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Nurse Residency Graduates Present at Education Summit in Harrisburg
October 09, 2019

Residents presented guidelines for engaging families in critical patients’ events.

Five Nurse Residency graduates from St. Luke’s University Health Network presented their work on supporting family members when a critical patient’s condition changes. They made their presentation at the second annual PA-Nurse Residency Collaborative’s Education Summit in Harrisburg on September 26.

The Nurse Residency graduates work in the St. Luke’s Bethlehem Campus’ Emergency Department and have developed guidelines for improving RN comfort with family members who are present when critical patients are undergoing serious health events.

Kelsey Hardiman, BSN RN, developed the idea for the project while working in the emergency room and a patient was in severe distress. Hardiman realized that no one was paying attention to the family member who was in the patient’s room but that it would help everyone if nurses interacted with family during crisis situations. The group developed guidelines for caring for family members during crisis events that have since been implemented in the St. Luke’s Bethlehem Emergency Department and are likely to become standard of care throughout the network in the near future, said Cathy Griffin, MSN, RN, Nurse Residency Coordinator.

“It is an amazing project,” said Griffin. The nurses recommend that family presence at the bedside be considered when the patient’s condition deteriorates which could be a trauma, code, myocardial infarction alert, stroke alert or other rapid change in condition.  Their guidelines include confirming that pastoral care is paged and that a staff member be assigned to the patients’ family.

In addition to Hardiman, those making the presentation were Courtney Dragovits, BSN, RN; Glenn Hester, BSN, RN; Sarah Shelly, BSN, RN; and Tanisha Farber, BSN, RN.  The group presented their findings during the Rapid Fire Poster Presentations by Graduate Nurse Residents at the end of the session.

Griffin said more than 80 hospitals with nurse residency programs participated in the day-long summit at the Sheraton Harrisburg, and that the St. Luke’s nurses were one of five groups chosen to make poster presentations. The event is held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders (PONL) annual conference. The Summit was titled, “The Subtle Side of Leadership: Change Management, Resiliency, and Influence.” Their poster was: “Nurse Perception of Family Support During Change in Patient Condition.”

About St. Luke’s Nurse Residency

St. Luke's Nurse Residency Program (NRP) is a year-long series of work and learning experiences designed to support new graduate nurses as they transition into professional nursing practice. Our program is designed to close the gap between nursing school and clinical practice through mentorship and education.


About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 34 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 263 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals.  St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.