The future of nursing; overcoming obstacles today for a better tomorrow

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA A recent Press Ganey survey conducted at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pa. reported that patients rated their overall care in the 99th percentile. "Fox Chase continues to be recognized for demonstrating clinical competency and providing excellent care to patients," said director of nursing, Anne Jadwin, RN, MSN, AOCN, CNA. "Our challenge now is maintaining very high standards while managing the changes created by an aging nursing population coupled with the shortage. All across the county, nurses are growing older and the supply of new nurses is not enough to fill positions left by retirees and the increasing demand for professional nurses." At the 29th Annual Oncology Nursing Society, Jadwin shares first hand struggles and successes of implementing a certified nursing assistant (CNA) program and why the process is worth the bumpy ride for the future of nursing.

"The average age of a hospital nurse is 45," explains Jadwin. "After years of providing care, this age group is starting to feel the physical stresses of the job. Adding the certified nursing assistant position is not a means of replacing current experienced nurses, but aiding them and further introducing the profession of oncology nursing."

At Fox Chase, newly hired CNAs are required to complete a three-day oncology course with curriculum designed by clinical nurse specialists. Topics covered include patients' rights, communication, end-of-life and restorative care, reporting of signs and symptoms, and behavioral expectations. Certified nursing assistants are also required to obtain CPR certification and complete competency-based skills checklists.

"We wrongly assumed that just because our nurses provide outstanding care to patients, that they would also be great teachers for CNAs. It wasn't until we went through this process that we figured out that we needed to help re-educate our experienced nurses," said Jadwin. Delegation in-service

Contact: Colleen Kirsch
Fox Chase Cancer Center

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