The Carmel Rapper reprints this article that appeared in the November issue of Mount Carmel West’s newsletter, The Guardian, because we determined our readers would benefit from this description of the October 3, 2017, Journey to Excellence Nursing Conference. The author is Dina Bush, MHA, RN, vice president of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer.
This year I had the honor and privilege to speak at the annual Journey to Excellence Nursing Conference that is hosted by Mount Carmel each year, funded through the Mount Carmel Foundation. This year’s topic was Maximizing Your Professionalism. Nursing has come a long way in the 145 years since Florence Nightingale. The fundamentals of patient care, cleanliness and management that are taught in nursing school are her legacy. Her greatest legacy to the nursing profession is the fact that she elevated nursing to a higher degree of professionalism and respectability than ever before.
Professionalism in nursing means different things to different people. For some, it is a nurse’s appearance. Although the nursing caps and white uniforms may be gone, today’s nurses wear neat scrubs and comfortable shoes. Some define professionalism as a nurse’s knowledge, skill set and how care is delivered to patients. Others view professionalism as the continuous journey to improve nursing practices, the workplace, and nursing’s future.
Professional nurses are expected to demonstrate a certain degree of altruism, special attainment, self-sacrifice and the right attitude in their dealings. Each nurse needs to understand the responsibilities and concerns that are integral to the nursing profession. Working with a team of health care professionals to provide care for patients in need requires a discipline and internal and external composure that stays steady throughout the day. The core values that are expected and appreciated in nurses are responsibility, honesty, integrity, belief in human dignity, patient equality, and the desire to prevent and alleviate suffering. A nurse’s professionalism is judged based on personal behaviors and presentation, competency, team work, and many other attributes.
How do we set the stage for this at Mount Carmel? Our mission: We serve together in the spirit of the Gospel as a compassionate and transforming healing presence within our communities. Nursing Vision: National Leader for Quality Outcomes by 2020. Nursing Philosophy: At Mount Carmel Health System, professional nursing is the art and science of caring for the mind, body, and spirit of all who are entrusted to us in every stage of life. Caring for others involves respect, compassion, empathy, competence and dedication.
Over the past years we have worked together to strengthen our professionalism with many initiatives such as: consistent streamlining of our dress code policy, continuing education opportunities, preceptor and charge nurse education, volunteer opportunities, involvement of shared governance, levels of practice, certification workshops and exams, mentoring other nurses, and many more.