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How Carle Health helps develop Unstoppable nurses

How Carle Health helps develop Unstoppable nurses
At Carle Health, it doesn’t matter if you’re beginning your career or if you’ve found your niche and have been improving it regularly to better yourself and those you interact with. Nurses here have every opportunity to grow and focus on their North Star – providing exceptional care and service. 

Carle Health nurses are a team of healthcare professionals with compassionate hearts, healing hands and inquiring minds. They never stop striving to give our patients the best possible care. They’re relentless in what they do because so many depend on them. They’re Unstoppable together.

Meet two Carle Health nurses. One who just graduated from Parkland College and has only been in RN orientation for a few weeks. Second, the veteran nurse from Carle BroMenn Medical Center with almost 30 years of experience who recently achieved a level of distinction that is a first for Carle BroMenn and the entire Carle Health organization. 

Olivia Herges, RN resident in the Transition to Practice Nurse Residency Program at Carle Foundation Hospital, is jumping in head first with her career and trusting her instincts. Herges was recognized by her team after they heard how she stopped to help after witnessing a vehicle accident. 

“As I was walking up to the accident, I expected the victim to open their door and let me know they were OK, but I realized that they were unconscious,” she said. Herges was in shock at first but then leaped into action once she realized the person needed CPR. 

“I remember watching myself when I was providing CPR, and my mind was just racing,” Herges said. But her skills just kicked in, and now she gets to hone in on what she’s learned at Parkland and combine it with her current experiences as a nurse resident at Carle Foundation Hospital on the cardiac floor. 

The Carle Nurse Residency Program in Urbana is a nationally recognized transition-to-practice program that successfully guides nurses into their careers. Nursing students in the final year of nursing school or nurses who have been away from the bedside for more than five years are eligible to apply. Carle makes it easier for people to acquire the skills and support they need to enter the workforce with confidence. 

From bolstering the confidence of new registered nurses and refreshing the clinical skills of returning direct clinical care nurses to enabling more seasoned nurses to challenge themselves by continuing to deepen their knowledge and grow, Carle Health is there. Just ask Teresa K. Novy, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and the first nurse in the Carle Health system to have laddered to the highest level, Level VI, in the Professional Nurse Advancement Program (PNAP).

The PNAP is based on Benner’s (1984) Novice to Expert theory. Advancement through the levels of the PNAP demonstrates nursing professionalism and competence based on the American Nurses Association Scope and Standards of Nursing Care, Professional Growth and the Carle Professional Nursing Practice Model. The voluntary program offers registered nurses who provide direct patient care the opportunity for promotion at the point of care by demonstrating nursing professionalism and competence based on Professional Growth.

“Working at the top of your scope is the safest and best way to practice,” Novy said. “Nursing and academia combined have been the best experience, and I couldn’t have done it without a lot of support – from my parents, family, nursing leaders and whole nursing family at Carle BroMenn.”
Newly minted RNs, like Herges, start as Advanced Beginner nurses. After meeting certain eligibility requirements and gaining endorsement by their nurse leader, they can begin climbing that ladder. Nurses who opt to participate in the PNAP do so at their own pace.

Like Novy, many juggle outside responsibilities, like raising families or working on advanced college degrees. “If you have the prize in sight, there will be a way. It may take you a little extra time, but you will find a path,” Novy said. “If I can be an example and encourage the next nurse to complete the next PNAP level, I am happy to be that role model. Each nurse demonstrating professional competency will be serving at the top of their nursing practice. With resilience and hard work, you can find a way. As Carle Nurses, we are unstoppable.”

Herges and Novy are among the nearly 5,000 nurses who practice throughout the healthcare system and were recently wished a very Happy Nurse’s Week. Carle is committed to offering training and education programs that empower nurses and lead to better care for all our patients. More information about nursing opportunities at Carle Health can be found on the Carle website.

Categories: Culture of Quality

Tags: Nurses Week, Nursing, Unstoppable Nurses