Nursing Professional Practice

Reading Health Nursing – Achieving Excellence in a Patient First Environment

The Professional Practice Model defines nursing practice and guides care delivery at Reading Hospital. It is the result of collaboration of nurses at all levels and in all departments where nursing is practiced. The components of the model are what constitute professional practice, no matter the setting or the specialty in which we work. It is congruent with our organization’s mission, vision, values, and Reading Experience standards. It directs the achievement of our nursing vision.

The North Star Compass

Nursing North Star Compass

As the north star and a compass guide the direction of one’s journey, the Reading Hospital True North guides the advancement of nursing practice and the ongoing transformation of patient care. Patients and families are at the center surrounded by outcome excellence because these are nursing’s core purpose.

The compass directional points are the components of nursing practice at Reading Hospital–no matter our clinical specialty or area of practice.

Nursing care is. . .

  • Relationship-based
  • Quality and Safety focused
  • Evidence-based
  • And Innovative

Nurses are. . .

  • engaged in Shared Governance and shared decision making
  • recognized through the Career Advancement Program
  • supported in their Professional Development

Nurses at all levels are Transformational Leaders who continuously improve patient care and practice.

Shared Governance

Through shared governance nurses are engaged and involved in effective decision-making to improve outcomes related to patient care and nursing practice. Clinical nurses are members of shared governance councils and teams at the organizational, divisional and unit level. Nursing care units have a minimum of one formal council that is comprised of at least 20% of clinical staff. All nursing staff has a voice in shared governance through council representatives and the communication tree, staff meetings, and unit learning/idea boards. Organizational Nursing Coordinating Council has oversight for coordination of shared governance activities, evaluation of shared governance effectiveness, and continuous improvement of shared governance processes as defined in the Reading Hospital Nursing Shared Governance By-Laws [PDF]

Relationship Based Care

Nursing care delivery focuses on assuring continuity of care, establishing a therapeutic relationship between the patient and a primary nurse, and strengthening care of self and colleagues. Practice is collaborative and patient-centered. Nurses create a caring and healing environment for patients and role model the commitments to co-workers. Development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation and improvement of relationship based care is based on the Reading Hospital RBC principles and coordinated by the RBC Implementation Leadership Team and Organizational Nursing Coordinating Council. Each unit develops, implements, and continuously evaluates and improves its Relationship Based Care Delivery System. The organizational RBC overview provides a detailed description of framework for care delivery and includes the template for the unit RBC Delivery system.

Quality and Safety

Outcome measurement, benchmarking, and continuous quality improvement are hallmarks of nursing practice. Nurses identify quality indicators and participate in data collection and quality improvement activities to outperform national benchmarks. Nurses contribute to improving organizational quality and safety outcomes through interprofessional collaboration. The Nursing Quality and Safety Improvement Plan, which is aligned with the Reading Hospital QI Plan, details nursing quality indicators, outcome goals, data collection, benchmarking and improvement processes. Nursing quality improvement is coordinated by the Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), Organizational Nursing Quality Council, and CNS-led NQI resource nurse teams.

Career Advancement Program (CAP), Peer Review, and Nursing Recognition

Nurses’ contribution to organizational, nursing, and unit outcomes are recognized through the Nursing Career Advancement Program. Nurses maintain a professional portfolio that documents clinical level eligibility requirements and professional accomplishments. Nurses participate in peer review and self-appraisal as fundamental components of both CAP and the performance appraisal process. The Organizational CAP Board has oversight for administration of the career advancement program. Nurses are also recognized for contributions through the Nursing Excellence Awards program and Reading Experience recognition initiatives.

Professional Development

Nurses are supported to pursue continuing education, specialty certification, and academic advancement. Nurses create learning environments in which clinical inquiry is valued, appreciative inquiry is encouraged, and professional growth is expected. Nurses foster the professional development of colleagues and students through both formal and informal teaching activities that include precepting, mentoring, and course instruction. Nursing professional development is supported by the core educators in the Nursing Department of Professional Development and by divisional clinical practice educators and clinical nurse specialists.

Evidence Based Practice (EBP) and Research

Nurses base practice on best evidence and contribute to the generation of new knowledge through nursing research. Nurses use the ACE Star Model of Knowledge Transformation as the framework for EBP. Nurses are supported in advancing evidence based nursing practice through the EBP internship and clinical librarian and library database resources. Nurses are supported in EBP and research activities by the Director of Nursing Research and the Organizational Nursing Research Council.