Nursing News January 2015

Nurse Manager Uses New Degree to Continually Improve Patient Care

Jennifer James

Jennifer James, Manager of Nursing, Roseview ICU, is pictured with Jeff Stout, Chief Nursing Officer at Renown Regional Medical Center, at James’ graduation with her master’s degree from UNR in December.

Jennifer James, MSN, RN, CNL, CMNL, graduated with her master’s degree in December. She has worked at Renown for six years, including more than two years as the Manager of the Roseview ICU.

Jennifer discusses her motivation behind getting her master’s, how she uses her knowledge to continually improve patient care and why she believes continuing education is important for nurses.

Q. What motivated you to get your master’s?
A. I started [my master’s] when I was at the bedside and thought I wanted to be a nurse practitioner because I was in a doctor’s office all through college. But then I became a supervisor and then a manager. So I changed my focus and went into the clinical nurse leader tract instead of the nurse practitioner track when I realized I liked working in a leadership role much more.

Q. What have you learned that will help both your fellow nurses and patients?
A. The clinical nurse leader tract focuses a lot more on the patient population and is not necessarily management focused. It really highlights special populations, like the ICU population, and what we can do to improve care and use evidence to improve care. By my going back to school in general, I can motivate my staff to go for it because it’s totally possible.

Q. What advice or words of encouragement do you have for nurses to pursue additional education? Why is it so important in this field?
A. Nursing is changing so much. We are asked to do so many more things [than in the past], and the more education you have the more you are really able to highlight areas and see a much bigger picture and why we are doing things. The more you learn, the more you become involved and the better we can make our practice. Going back to school is a good thing.

Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement Nominations Open Jan. 1-31

Nominations for the 2015 Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement open at noon on Jan. 1 and will close at noon on Jan. 31. Six Renown Health nurses were named Nurses of Achievement in 2014.

Nominations for the 2015 Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement open at noon on Jan. 1 and will close at noon on Jan. 31. Six Renown Health nurses were named Nurses of Achievement in 2014.

Do you know a nurse who should be honored for going above and beyond to provide compassionate care? If so, nominate a Renown nurse as a Northern Nevada Nurse of Achievement.

Every year, the Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement committee accepts nominations for its annual awards with the goal to honor nurses who are role models for others in the profession.

“The mission of the Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement Committee is to continue to honor nursing and the profession of nursing by recognizing outstanding individuals within, and to encourage the ongoing growth of nursing by supporting future nurses via scholarships and recognition of their efforts,” notes Renown’s Elizabeth Mead, a NOA committee member. “It has become a coveted award of nursing excellence in Northern Nevada. And it is a fantastic event where nurses across the region have an opportunity to network and celebrate together.”

Anyone can submit a nomination for a nurse throughout January. Nominations open at noon Jan. 1 and close at noon on Jan. 31. Make your nomination online at

New this year is a separate category for emergency nursing, which was previously grouped under the critical care category. Nurses can be nominated for an award in the following categories:

    • Advanced Practice
    • Community/Behavioral Health
    • Critical Care
    • Education
    • Emergency Nursing
    • Innovation
    • Leadership
    • Lifetime Achievement
    • Long-Term Care/Rehabilitation
    • LPN
    • Maternal/Child
    • Medical/Surgical
    • Office/Outpatient
    • Patient Advocacy
    • Rookie of the Year
    • Posthumous

Although NOA does not accept posthumous nominations, if you know of a nurse who has passed away in the last year and would like them acknowledged at the event, please submit a brief memory of that nurse with their name and a photo, if possible. Please include your name and e-mail should we need to contact you and send the information to Elizabeth Mead at

Nurses in each category will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, May 8 at the JA Nugget.
The ceremony is part of annual Nurses Week events. Since the first ceremony in 1999, Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement has honored hundreds of nurses, promoting nurses and their contributions to healthcare. The committee also sponsors scholarships for nurses across northern Nevada.

Congratulations to Our Latest DAISY Winners!

Renown Regional Medical Center Registered Nurses Kristen Cleveland-Ceballos (PICU), Amy Millsaps (PICU) and Darlene Oertle (CIC) are the latest winners of the DAISY award, which recognizes nurses for making a genuine difference for patients.

Kristen and Amy’s nomination (October winners):

“Kristen and Amy did an amazing job planning a memorial service for a very special PICU patient. Izayah was transferred from the NICU to the PICU at five months of age. He remained with us until he was 17 months old before being discharged home to his mother. As you can imagine, he captured everyone’s heart and became part of our family. He went home to his mom, who was a single mom, and she learned all about his ventilator, feeding tube, medications, etc., with excitement and love. He was admitted a couple of times in the next year but thrived at home, learning how to walk, climb and ride a tricycle. He was admitted back to us in May and passed away in October of this year. His mother had no financial means of having a service and asked Kristen and Amy if they could help. They, with open arms and lots of love, took on the task of planning a memorial service for this very special little boy.”

