Dear Colleagues,

Once again it is my honor to share our accomplishments in the 2018 Nursing Annual Report. What a wonderful world we live and work in. This year we are taking time to pause, breathe and notice the wonders and challenges of our world.

Our Sentara nurse icon depicts a nurse’s hands wrapped around a globe of the world. Using our hands is one of the ways we interact with the world. Take a few minutes right now as you read this to think of how much you have already done with your hands today: assessing, pulling, pushing, opening, arranging or lifting. We touch our patients, family and friends every day with our hands, conveying our compassion and empathy. Our hands can convey confidence, love, support and kindness. The way we touch another person with our hands is a form of communication. As nurses today, we touch so many people in the world.

This year as we celebrate what a wonderful world we work in, we are asking you to remember your “why.”  In this complex world, what is your “why” for moving into the healthcare field, becoming and staying a nurse?

  • Why did you choose healthcare?
  • Why do you come back each day?
  • Why is it important to reach out to others?

In talking with nurses throughout Sentara, we have found both simple and complex answers. Our hope is for you to reflect on your “why” and reconnect with your own joy in nursing.

In 2018, we continued to experience the wrath of Mother Nature with major snowstorms, flooding and hurricanes. Many of you responded during these acts of nature to help your neighbors, patients and friends. The compassion and care each of you deliver is inspiring and part of my own personal “why.”

Looking back in 2018, we continued our work with Clinical Performance Improvement initiatives that impacted the care we deliver to our patients, whether in the emergency department, physician’s office, a patient’s home or our own Hospice House. 

One of the areas we continue to excel in is our professional excellence journey. Once again, we have made great progress:

  • The number of nurses we employ with BSN or higher degrees and professional certifications has continued to increase each year.
  • We now have eight Magnet® designated hospitals and one that has submitted its documents to work toward this goal. We have one long-term care facility with Pathway of Excellence® designation.
  • Our scholarly work continues to improve each year, with 2018 realizing an all-time high number of manuscripts published, poster presentations, and Institutional Review Board-approved studies. This is nursing at Sentara contributing to evidence-based nursing practice and the generalizable findings for our colleagues beyond our system.

As I listen to your “why,” when I am rounding through our facilities, there is typically a statement from team members about “helping or assisting others.”  As I think back over 2018, whether it is a nurse staying over their shift to help others, a team traveling to North Carolina in the aftermath of a hurricane, or a team admitting a dying patient to the Sentara Hospice House late on a Sunday afternoon, I am personally inspired. Your efforts continue to fill my cup. I encourage each of you to continue your efforts, remember your “why” and to take care of yourself physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Ever inspired,

Genemarie McGee, MS, BSN, RN, NEA-BC
Corporate Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Sentara Healthcare

Sentara Nursing Report