Last month, BCEN went on the road to visit Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC). The Emergency Department was hopping, as exemplified by the 300 patients the ED sees every day. Despite the frenetic pace, we were introduced to the entire team and approximately 25 accomplished certified nurses, anxiously waiting to meet us. Chief Nursing Officer Holly Muller, MSN, MHA, RN, CRRN, NEA-BC had some very inspiring words for the ORMC ED team. Holly said, “We are blessed by the growth in our patient volumes and realize this is a direct reflection of the confidence our community places in ORMC and a testimony to the exceptionally safe, quality care provided by our emergency nurses.”
It is very clear that nursing and specialty certification are valued and supported from the top down.
Over the past year, ORMC has doubled their certification rates in the emergency department. Aside from the financial support they provide by paying for exams upfront and offering review materials, ORMC has a few more tricks up their sleeves. For starters, Michelle Inglis, BSN, RN, CEN, Learning Specialist for Emergency Services, has taken a lead role in championing certification, and her efforts are highly effective. Michelle talks directly with each nurse to ensure they know about available support and resources and offers encouragement as they pursue certification. Michelle had a special certification cape made that each nurse wears for a photo once certification is achieved. Michelle told us “When I walk into the department with the cape, everyone stops to ask who got certified, who gets to wear the cape today?” The excitement is palpable.
Additional support for certification is demonstrated through ORMC’s Set the Pace program. This program formally encourages experienced, certified nurses to mentor nurses pursuing certification. The nurses get together at mutually agreeable times to prepare for the certification exam. Once the nurse pursuing the certification is successful both the newly certified nurse and the nurse acting as the mentor receive $250.00 . Not only does this prepare nurses for the certification exam, it is also an effective way to transfer knowledge between nurses. ORMC has an 80% pass rate for the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN®) exam, well above the national average.
Through their dedicated support of nursing and specialty certification, ORMC enjoys high levels of engagement and ownership from their nurses. For example, medication bar code scanning was recently implemented in the emergency department. The bar code scanning compliance rate was 98.9% on day one! ORMC also recently purchased a new pediatric defibrillator. Prior to using the new equipment, training and support was provided for the nursing team. Nurses prioritized the training, even coming in on their day off and then staying to work so their fellow team members could attend training.
How does all of this translate? ORMC has an “A” patient safety rating from Leapfrog. Patient volumes continue to grow, and patient satisfaction and quality indicators are high. The emergency department team is visibly proud and cohesive. ORMC has indeed created a dream team that delivers exceptional care to their patients, works effectively together and produces tangible results. These nurses are superheroes and, they do in fact, wear capes!