Quality Safety and Education

Quality Safety and Education

The Department of Nursing is focused on ensuring that professional nurses have the support and resources to practice safe, evidenced based nursing care. Whether you are a new graduate or an experienced professional you will be supported from your first day of employment at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

New Hire Support

Our nurse leaders and nurse educators have developed orientation programs that are tailored to meet each nurse's needs.

Our new graduate residency program is evidence based. Each new graduate is assigned a clinical coach who will provide mentorship and guidance throughout the year long program. The new graduate will attend monthly 8 hour classes during the first three months and will have the ability to practice new skills in a safe clinical simulation environment. Following the first 12 week period, the new graduate will be ready to assume an independent patient assignment, but will still have a mentor and will attend monthly classes to help the transition of becoming a professional nurse.

Our experienced nurses may be hired into one of our bridge programs: Critical Care, Emergency Department, Women's and Infants, or Perioperative. These programs are modeled after those developed by the professional associations. Each nurse will be assigned a coach. Each program has a didactic component, many including online modules, hands on skills and simulation exercises. The Perioperative Bridge program is 6 to 12 months in length. The length of the Critical Care, Emergency Department and Women's and Infants programs is dependent upon the nurses' clinical performance and may be shortened or extended as their ability warrants. Nurses hired into specialty areas (e.g. cardiac catheterization lab, EP lab, hemodialysis, interventional radiology) will receive a personalized orientation based upon their prior experience.

Experienced nurse educators are critical to ensuring the success of all the orientation programs. They are available to the new hire not only during the orientation process, but afterwards as well. In addition, all of our professional nurses can expect to receive support both during and following orientation from our nursing leaders, including the nursing director, assistant nursing director, clinical care facilitator, nurse educator and clinical specialist.

Clinical Quality and Safety

Our focus on safe, quality care is unrelenting. There are many available decision support tools which support the nurse in providing safe, quality patient care. These include our electronic medical record, Mosby Skills and Consult, and other online resources to develop a plan of care. Professional development opportunities include access to on line continuing education modules, SiTEL online courses, access to the clinical simulation center, and on-site courses. Additionally, clinical nurses receive reimbursement for conferences and generous tuition reimbursement for college courses leading to an advanced degree.

There are many roles that support the development of the clinical nurse and help ensure the delivery of competent, caring, collaborative and innovative care.

The nursing care delivery model at MedStar Washington Hospital Center uses clinical nurse experts or Clinical Care Facilitators (CCF) to ensure that the care received by the patient is safe and achieves the highest outcomes. The CCF functions in three specific roles: clinical leader, clinical mentor, and lateral integrator.

The CCF collaborates with all members of the health care team and supports nurses at the point of care to develop a personalized plan of care for each patient. The clinical care facilitator is in a unique position to not only influence patient outcomes but to be a role model and positively influence the practice of nursing.

The Clinical Specialist is service line based and is responsible for ensuring that clinical nursing practice is current and evidence-based. The clinical specialist assesses clinical practice standards and clinical programs, monitors emerging technologies and practices and then collaborates with the health care team to implement new standards, programs and practices. In addition, the clinical specialist monitors nurse sensitive indicators and develops corrective action plans to address areas of concern. The clinical specialist is always available as a consultant to the nurse at the point of care.

The Nurse Researcher works collaboratively with nurses in a variety of practice settings as well as the clinical specialists and the Nursing Research Council to ensure that nursing practice is evidence based. He or she also serves as a resource to nurses interested in developing original nursing research.

Performance improvement and regulatory/accreditation compliance are essential to ensuring safe, quality care.Quality Specialists are charged with ensuring that nurses at the bedside are familiar with the regulatory/accreditation requirements and are knowledgeable about the policies and practices that have been put into place to ensure compliance. In addition, nurses are actively involved in performance improvement teams charged with reducing harm to our patients.

The Nursing Informaticists​ support nursing practice through the implementation and development of tools used at the point of care, including the electronic medical record.

Contact Us
For more information. please contact Human Resources at 202-877-7447.