HCN News & Notes

Baystate Health Honors Nurses in May, During National Nurses Month 

SPRINGFIELD — For an impressive 20th year, nursing has been rated the most trusted profession in the annual Gallup Honesty and Ethics poll. 

The poll’s results reflect the trust that the American people have in nurses, even through a challenging pandemic, and the work that nurses everywhere have done to earn that trust. 

“During COVID-19, our nurses throughout Baystate Health continually demonstrated why their profession is rated at the top – showing clinical excellence, extraordinary compassion and unwavering strength delivering care to patients and their loved ones and our community,” said Joanne Miller, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Interim Chief Nursing Officer for Baystate Medical Center. 

“As part of National Nurses Month, nurses throughout the country, including at Baystate Health, are being honored not only for their trustworthiness, but for their compassionate and skilled care as the backbone of the American healthcare system,” added Miller, who on May 29 will assume the position of chief nursing executive for Baystate Health and Chief Nursing Officer for Baystate Medical Center. 

National Nurses Month at Baystate has as its theme: “Nurses are rooted in strength, forged in fire and growing in power. Rooted in Strength we create our new path forward as leaders in healthcare.” 

“Nurses Month is a time to reflect on the great dedication of our nurses, not just why they became a nurse, but why they remain so incredibly dedicated. Baystate Health is a great place to begin and grow your nursing career. Our leaders are committed to ensuring that our nurses feel valued and appreciated all year long, but especially during Nurses Month,” Miller said. 

Today’s nearly 4.3 million registered nurses in the United States constitute the nation’s largest health care profession, one of the highest paying large occupations in the country. Nursing offers a tremendous range of opportunity to those considering a career in the highly respected profession, including practicing as clinicians, administrators, researchers, educators and policymakers. 

In 2021, Baystate Health welcomed more than 900 nursing students into clinical placements from nursing programs at American International College, Elms College, Bay Path University, UMass Amherst, Westfield State University, Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College and Greenfield Community College. 

Baystate Health is committed to the success of all its nurses, including those newly graduated registered nurses (less than 12 months of clinical nursing experience) from an accredited School of Nursing, who apply to its 10-month paid Nurse Residency Program. During that time, they work directly with a unit preceptor and nurse educator for clinical instruction combined with classroom-style seminars and skills/simulation sessions. The collaborative learning approach is designed to provide the knowledge base and skill set needed to successfully transition into the role of a professional nurse. 

Baystate Medical Center’s high quality nursing care has earned it prestigious status for an unprecedented fourth consecutive time in 2020, achieving Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a distinction that places the hospital’s nursing staff among the finest in the nation. 

“This recognition illustrates how our nurses adhere to practice that is evidence-based and ensures that nurse leaders at all levels are formally trained to lead and reinforce education provided in orientation, our nurse residency program, nursing professional governance structures and clinical ladders,” said Miller. “Magnet designation represents our continual quest for nursing excellence and like the nursing profession itself, requires intention and nurturing as well as a continuous commitment to learning.” 

Also, nurses in the Medical/Surgical ICU at Baystate Medical Center have received a Beacon Gold Award from the American Association of Critical Nurses (AACN). The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes individual units that distinguish themselves by improving every facet of patient care. 

Baystate Health is celebrating its nurses with a variety of events at locations around the health system during National Nurses Month.