Nurses debut professional practice model during Nurse Week


Starting last summer, nurses at the three Yale New Haven Health System hospitals began to work on creating a professional practice model (PPM) that graphically represents the excellence of their practice and outcomes. The project started before the integration of YNHH and the Hospital of Saint Raphael, so nurses on the York Street Campus reached out to their counterparts on Chapel Street and included them in the project.

Each hospital developed a core team of 10 direct care nurses and a team facilitator. In retreats, they reviewed evidence, language and shared values to determine the key elements they wanted to include in the professional practice model.

The groups came together to create rough sketches of their PPMs and then worked with a professional designer to finalize their vision.

"Our nurses — our frontline caregivers — do exceptional work and this professional practice model reflects their superb patient care and quality outcomes," said Sue Fitzsimons, RN, PhD, senior vice president, Patient Services.

"The teams thoughtfully chose meaningful symbols to reflect the mission and values that represent Yale New Haven Health System and how nurses practice individually within the system."

During Nurse Week, associate chief nursing officers Diane Vorio, RN, MSN, York Street Campus, and Ena Williams, RN, Saint Raphael Campus, unveiled the PPM at the annual awards receptions on each campus. Currently, the three YNHHS hospitals are collaborating on a multi-year effort to standardize nursing care throughout the system and the PPM supports this major initiative.

"We created our first professional practice model when we began our Magnet journey in 2009 and it provided a unifying force to our Yale-New Haven Hospital effort," Fitzsimons explained. "This is our second PPM and it visually represents the work nurses in each of our YNHHS hospitals do every day for our patients. It is absolutely stunning."

Some of the graphic elements of the PPM include:

  • The globe represents the diversity of the patients YNHHS nurses serve
  • The 14 stars surrounding the globe represent Virginia Henderson's theory of nursing practice; Henderson, a former nurse educator who accompanied nursing students on rotation at YNHH, was a well-known instructor at Yale School of Nursing and an international authority on nursing practice
  • The heart within the globe represents Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring; Watson was a professor of nursing and is an internationally known writer of nursing theory
  • The words around the globe reinforce the values of the YNHHS nurse: professional development, quality and safety, healing environment, and professional excellence

"Nurses worked hard to make sure the professional practice model was ready for Nurse Week," said Lori Hubbard, RN, manager, Office of Nursing Excellence and Magnet Program. "We will announce an implementation and educational plan in the near future but in the meantime, during Nurse Week, our PPM is a beautiful reflection of all that we have to celebrate."