By | 2022-02-14T17:43:55-05:00 January 31st, 2011|0 Comments

Five years ago, Saint Barnabas Health Care System’s Patient Care Services Department unveiled the Nursing Legacy Succession Program. Developed and managed by Teresa DiElmo, RN, BSN, assistant vice president patient care services for recruitment and retention at SBHCS, it creates a structured program for future nurse leaders to explore opportunities as nurse executives.

Participants are selected for the succession planning program based on their overall excellence in job performance, professional behavior, self-motivation and inquiry.

“The program was designed to meet the needs of the evolving nurse leaders’ role,” DiElmo said in a news release. “It is critical to identify nurse managers or directors to begin a journey toward nursing executive leadership. The program provides a strong foundation of business skills, in addition to an overall commitment to patient satisfaction.”

Nurses selected for the program are mentored by vice presidents of patient care services from each of the system’s six acute care hospitals. The program accelerates nurses’ career goals and advancement opportunities while enriching the system’s overall nursing culture and continuum of care. “The mentors in the program have been helpful in giving me an inside look at the role of the nurse manager,” said Jennifer A. O’Neill, RNFA, APN,C, director of medical surgical services at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, an early participant in the program. “The Nursing Legacy Program has offered me networking opportunities and the chance to observe different styles of nursing leadership. I know I have grown to be more of a nurse leader as a direct result.”

The program begins with job shadowing, where participants spend a day each quarter shadowing and meeting with a vice president for one of the system facilities. The participant discusses topics such as long-term career goals, challenges, accomplishments and opportunities for improvement. In addition, participants work on a research project that directly impacts patient care and the nursing work force. During tier 2 of the program, Legacy participants formally mentor a nursing staff member and are introduced to finance, quality, case management, patient satisfaction and other nurse manager responsibilities.

“Our nursing leaders are visionaries,” Nancy Holecek, RN, senior vice president for patient care services for SBHCS, said in a news release. “They understand that by handing down wisdom, experience, insights and aspirations to each nurse over time, we are not only creating a legacy for all nurses throughout the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, but we are creating exceptional opportunities in nursing as a whole.”


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