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Nursing Excellence

The Online Newsletter for Children's Nurses
e-Edition, Issue 5 

Denise Vermeltfoort
Magnet LogoProfessional Development
A Reflection of a Commitment to Excellence

Denise Vermeltfoort, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Ongoing professional development is core to the foundation of the professional nurse. Expert knowledge, its application to practice, and ongoing learning are demonstrated through achieving and maintaining national certification, and clinical and academic advancement. They are a reflection of the engagement and level of commitment to excellence by the nurses at Children’s Hospital. 

National Certification of our nurses has increased significantly; approximately 9 percent since 2008. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of eligible nurses in fiscal year 2009 are nationally certified. Nurses have identified the value of validating specialized knowledge, skills and abilities. The variety of certification is vast reflecting the array of nursing subspecialties at Children’s Hospital; critical care, emergency, pediatrics, nurse executive, rehabilitation, lactation, palliative care, oncology, nurse practitioner, diabetes educator, neonatal, staff development and operating room – and this is only a partial list. 

The commitment to national certification is reflected through participation in new certification exams, development of new exams and serving as a testing site.  This past year Estela Morford, BSN, RN, C-NPT, Transport Coordinator, achieved National Certification for Pediatric and Neonatal Transport, becoming one of only 500 RNs in the nation achieving this new certification. Lisa Radesi, BSN, RN, CPN, CPEN, CEN, was selected to serve as an item-writer for the new Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN) certification exam. Carole Cooper, BSN, MHA, RN, CPN, NE-BC, coordinated the Certified Pediatric Nurse Exam (CPN ®) which was offered on-site at Children’s Hospital, resulting in 23 nurses achieving national certification.

Professional certification is supported through education reimbursement, acknowledgment in the Clinical Advancement Program, and providing test sites, study groups, and preparation activities which enable the nursing professional to pursue and achieve national certification.

The Clinical Advancement Program positively impacts the professional practice of nursing and the work environment creating a “magnetically charged” organization. The results:

  • Enhanced patient care outcomes.

  • Increased retention.

  • Acknowledgement of clinical excellence and the individual and organizational contributions to the profession.

The Clinical Advancement Program encompasses the areas of Clinical Practice, Professional Development, Nursing Leadership and Professional Practice.  Established on the theoretical framework of Patricia Benner’s model “From Novice to Expert” and the Forces of Magnetism, nurses are supported in ongoing development and engagement in the professional practice of nursing. The clinical expertise and dedication to professional practice continue to be demonstrated with 30 percent of bedside nurses achieving a RN III and 16.5 percent achieving a RN IV.

 Academic advancement is promoted through ongoing academic education for staff and nursing leaders. Currently 62 percent of Registered Nurses have achieved a bachelor’s degree or higher, including five nurses who have earned their doctorate degree.  Since the initial achievement of Magnet RecognitionÒ there has been a 6 percent increase in the number of nurses with bachelor’s degree or greater. Currently 9 percent of our nursing staff is pursuing higher academic advancement. They are encouraged by their colleagues and unit leadership and supported by programs such as Education Reimbursement and the Nursing Scholarship Fund. Last year, through the innovative contributions of staff throughout the organization, the Nursing Scholarship Annual Basket Fundraiser raised $9573.90 to support nurses in their ongoing education.



The commitment to life-long learning and continuous personal and professional development continues to be valued and promoted. Amazing nurses demonstrating their specialized knowledge does contribute to incredible care! 

In This Issue

Nursing Rights and Responsibilities

Nurse of the Year 2010

PICU Beacon Award

Critical Care Transport Excellence

A Culture of Inquiry

Nursing Governance Outcomes

Parents As Partners In Care

Professional Development

Contributions to Practice

Contributions to New Knowledge - Nursing Research

Leadership In Professional Nursing Organizations

Patient Satisfaction Comments