Practice Model Updated

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Revised Model Defines Hopkins Nursing Practice

by Jennifer Walker

41_Practice_ModelWhen international nurses, such as those from the Hong Kong Health Authority, visit The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH), they ask to understand what Hopkins nurses do. But until last year, JHH nurses could only give them a 30-year-old answer.
Penned in 1981, the Hospital’s professional practice model (PPM)–which outlines how nurses govern themselves and make decisions about their units operations–needed to be modernized.

Compared to 30 years ago, “today’s Hopkins nurses are leading efforts to improve patient care, rather than participating in efforts,” says Stephanie Wilmer, MSN ’04, RN, Coordinator for Magnet and Nursing Quality. “We’re at the table where decisions are being made; we’re leading quality and safety initiatives. But until last spring, we never made [these facets of our work]a part of our practice model.”

Revised with input from 80 Magnet Ambassador nurses and released in spring 2012, the five-part professional practice model and accompanying graphic help nurses describe their work. They emphasize that nurses care for patients both professionally and personally; choose many paths to advance their careers; and participate on interprofessionnual committees, projects, and task forces to drive change in patient care.

Last year, the revised model was presented to 120 nurse leaders, many of whom used it to explain their work to foreign visitors.

This year, Wilmer is encouraging nurses to use the PPM to guide and evaluate their units’ strategic planning process.

Magnet Ambassador Tracy Haley, RN, RN-BC, says that the PPM also holds nurses personally accountable to professional standards. “It’s important for us to set goals and then work to achieve them,” she explains.

Still, Wilmer stresses that the updated PPM has not redefined the Hopkins nursing practice. “Nurses are already doing this every day,” she says. “But we haven’t always given ourselves credit for what we do. The new professional practice model brings [everything we do]together.”

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