Working in today’s hospital or health system can sometimes feel like you’re running the hurdles, uphill, with no finish line in sight. The competition is steep, too, in the form of pressing priorities for executives and caregivers who only want the absolute best for their patients.
The good news is Vizient members don’t have to run uphill or jump over hurdles alone. The Vizient member networks program provides access to strategic thought leadership, actionable analytics and peer insights to rapidly solve problems and anticipates future disruption. Through executive and peer networks, members can connect locally, nationally and virtually to collaborate and build solutions for health care’s most pressing problems.
Collaborating and proposing solutions is exactly what Vizient’s Nurse Executives Network did when several members joined together to author four journal articles that address important nursing issues, such as workforce shortages, staffing strategies in a pandemic, performance challenges and the collaborative power of partnership.
About the Nurse Executives Network
Under the leadership of Nicole Gruebling, Vizient vice president, clinical networks, the Nurse Executives Network is well established and comprised of chief nursing officers from academic medical centers and other health systems across the U.S. The network meets several times a year, either in person or virtually, and utilizes strategic insights and actionable analytics along with peer ideation to rapidly solve provider problems.
Issues that rise to the surface often go to steering or advisory committees for evaluation and determination of next steps. Topics of greatest need are addressed via multiple facets, including but not limited to leadership education, virtual or in-person meetings and publications.
An example of how the network helps solve problems is how the novel coronavirus influenced a change in nurse-sensitive indicators. The network members posed questions and insights indicating an increase in hospital-acquired conditions because of extreme focus and attention on treating coronavirus patients. Many members responded with similar issues which then led the network to develop and issue a survey to network members and held solution-based virtual meetings to address care indicators.
The Nurse Executives Network also reinforced their collective influence through documented learning and authorship of four journal articles that address important nursing industry topics.
“From start to finish, the ability of the Nurse Executives Network to collate data, discuss what nursing and patients experience, put solutions in place to address issues and then write about it is truly impressive,” Gruebling said.
Journal articles address important nursing issues
In each of the four articles, members of the Nurse Executives Network and System CNE Network developed the ideas from a collective viewpoint that performance and caregiving issues were being experienced by many throughout Vizient membership. The result was a clear mandate that sharing insights learned would benefit nurses and health systems.
“Journal-worthy topics came together fairly organically,” said Gruebling, who partnered with nurse leaders to co-author the articles. “These nurse leaders had something to say and report. The importance rises to the surface quickly when you see the excitement and intensity around a conversation that leads to bigger ideas that can support others.”
Wisdom Shared: Health System Nurse Executives Share Success Strategies for Building High Performing Nursing Organizations by Nicole Gruebling, DNP, RN, NEA-BC; Beth P. Beckman, DNS, RN, APRN, NEA-BC, FAAN; Susan A. Reeves, EdD, RN, CENP (Journal of Nursing Administration)—Abstract: With the evolution from single healthcare entities to health systems, the role of the system chief nurse executive (SCNE) has evolved. The SCNE leads at the highest executive level in the system and has continuum of care accountability. To effectively support the scope and breadth of the SCNE role, the organizational structure must contain key elements to ensure success. This article outlines the key elements of a system nursing organization and serves to aid in the development, improvement, and sustainability of successful system nursing structures.
Staff Strategies to Meet Care Demands Throughout COVID-19 and Beyond by Nicole Gruebling, DNP, RN, NEA-BC; Anna Kiger, DNP, DsC, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAONL (American Organization for Nursing Leadership)—From the article: Optimizing staffing models across the health system was an already complicated, multifaceted equation, with consideration balanced in patient outcomes, financial limitations and staff satisfaction (Leary & Punshon, 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic increased that difficulty as SCNEs were tasked to plan for an influx of critical, complex, highly contagious patients often in disproportionate distribution in a health system, while simultaneously addressing an excess of staff due to cancelation of elective procedures. In August 2020, the Vizient Large System Nurse Executives Network (LSNEN) Members sought to understand the staffing strategies most effective in their health systems through the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nurse Sensitive Indicators and How COVID-19 Influenced Practice Change by Karen A. Grimley, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE; Nicole Gruebling, DNP, RN, NEA-BC; Arati Kurani, PharmD, BCPS; David Marshall, JD, DNP, RN, FAAN, FAONL (Nurse Leader)—Abstract: Hospitals and health systems have only now started to realize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of nursing care. This analysis outlines the effects of the pandemic on nurse sensitive indicators (NSI) as described by chief nursing officers from across the nation. Demographic data concerning staffing and NSIs, including performance and surveillance during COVID-19, were collected to gain a national perspective on the collective experience of chief nursing executives. Shared solutions and lessons learned through the pandemic were captured during round-table discussions with 272 executives.
The Power in Coming Together by Debra Albert, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC; Nicole Gruebling, DNP, RN, NEA-BC; Suzanne L. Nuss, MBA, PhD, RN, CENP; Kathryn O’Shaughnessy, MS-HSM; Harold “Pat” Patton, DNP, MSN, RN (Nurse Leader)—Abstract: The role of the chief nursing officer is multifaceted and complex. These complexities can be exacerbated during times of turbulence, specifically the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding communication and collaboration are core to achieving optimal outcomes, this article outlines the experience of 3 chief nursing officers through the COVID-19 pandemic and the value of a structured platform for peer shared learning and support.
According to Gruebling, thought leadership is intentional. “Bringing people together to generate ideas, influence others as well as an industry is inspiring,” she said. “Our nurse executives are leading large segments of patient care throughout the U.S. As Vizient partners with the network, we become a conduit to address industry issues at large. That’s exciting for all of us.”