Darlene’s nomination (November winner):

“Darlene notified me on her day off that her patient in the intensive care unit had just lost his son, a service man in the Air Force, in a tragic event. The family at the bedside was requesting the patient’s son’s body be flown to Renown so the patient could see his son before the funeral that weekend. During this time, the patient needed to be reintubated with a breathing tube due to aspiration into his lungs from food in his stomach — secondary to a prior health issue and battles with cancer, which left him with one third of his stomach. The patient needed this breathing tube for a few days to heal his lungs and he would not be able to attend the funeral. The CIC nursing team along with security, social workers, physicians, respiratory, dietary and the emergency room coordinated to make this request happen.

Darlene advocated the day before to have a trach placed that day so the patient could be easily moved to spend that time with his son — essentially unrestricted. It was a moment that will never be forgotten by the family as they verbalized this over and over. We said it was the least we could do for a man that gave his life for our freedom. Thank you Darlene for advocating for your patient and family.”

Craperi Excited to Impact Nursing in Nevada

Danielle Craperi, Manager of Nursing, General Surgical Unit (left), pictured with Kelly Freitas, RN, has joined the Nursing Practice Advisory Committee so she can impact nursing practice and scope in Nevada.

Presenting to the Nursing Practice Advisory Committee convinced Danielle Craperi that she’d love to be on the other side of the table.

Danielle presented to the committee regarding approval for the use of Ketamine on medical-surgical units at Renown Regional. She needed the committee and the Nevada State Board of Nursing to ensure her request was within the nursing scope.

“After presenting about Ketamine use on med-surge to the committee, I decided I would love to be a part of that committee and I applied,” explains Danielle, Manager of Nursing, General Surgical Unit, MSN, RN, CNML, CNL.

As part of the Nursing Practice Advisory Committee, Danielle will help make decisions that relate to nursing practice in the state of Nevada.

“We’ll decide if topics and ideas that are brought to the committee and the Nevada State Nursing Board are within the nursing scope,” she notes.

Danielle, who has worked at Renown since 2007 and will serve on this committee until 2017, is most looking forward to having an impact on Nevada nursing and hearing about the hot topics in nursing today.

“I’m really excited about being an active member in Nevada nursing, being a part of changing practice and being a part of nursing in the community.”

Meet Randi Starks, New Nursing Manager on Medical-Nephrology

Wende Schwake

Randi Starks, BSN, RN, (second from left), who recently became the manager on Medical-Nephrology, is looking forward to focusing on employee engagement and patient experience.

New to this position but not new to Renown, Randi Starks, BSN, RN, is excited to work with her team as well as focus on patient experience.

Q. How long have you worked at Renown?
A. I’ve worked at Renown since June of 2009. I was a staff nurse until about August of 2010 when I became a supervisor. I was a supervisor for the last four years and stepped into the manager role the end of November.

I was a staff nurse on medical-telemetry and was a supervisor on that floor as well and then came up to medical-nephrology and was a supervisor for almost a year.

Q. What attracted you to this position?
A. I think I was ready for a new role. I had gotten really comfortable with my supervisor role and I wanted more leadership responsibility. I still love patient care but I really wanted to take a further leadership role, help build more supervisors on the unit and help this unit continue to succeed.

Q. How do you see your role as a nursing manager as it relates to both nurses and patients?
A. I think our hospital has taken a really big shift towards patient experience, and I think that goes hand-in-hand with our employee engagement. For me, it’s being available to the staff nurses to round, see how they are doing, checking in on them, keeping them engaged and letting them know I’m here if they need anything. When I round with our patients, I see how we can better meet their needs.

Q. What are you most excited about with this new role?
A. I think there are a lot of new processes that I used to do on my previous floor when I was a supervisor that I can implement here. I’m excited to start building a team together, getting everybody more engaged and working towards a common goal.

Q. In your short time as a nursing manager, do you have a favorite moment that stands out?
A. Reading through our patient experience comments the other day it was amazing to see some of the comments that we got back. So I took those back to the staff in the huddles to share, because the patients are saying amazing things. That was really rewarding for them to see they are doing awesome work and that the patients recognize that.

Q. What are some of the best traits of the team of nurses you have?
A. We have a really good group of core staff. Some of them have been here for longer than I’ve been a nurse, and some of them have been here for 30 years. Some of them have been here for a couple years and they want to stay here and they love being here. I think that makes it really attractive to our newer nurses and nurse residents — they think we work really well together as a team and that is something that we really bring to the table. Our team works awesome together and they really rely on each other and bounce ideas off each other. That has probably been the best part of being on the team.

