Nursing Services

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Hallmark Health System (HHS) is one of only eight hospitals in the state, and less than 7 percent of hospitals in the United States, to achieve Magnet® recognition as a reflection of its nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority in patient care. HHS is the only system in New England to receive this recognition.

Magnet® recognition is determined by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®, which ensures that rigorous standards for nursing excellence are met. With this credential, HHS joins the Magnet® community, a select group of 401 health care organizations out of nearly 6,000 U.S. health care organizations.

Magnet® recognition has become the gold standard for nursing excellence and is taken into consideration when the public judges health care organizations. In fact, U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet® recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.

The Magnet® appraisers and commission reported that it was clear from the “board room to the bedside” that HHS has set a vision and focus on quality and safety. They applauded HHS for being a role model for other Magnet® hospitals in the following areas:

  • Hospital programs dedicated to helping newly licensed nurses successfully transition to specialty areas of practice including the residency programs in Maternal-Newborn Services, Emergency Departments and the Medical-Surgical Telemetry Float Team.
  • The hospital’s commitment to providing programs and services that serve the health care needs of our communities.
  • The extensive use of research by nurses at all levels, noting that a culture of clinical inquiry is evident throughout the system.


To achieve Magnet® recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff and includes demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes and a rigorous onsite review process. Hallmark Health’s designation was achieved with a unanimous vote of approval by the Commission.

In particular, the Magnet® Model is designed to provide a framework for nursing practice, research and measurement of outcomes. Through this framework, ANCC can assess applicants across a number of components and dimensions to gauge an organization’s nursing excellence. The foundation of this model is composed of various elements deemed essential to delivering superior patient care. These include the quality of nursing leadership and coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care.

To learn more about nursing opportunities at Hallmark Health System click here

Our healthcare system

HHS, a community hospital system, consisting of two campuses and many outpatient centers, serves the population north of Boston, and is committed to the provision of quality patient care and dedication to the community. These commitments remain central to the organization’s mission, vision and core values with patient care as the cornerstone. HHS organizes goals and priorities across the HHS Cornerstones, to assure we are advancing across all of them and are ‘connecting the dots’ of interdependence. The Cornerstones include Growth, People, Quality, Service and Finance. The clinical care delivered at HHS has been recognized repeatedly by external sources.

The Department of Nursing’s mission, vision, values and philosophy were derived from those of the institution. Congruent with the HHS organizational mission, the mission of the HHS Department of Nursing is to provide quality care to the patients and families of the communities we serve. This mission fosters a nursing culture, which promotes nurse leadership and autonomy, professional development, critical thinking and cultural competence. The Department of Nursing vision states, “As professional nurses and members of the nursing care team, our most important responsibility is achieving positive outcomes for our patients and nursing staff. It is through our professional practice model that we fulfill our vision.” The HHS Nursing Philosophy states that in concert with the mission, vision and values of HHS, the professional nurse, with the support of the care team, embraces the following commitments to the internal and external community:

  • We embrace respect as the cornerstone of our actions, supporting each other as well as the needs of our patients and their families while valuing cultural, ethnic and religious diversity regardless of race and social standing. We believe in upholding the dignity and worth of every member of our health care family and every patient we serve.
  • We believe that by functioning within our professional standards of practice, we provide safe, quality patient care. Through our professional model of care delivery we promote competence, compassion, communication and critical thinking in health promotion and disease prevention across the continuum of life.
  • We believe as professional nurses we practice autonomously with accountability and responsibility in managing and coordinating patient care. We are committed to advocating for patients to achieve optimal outcome oriented care.
  • We are committed to collaboration with the entire health care team to provide the highest quality holistic patient and family-centered care.
  • We are dedicated to providing comprehensive care guided by ethical principles and utilizing sound judgment.
  • Our unique culture of caring embraces a shared governance model which promotes involvement of each individual toward the achievement of common goals.
  • We believe that through a life-long commitment to our individual and collective professional growth and development, we promote optimal patient outcomes relying on the best of research and experience.
  • It is in utilizing and sharing our experiential wisdom that we cultivate an environment of excellence and high professional and personal satisfaction.

The nursing strategic plan and goals are developed annually after a review of the institution’s strategic plan and goals that have been put forth by senior management. This process assures that institutional and departmental strategies and priorities are aligned and form the basis for development and achievement of individual goals.

HHS Strategic Plan

The HHS strategic goal is to demonstrate measurable improvement in advancing toward the HHS mission; to be the preferred provider of healthcare north of Boston. The 2011 strategic plan stated, “to continue to succeed in the current environment, while preparing HHS to successfully respond to change in the health care environment and the local economy.” HHS recognizes that in order to be successful HHS is required to adopt new organizational approaches and openness to new ideas and definitions of success. Underlying the system’s efforts across the five Cornerstones, stated above, is creating a ‘Culture of Confidence.’ HHS believes it is vital that even while we seek to always improve, we constantly recognize, communicate and celebrate successes and strengths both internally and externally.

