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ETMC Athens works to ensure nurse-friendly environment

 Athens Nurse-Friendly GroupChief Nursing Office Rebecca Powell knows a simple truth about promoting excellent care at ETMC Athens: happy nurses are more likely to have happy patients.

With that in mind, she and Nurse Quality Director Michelle Whittenberg worked with others for months to achieve the coveted Pathway to Excellence Designation at ETMC Athens.

“We opted to pursue this designation because it ensures we’ve done everything we can to make this hospital a great place for nurses to work,” explained Powell.
The designation is awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and achieving it is no walk in the park. The application process is divided into two parts. The first involves gathering documentation (in the case of ETMC Athens, a binder’s worth) supporting a facility’s claim that it meets no less than 12 separate criteria for the designation.

“As part of that process, we met with staff nurses to go over the criteria, to determine if we were hitting the mark and, if not, what needed to be done,” said Powell. “It was a very collaborative effort with frontline nurses.”

The criteria
The criteria are engineered to ensure a facility has policies, procedures and practices in place that promote the professionalism of nursing and make the hospital a great place to work.

In addition, the governing body for the Pathway to Excellence Designation requires that at least 75 percent of a facility’s licensed nurses take an on-line survey. And, of those being surveyed, at least 51 percent must report the hospital meets the nurse-friendly criteria.
Just over 96 percent of ETMC Athens’ 250 licensed nurses took the survey – with 100 percent of those saying the hospital met the criteria to be designated nurse friendly.

“That’s huge,” said Powell. “And I think it meant a great deal to the designating body as well. We’re not just making a statement; we’re living it.
“This hospital is dedicated to being a great place for all employees to work.”