Labor & Delivery Renovations Offer Upgrades for Patients and Nurses

Phase one of the construction on Labor & Delivery included upgrades to 10 antepartum rooms. It’s the first of four construction phases on the floor.

With phase one of a four-part construction update to Labor & Delivery almost complete, patients and nurses alike will soon be able to reap the benefits and features of the new rooms.

Phase one, which consists of renovating 10 rooms on the antepartum side, includes changes based on input from staff at all levels including nurses, physicians, the NICU and patients.

A mock code was conducted to get a clear picture of the needed updates to patient rooms — among them an automatic timer above the beds to serve as a visual cue for staff and physicians during emergencies. A work station for respiratory therapists and NICU staff was added. It’s located by the infant warmer and folds down, serving as a space saver when not in use. Additional lighting with dimmer switches — requested by patients — was installed to enhance the ambiance of rooms.

“We’ve gotten everything from wires to monitors off the floors to reduce clutter and remove as many hazards as possible,” says Natalie Nicholson, RN, MBA, MSN, CNML, Manager, Labor & Delivery.
Additional updates include more storage in the rooms, updated TVs, new couches that seat four adults and converts to a twin bed, and an updated call light system linked straight to the nurses spectra link phones. There is also a new nurses’ station with an adjoining supply room that has med select and the tube system so all are conveniently located in one spot.

About half of the rooms on the Labor & Delivery side will be renovated in phase two, with the remaining rooms on the Labor & Delivery side scheduled for phase three. The final phase includes a new entry/lobby for more privacy with a proxy door so staff can take patients and families immediately back to the unit after arrival.

Rose Dedications Signed by Sierra ICU Nurses Featured at Annual Rose Parade

Amy McCombs, Director, Critical Care Services (left) and Derek Drake, Manager, Sierra ICU, write notes that were placed on the Donate Life float at the annual Tournament of Roses Parade, as critical care supervisors look on.

By: Tony Boarders, California Transplant Donor Network Communications Manager

“Inspiring Stories” was the theme of the Tournament of Roses Parade this year. On New Year’s Day, did you see the float that was all about the “Never-Ending Stories” of organ and tissue donation? The Donate Life float had 30 riders, many of them touched by receiving organs or tissues, plus the portraits of 72 people who became donors. Twelve living organ donors, whose stories have become intertwined with those of their recipients, walked alongside the float.

The thousands of roses on the float included personal messages from various writers about donation. That includes rose dedications signed by staff of the Sierra ICU including Derek Drake, Manager of Nursing, Sierra ICU; and Amy McCombs, Director of Nursing, Critical Care Services.

“Having Renown represented on the Rose Parade float highlights our commitment to help our patients and our community” says Derek. “Through donation, we are able to partner with CTDN and Sierra Eye and Tissue to turn a tragedy for one family into a miracle for another family. It is truly a special occasion and an honor to be part of the process of giving life.”

With about 600 Nevadans in need of organ transplants, Renown staff is helping to save and heal through organ and tissue donation by partnering with the California Transplant Donor Network (CTDN). That nonprofit works in Washoe and Carson counties to offer the option of organ and tissue donation to families whose loved ones have passed and to make the public aware of the ways that organ and tissue donation saves lives and can help others heal.

Bonnie Turner, Nevada Donation Program Consultant with CTDN, says Renown staff, including those in the Sierra ICU, work to stay up on donation trends and support the work of CTDN to provide information about donation. “They, like CTDN, share a mission to support families who are going through grief.”

News Briefs

SAVE THE DATE – Certification Day, March 19

Join us on March 19 at Mack Auditorium and various locations to be determined as we celebrate nurses who have achieved certifications through their commitment to patient care.

If you hold a certification, please join us at a breakfast in your honor — look for details in the February edition of Nursing News.

If you are interested in achieving additional certifications, join us for a special session where you can get more information on how to earn more certifications in your area and speak with other nurses who hold additional certifications. The February Nursing News will include details about times and locations of these events.

Change Communication Kaizen

Seventy percent of nurses reported that they wanted to have e-mail as their primary source of communication for timely and more efficient communication. As a result of the three-day Change Communication Kaizen event, three main channels of communication were formed to ensure timely and effective communication: standardized huddle framework, consistent e-mail template highlighting key important information in an easy-to-understand format and the newly revamped nursing website.

As a result of the Kaizen, a standard template was developed for huddle, an e-mail template was created to communicate changes that affect nurses and a nursing communication page on Inside Renown was created that provides several links to the different needs for nurses — Pathway tab and Shared Governance tab, for example.

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