UCLA Medical Center

This top-ranked hospital gives credit where it's due

By Katy Allgeyer
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Working Nurse recently gave a shout out to representatives of many of California’s top-ranked hospitals. We asked what gives them that winning edge conferred by “best of the best” status? Frankly, we were not surprised to learn that the key to top rankings begins with — wanna guess? — nurses.

Heidi Crooks, RN, MA, senior associate director of patient care services & operations at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, put it this way: “We recruit only the very best RNs and that is absolutely the key to our success. We hire about 260 new grads each year and our RNs go through a one-year residency.” In talking with Ms. Crooks, we discovered that UCLA Medical Center has a vacancy rate of less than a one percent concerning nursing positions. They must be doing something right to keep their nurses from traveling. What does UCLA do to achieve such consistency and loyalty among their nursing staff?

“We are very much about engaging our workforce in decision-making and in helping decide on the up-to-date practices we have,” Crooks told us. “Being a top-ranked hospital starts with employees and who you include to work on goals. We recruit using a value-based screening of our employees. We hire those that connect to the goals of the UCLA Medical Center.”

UCLA offers their working nurses numerous continuing education workshops, symposiums and opportunities to participate in the learning institute. “We invest resources in the nursing management level. In addition to clinical and learning, we encourage our nurses to pursue leadership roles to become charge nurses, assistant nurse managers and so on.”

Achieving the status of a top-ranked hospital really does begin with nurses. Having the most contact with patients, nurses truly are the nuts and bolts and the true “face” of any medical facility. Being the best of the best requires dedicated nurses. Crooks left us with these words: “Patients feel a relationship to their RNs, trusting that their compassion and their knowledge-base makes for the safest hospital.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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