Virginia Hospital Center places great emphasis on advanced nursing degrees and certifications.
“The quality of the education of our nurses at Virginia Hospital Center is significantly higher than the national average,” says Darlene Vrotsos, Chief Nursing Officer.
At Virginia Hospital Center, over 73 percent of nurses currently have a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN). In comparison, only 37 percent of nurses have a BSN or higher on average throughout all Virginia hospitals; nationally, the average is 48 percent.
Virginia Hospital Center also is increasing the education level of nurses through national certification.
A full 38 percent of the Virginia Hospital Center nursing staff is certified in specialty fields, including the care of emergency department, critical care or oncology patients, according to the National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators.
“Our vision is to provide a higher level of educated nurses at the bedside who are coordinating patient care,” Vrotsos says. “We want the highest-performing and caring nurses on our staff.”
That begins with the hiring process, which is extremely selective. “All new hires for nursing go through at least four levels of screening to make sure we’re getting the best of best,” notes Vrotsos.
Once hired, nurses can receive financial support from the Hospital and scholarships from the Friends of Nursing Foundation to advance their education. “This kind of support helps with nursing retention,” says Vrotsos.
“We have great depth in our nursing staff — 45 percent of our nurses have 10 years or more of experience.”
And it shows. Patients give high marks for their nursing care at Virginia Hospital Center.
“Our patients can feel confident they are receiving highly competent nursing care throughout the entire Hospital,” Vrotsos says. “We are meeting patients’ needs and helping them on their journey to wellness through a highly educated, experienced and caring nursing staff.”


Source: Medicare.gov Hospital Compare website for period 10/1/2011 through 9/30/2012.

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