Written by: Launette Woolforde, Vice President for Nursing Education and Professional Development, Northwell Health
Working within the Nursing Education field for many years I fully recognize and embrace that nursing, and nursing professional development, requires a commitment to lifelong learning. To be a nursing professional development specialist means to commit to lifelong learning – your own, and that of those around you. That commitment is so highly reflected in the caliber of nurses and nurse educators here at Northwell Health. Nurse educators are a cornerstone for organizations because they are key people who transform the organizations vision and goals into action. The tireless work that nurse educators do in developing staff at all levels, including the future generation, has an impact on patient care that, arguably, cannot be quantified. You cannot consider improvements in quality, professional practice, patient experience, achieving Magnet designation and more without considering the critical role that nursing education has played in these achievements.
I’m proud to say that the Northwell Health culture is one that supports nursing professional development – we practice what we preach. I myself can attest to the support that I received from my organization in furthering my education. Northwell Health provided full support for myself and approximately 75 other nurses who have either completed, or are in the process of completing, their DNP. It’s an honor to be part of a visionary organization that is leading, and exceeding as the IOM Future of Nursing report recommends to increase the number of doctoral prepared nurses to 80% BSN by 2020.
Our nurse educators remain the driving force around our onsite academic courses which support our culture of academic progression. Nursing Education leads robust orientation programs and processes for over 2,000 nurses and some 1,500 new nursing support staff each year. Our nursing professional development excellence is reflected among our 16,000+ nurses whose professional certification rate and BSN rate at many of our facilities continue to exceed the mean of Magnet facilities. None of this could be achieved without our exceptional Nursing Education team – and what I’ve named is just a drop in the bucket.
I want to use this opportunity to say to colleagues, near and far, “thank you for celebrating with us.” And to Nursing Professional Development Specialists at Northwell Health and beyond – Happy National Nursing Professional Development Week 2016!
About Launette Woolforde:
We are pleased to have Launette Woolforde as Vice President for Nursing Education and Professional Development for Northwell Health. In her 19 years in Nursing Education she has contributed to the development of countless nurses, and aspiring nurses, within and outside of our health system. She is an assistant professor at the Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine, a member of the Board of Governors at the National League for Nursing, board certified in Nursing Professional Development and a member of the New York Academy of Medicine.
Launette joined the health system over 11 years ago and has served in capacities including nurse educator, orientation coordinator, corporate director for nursing education, and senior administrative director for patient care services. Launette holds a BSN, MSN and post Master’s certificate in Nursing Education, and having earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Case Western Reserve University and a Doctor of Education (EdD) from Columbia University, Launette became the first nurse in the health system to have earned two doctoral degrees.
Registered nurses, at participating Northwell Health sites, demonstrate growth in clinical practice and leadership progressing from RN-I, RN-II, RN-III. The focus areas of growth include:
This program has grown from 46 participating RNs to over 620 RNs as of 2015, showing the exponential growth that has been seen in the number of clinical ladder nurses for more than 10 years. We have focused on the growth areas we listed above to help our nurses expand their reach of care and accomplish their goals.
Some examples of these successes include:
Renee Gilchrist, RN (2014) – Partnered with her hospital’s skin care team to decrease patient’s skin breakdown, which led her into initiating a research study on pressure ulcers.
Germain Gelo, RN (2015) – Reviewed the literature on unplanned extubations to support the development of a systematic approach for the management of unplanned extubations and an airway safety bundle.
Melanie S. Weiss, RN – Published Pickle-Over-PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections). In the forward of the book, Dr. Rosario Trifiletti describes the book as a “little book that explains, in simple terms that children can understand” as well as empowers parents, about PANDAS.
Additional resources to excel in your career
Passport to Preceptorship elearning module and courses are available to Northwell Nursing Professionals
Nursing Leadership Basic courses offers a foundation for excellence within the organization with 79 participants in 2015, and 61 to date for 2016
SOURCE learning lab for clinical staff to enhance clinical skills and create an individualized learning environment
Specialty Orientation Classes – Cardiac Devices, Core Concepts of Mechanical Ventilation, and Basic and Advanced Neurologic Concepts with over 650 nurses attending last year and with continuation for 2016
Onsite nursing classes, learning management system with online courses, and support to attend professional conferences
Over 35,000 contact hours awarded in 2015, and 95 new programs offered through the Institute for Nursing in 2015. Many elearning modules offer contact hours. The efforts are continuing for 2016.
Team STEPPS education to support communication and team work in clinical practices and across the healthcare continuum
Our Nurse Educators are dedicated to influencing, guiding and providing the top resources and programs for all our employees so they are able to accomplish their career and educational goals. Focused on empowering and creating lasting relationships, our nurse educators work tirelessly to ensure every employee who wants to grow has nothing holding them back. Read below to learn about some of our programs that Nurse Educators directly influence or participate in with our nursing professionals.
