Nursing at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has a long and rich history that builds on the traditions of excellence in patient care. At the same time, we are constantly charting new courses that ensure all nurses possess the skills and knowledge to meet patient care challenges today and in the future - and that nursing practice is invigorated by a spirit of inquiry and scholarship.
Our Nursing Vision is to provide excellent care to patients and families, with the best staff in the safest environment.
BWH is a Harvard-affiliated academic medical center known not only for technological and medical cutting edge discoveries, but also
recognized for its dedication to quality and safety. The Department of Nursing partners with more than 20 colleges of nursing to discover more effective ways to educate nursing students and enhance the nursing workforce - by integrating the professional education of nursing students into the broad practice of nursing and by identifying the critical role of BWH nurses in student education. A baccalaureate degree in nursing is required for the hire of newly licensed nurses.
"The voice of the nurse" informs and shapes the decisions influencing the practice environment. BWH nurses are committed to the nurse/patient relationship at the center of their work, while partnering with nursing leaders so their practice will grow and thrive.
The nursing community at BWH is more than 3,000 strong and it includes all specialty areas, except for inpatient psychiatry and
pediatrics. Approximately 60% of nurses are BSN prepared with the baccalaureate nursing degree in nursing required for all newly licensed nurses. We represent a diverse, multicultural and multigenerational community.
Guided by "knowing the patient and family and having them feel known and cared for", the voice of nurses is sought out to shape the practice about
patient care. This occurs in many ways, including clinical nurse participation in committee work, task forces and focus groups.
Nurses throughout BWH are known for their excellent practice. The results of a three-year qualitative study revealed five characteristics of excellent BWH nursing practice including:
- knowing the patient and family and having them feel known and cared for
- making clinical judgments specific to the individual patient
- caring practices guided by strong notions of good care
- providing care in an individualized way
- working with and leading others to act on the patient's/family's behalf
These findings about how excellent nursing practice is manifested, grounds the work and programs of the Department of Nursing including the many nurse-led programs, such as healing and integrative care therapies and clinical ethics. Our goal is to positively impact the care of patients and families.
Our philosophy is simple: excellent care to patients and families with the best staff, in the safest environment.
Evidence suggests there are better patient outcomes when there are more baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses delivering care. And so, the Department of Nursing now requires the baccalaureate nursing degree for all newly licensed nurses. *
BWH nurses can turn to a variety of educational resources. Formal nursing education is supported through the hospital's tuition reimbursement, scholarships and awards; continuing education is available through conferences and seminars; consultation and clinical support are available for nurses who are caring for patients and families.
* Aiken, Clarke, Cheung, Sloane and Silber, 2003; Estabrooks, Midodzi, Cummings, Ricker, Giovannetti, 2005