Pathway to Excellence Designation for Pella Regional
PELLA, IA – Pella Regional Health Center achieved Pathway to Excellence® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) on June 14. Pella Regional is the first hospital in the state of Iowa to earn this designation. The Pathway to Excellence recognition is earned by health care organizations nationwide that create work environments where nurses can flourish. It demonstrates the professional satisfaction of nurses and identifies best places to work.
“This recognition confirms what we already know,” said Bob Kroese, chief executive officer at Pella Regional Health Center. “The nursing staff at Pella Regional is among the best. Their skill and dedication creates an environment where our patients can get the best care to meet their medical needs.”
Nursing staff began working on this credentialing process five years ago. The Pathway to Excellence designation is granted based on the confirmed presence of certain characteristics. For an organization to earn the Pathway to Excellence distinction, it must successfully undergo a thorough review process that documents foundational quality initiatives in creating a positive work environment — as defined by nurses and supported by research. These initiatives must be present in the facility’s practices, policies and culture. Nurses in the organization verify the presence of the criteria in the organization through participation in a completely confidential online survey.
“Providing opportunities for nurses to have shared governance of the clinical care of patients is a big part of the Pathway program,” said Bridget Drafahl, MSN, RN, special projects coordinator at Pella Regional. “Shared governance is a way for nurses to be more engaged and make a difference in how we work with patients at Pella Regional.”
Part of the program saw a push for nurses to gain more education and earn additional credentials in specialty areas. In the past five years, Pella Regional went from only four nurses who were certified in specialty areas to 47 certified nurses – about 24 percent of the entire nursing staff.
“Studies examining the future of nursing highly recommend both nurse residency and BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degrees for nurses,” said Yvonne O’Brien, chief nursing officer at Pella Regional. “Within the state of Iowa, only 24 percent of nurses at hospitals have a BSN. At Pella Regional, we have more than 31 percent with this advanced degree and more nurses are in the process of earning it.”
In addition, Pella Regional began one of the first nurse residency programs in the region. New nurses regularly participate in a year of intense mentoring and training as part of the nurse residency program. The result is a decrease in job burnout and turnover and an increase in job satisfaction for new nurses.
“The whole goal of this process was to attract and retain the best nurse candidates,” said O’Brien. “Research shows that having the best nurses means that patients have the best care. That’s what we want for patients at Pella Regional.”