Inside the Center for Excellence in Nursing

Most MedStar Washington Hospital Center nurses today think of the Center for Excellence in Nursing (CEN) as a dedicated space for professional development at the Hospital Center, thanks to the new facility that opened in January 2014.

In fact, the CEN was established in 2007 as a partnership with the Washington Hospital Center Foundation as a resource for nurses seeking funding for research, training or conference presentations. It has grown quickly as demand for nursing professional development at the Hospital Center explodes.

The CEN is one of few distinct hospital-based nursing development centers nationwide. It supports nursing innovation and the strategic goals of the Department of Nursing, including clinical education for more than 2,400 members of the Department of Nursing, clinical research and evidence-based practice development, simulation training, presentations and academic posters at national conferences, certification training, academic support and leadership development education.

These professional development opportunities ensure state-of-the- art patient care and help establish evidence-based safety and practice standards for the field.

Research sponsored by the CEN has focused on rapid response teams, patient mobility, neuroscience, wound care, geriatrics and women’s health.

In addition, the CEN has worked with the Department of Nursing’s Quality, Safety and Education division to teach hundreds of hours of continuing education credits and provide more than 10,000 hours of unit-based education.

The CEN is funded entirely through grants and individual philanthropic donations from Board members, Foundation members, community members, grateful patients and their families, and associates who give generously through annual payroll deductions.

“Nobody should ever leave the Hospital Center saying they didn’t have the opportunity to grow,” says Patricia McCartney, PhD, BSN, director of nursing research at the Hospital Center. “If it’s not here already, we’ll help them do it.”