In her role as System Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Nancy Gaden, MS, RN, NEA-BC is responsible for the systems and processes that support excellence in nursing practice and promote the optimum delivery of care to patients and families. One of her most important responsibilities is enhancing patient care quality. To effectively accomplish this, she has focused on the important role that nursing plays in patient safety and quality and has facilitated the development of a data-driven nursing quality program. She models a steady commitment to and actively advocates for the highest standards of professional practice, scholarship and clinical inquiry for all nurses at Hallmark Health.

Ms. Gaden oversees the Nursing Quality Program by creating an environment where quality data is collected, analyzed and reported. Steps are taken to continuously improve performance. Ms. Gaden focuses on improvement through both the conduct and utilization of nursing research. She maintains an environment that develops and supports professional nursing by leading, collaborating, and facilitating the practice of nursing. Ms. Gaden assists nursing leadership in problem solving, evaluation and improvement of delivery systems to improve patient care and outcomes. One arena where she does this is via the Chief Nurse Council (CNC). This forum coordinates and leads the quality program for the Nursing Department in collaboration with the Nursing Practice and Quality Council (NPQC), a component of the shared governance structure. Chaired by Ms. Gaden, the CNC monitors quality performance and makes quality management decisions directed toward improving care delivery, organizational performance and patient outcomes. The NPQC utilizes the best available evidence and data obtained through comprehensive, ongoing monitoring of patient processes and outcome indicators identified from established patient standards to make clinical and organizational decisions and drive policy development.

The CNC meets to examine progress toward established goals and is responsible for evaluating and overseeing all quality improvement initiatives for the Nursing Department. Evaluation of the quality plan is considered an iterative process; however, a formal review is completed during an annual retreat where major priorities are established by CNC and the Staff Nurse Council Congress. Priorities for the Nursing Department are determined by reviewing patterns and trends relative to nursing care activities during the previous 12 months. The evidence used for this ongoing review, outlined in the Nursing Quality Plan, includes:

  • Communication from all unit-based councils
  • Nursing sensitive indicator reports
  • Progress reports by the Nursing Practice and Quality Council
  • Nursing Education
  • Patient and staff satisfaction data
  • Patient Safety Event Reporting System summary reports.

As outlined in the Nursing Department Quality Program, goals for the current fiscal year support the organizational strategic priorities and include the areas of quality, service, growth, finance, staff and employee satisfaction. The Nursing Quality Plan outlines and defines organizational and unit-level goals to provide the highest possible quality patient centered nursing care.
The goals of the nursing quality program are as follows:

  • To foster a commitment to the pursuit of quality improvement (QI) at all levels of nursing through the education and participation of staff in quality improvement initiatives and adoption of Lean methodologies. Nurses at all levels are coached in quality improvement methods and Lean strategies in several ways, including hospital orientation, annual performance reviews and participation in hospital-wide programs. The nursing quality improvement program teaches nurses how to identify nurse sensitive quality improvement initiatives, sample appropriately and analyze and interpret data.
  • To utilize unit data as the basis for decision making regarding the delivery of nursing care. This is accomplished through systematic data collection and reporting on nurse sensitive measures, staffing effectiveness in relationship to key nursing measures, patient safety goals and patient satisfaction with nursing care. Nursing sensitive measures are identified, data collected, analyzed and communicated to nursing leadership and back to direct care nurses.
  • To benchmark internal and key national measures. HHS reports extensively on many nationally benchmarked measures.
  • To establish compliance with standards of care and regulatory requirements through ongoing monitoring of key measures. Nurse experts are available to assist nurses at all levels to comply with all established standards of care and regulatory requirements. Direct care nurses are also informed about rates of compliance and are encouraged to become directly involved in developing strategies for compliance. This occurs through staff meetings and involvement of staff in various committees.
  • To develop and test outcomes which reflect the direct contribution of nursing care to the attainment of high quality patient outcomes. The Nursing Research Council and the Nursing Practice and Quality Council assist with selection, collection and analysis of data.
  • To identify care issues that may benefit from performance improvement or focused evidence-based initiatives. The Nursing Research Council mentioned above assists with helping nurse leaders identify issues that could benefit from a quality improvement initiative. They also provide ongoing support throughout the QI process once the issue is identified.
  • To educate staff on valid and reliable measurement methods of data collection and analysis. The Nursing Research Council assists nurse leaders and staff nurses at HHS in accurate and reliable data collection methods.

The organizational quality improvement program provides the infrastructure for improving outcomes and supports services that are consistent with the mission, vision and values of the institution.

To join our nursing team

To join our nursing team, please search our openings. For questions regarding openings at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, call the Human Resources Department at 781-979-3764. For questions regarding openings at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, call the Human Resources Department at 781-306-6565.

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Michael V. Sack, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Hallmark Health System was named...

 

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