Nursing Externships This year, 53 nursing students across the United States participated in our 8-week summer Nurse Extern Program. After a formal orientation at the Institute for Nursing, that continued at each participating facility, the externs had the opportunity to work at various Northwell Health Sites.
Northwell Health Nurse Educators provide clinical education, support, guidance, and mentorship throughout the pediatric, emergency department, peri-operative services, and critical care fellowship programs. Last year, over 240 nursing fellows were hired after being a part of this program.
Northwell Health Nurse Educators support professional development. Nurse educators provide academic guidance, assist nursing students in finding preceptor placement, and serve as preceptors themselves. In 2015, over 1,900 Northwell Health nurses returned for their Bachelor of Nursing Science and Master of Nursing Science in a variety of specialties. Northwell Health offers tuition reimbursement for our employees to further their education and career goals.
To further the education of Northwell Health nurses, our Nurse Educators and Institute of Nursing provide many resources to achieve any academic goal. Our Nurse Educators play a vital role in ensuring the educational success in various programs.
Academic Progression Our Nursing Educators and the Institute for Nursing help our employees reach goals by counseling nurses who are seeking to continue their life-long academic goals and support them in achieving specialty certifications.
Our growing partnerships. We have over 50 nursing affiliation agreements to support clinical experiences at our facilities.
Advancing your education. Our Nurse Educators serve as preceptors to nursing professionals furthering academic progress in BSN, MSN, Ph.D and DNP programs. Our Nurses also have the opportunity to attend on-site classes to work towards their BSN or MSN degree.
Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies.
Launched in 2015, the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies aims to be the global leader in interprofessional education preparing the next generation of advanced practice nurses and physician assistants. The Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies incorporates the diverse academic programs and infrastructure of Hofstra University, as well as the significant clinical activities and educational resources of Northwell Health. Our nursing leadership and educators teach classes at the University to assist students in becoming Adult-Gerontology, Acute Care, and Family Nurse Practitioners. (Hofstra Northwell School)
A national program developed by Nurse.com to promote the overall nursing mission of excellence, the GEM Awards highlight the most prestigious nursing professionals in the nation. The awards focus on the leadership, management, education, volunteerism, inpatient care and community care that leads these professionals each and every day – and 3 of our very own employees have been nominated. Meet our nominees!
Gail Probst, MSN, RN, APN, OCN, AOCN, NE-BC
Nominated for her Excellence in Education and Mentorship,Probst is the Director of Cancer Services, Nursing, at Huntington Hospital. Responsible for the oversight of all the cancer services in the 400-bed facility, the first oncology unit took shape under her organization and she developed all oncology policies and procedures. She received state recognition for her work in widening cancer prevention opportunities for women’s health screenings, and advocated for resources for those who did not have the financial means to follow up on breast abnormalities. Her accomplishments range from overseeing the oncology core curriculum for new nurses, to psych-educational support programs, to volunteering in all community outreach programs.
Marianne DiStefano, MSN, RNC, IBCLC
Nominated for her Excellence in Management, DiStefano is the Senior Director of Patient Care Services, Nursing Administration, at Staten Island University Hospital. Credited with taking the lead to move forward with electronic health record implementation, she drove her staff members into the future of electronic documentation with patience and constant encouragement. Her accomplishments range from achieving baby-friendly designation, to initiating bereavement education and perinatal bereavement practices, to leading the interdisciplinary obstetrical hemorrhage protocol.
Meet the Excellence in Management Award Winner – Laura Iacono!
Awarded to an RN who makes significant contributions to the management, supervision, or direction of the environment of care and the performance of staff, demonstrating an ability to lead, influence and improve outcomes of care in any inpatient or outpatient setting.
Laura Iacono, MSN, CCRN, CNRN, CNML
Winner of the Excellence in Management Award, Iacono is the Nurse Manager of the Neurosurgical ICU at North Shore University Hospital. Her passion for staff development, professionalism and empowerment has resulted in her unit’s achievement of more than 50% improvement in staff certification and her staff achievement of clinical ladder status has improved from 0% to more than 63%. While managing such a prestigious unit, Iacono is also on the clinical advisory board at a local university school of nursing, showing the dedication she has to the nursing profession and helping others.
Congratulations to our 2016 GEM Award nominees and to Laura Iacono for winning the Excellence in Management Award!
It is the policy of Northwell Health to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, generic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, or other characteristics protected by applicable law. Northwell Health leaders, including the CEO, are committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action.