March 2001

Advisory Council Created to Address Nursing Issues

The Nurse Executive Advisory Council of Catholic Health Initiatives has begun to shape goals and strategies for the retention and development of the nursing workforce throughout the organization. "Part of the purpose behind forming this council is the current and very serious shortage of nurses throughout our country, but we do not want to let that crisis shape our entire vision and mission," said Bobbie Ingram, chief nursing officer for Catholic Health Initiatives. "There are many other issues related to nursing, such as changing models of care, that we need to address in order to provide guidance and assistance to our market-based organizations." While the Nurse Executive Advisory Council will focus on the retention and development of nurses, the Catholic Health Initiatives Human Resources Resource Group is already addressing the recruitment of all types of health care professionals. The goal and strategies of the Nurse Executive Advisory Council, listed below, reflect and reaffirm Catholic Health Initiatives’ existing goals and initiatives for employee recruitment and retention. Goal To create a nursing strategy for Catholic Health Initiatives that addresses short-term workforce issues while creating a long-term vision for nursing and health care delivery through a values, faith-based approach. Strategy 1 – Leadership Recognizing that leadership is paramount to our ongoing viability as an organization, Catholic Health Initiatives will develop a culture of leadership at all levels of the organization. "We want all of our nurses, including charge and staff nurses, to have leadership skills because they direct so many of the activities of patient care," said Ingram. Strategy 2 – Employees Recognizing that our employees are our most important asset, Catholic Health Initiatives will create strategies that motivate leaders to create environments in which employees want to work. Strategy 3 – Care Delivery Models Recognizing that the care delivery systems of today will not suffice in the future, Catholic Health Initiatives will focus initially on acute care and move into community-based delivery models. "This strategy reflects the fact that the shortage of health care professionals is not limited to nursing, but encompasses all types of clinical caregivers," said Ingram. "We want to provide vision and direction for new models of care that will enable a changing mix of caregivers to serve patients in the best possible way." Ingram said that the Nurse Executive Advisory Council plans to work closely with other Catholic health systems, such as Ascension Health of St. Louis, Mo., in addressing the issues that affect nurses. "We can learn a great deal from what other systems are doing," she said. For more information about the Nurse Executive Advisory Council, contact Bobbie Ingram at 303/383-2681 or NURSE EXECUTIVE ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS Beth Eagleton Vice President Patient Care Services St. John’s Regional Medical Center Joplin, Mo. Bobbie Ingram, Chair Vice President Chief Nursing Officer Catholic Health Initiatives Denver, Colo. Elaine McGuire Vice President Chief Nursing Officer TriHealth Cincinnati, Ohio Kim Moore Vice President Nursing Services St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center Lincoln, Neb. Colleen Scanlon Senior Vice President Advocacy Catholic Health Initiatives Denver, Colo. Kathy Scott Vice President Operations/Patient Care Services Mercy Medical Center Nampa, Idaho Jean Truscott Vice President Patient Care Services Mercy Medical Center Durango, Colo.