Med-Surg nurses are one of the largest groups of HCA employees

Med-Surg nurses are one of the largest groups of HCA employees - more than 15,000 of these nurses care for patients every day. Med-Surg is often an entry point for an HCA nurse before transferring to another unit, with many who choose to remain in Med-Surg throughout their HCA careers. HCA recognizes the unique needs of these specialty nurses, and launched the Excellence in Medical-Surgical Nursing Initiative. Over the next few years, three separate components of the initiative have been designed to enhance the training, leadership capabilities, and physical workplace of Med-Surg nurses.

The Initiative's Strategic Focus

  • Define excellence in Med-Surg nursing and develop a dashboard to monitor success
  • Aspire for professional practice to attain consistent, excellent performance on Med-Surg units
  • Prioritize investments in the Med-Surg environment
  • Innovate solutions that advance safe, effective and efficient care processes in the Med-Surg environment
  • Establish reward and recognition programs to drive continuous improvement

HCA's Medical-Surgical Directors Advisory Board meets monthly via conference call. A Nursing Director representative from each division serves on this enterprise-wide body. Members determine medical-surgical initiatives, address clinical concerns, and share best practices, with the goal of disseminating information to facilities to influence positive practice environments. Future goals include establishing a Professional Practice or equivalent council at the facility level to encourage nursing engagement in clinical practice.

Med-Surg nurses are specialists. Achieving certification recognizes their unique body of knowledge, and also challenges them to improve their skills. A variety of national certifications are supported through the Excellence in Medical-Surgical Nursing certification process. Each eligible nurse is responsible for determining the specialty that recognizes his or her experience level and acquired knowledge. HCA facilitates this process by sponsoring the testing fee for the national exam. In partnership with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), HCA participates in ANCC's "Success Pays™" accreditation program. Nurses who have at least two years of Med-Surg experience are eligible for certification testing.

National ANCC Nursing Certifications exams available include:

  • Med-Surg Nursing
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Cardiovascular Nursing
  • Nursing Executive

Additional National Nursing Certifications that are sponsored include:

  • Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) through the Medical Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB)
  • Orthopaedic Nursing (ONC) through the Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board
  • Oncology (OCN) through the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation

The certification challenge was launched in May 2014 and continues through December 2015. Nurses are encouraged to participate in the certification process, as it demonstrates a commitment to professional development.

Additional educational opportunities include:

  • Charge Nurse Education: The Frontline Leader Course
  • Preceptor Challenge Course
  • ONS/ONCC Chemotherapy Biotherapy Certificate Course

Recognizing Our Recently Certified Nurses

Over the next three years, HCA will spend $150 million on furniture and equipment replacement and upgrades in Med-Surg units at all facilities. This will include patient beds with a defined feature set which includes: ease of steering; low to floor; bed scales and exit. Other furniture and equipment upgrades include: family chair/bed, patient recliner, IV pole and pump as well as compression devices. Leaders at HCA facilities will prioritize and determine the need for capital funds. The focus will not be not solely on replacement, but also on innovative solutions that advance effective and efficient patient care processes, enhancing the patient/family experience.