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Research & Innovation

Spotlight Nurse Residency Program Evidence-Based Projects


St. Luke’s Nurse Residency Graduates Present at PA Nurse Residency Collaborative Education Summit in Harrisburg

Residents presented guidelines for engaging families in critical patients’ events

Five Nurse Residency Graduates from St. Luke’s University Hospital and 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 on September 26.

The Nurse Residency Graduates work in the St. Luke’s Bethlehem 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 code blue. 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.

Nurse Residency Summit

Griffin said more than 80 hospitals having nurse residency programs participated in the daylong 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.