ACE defines nursing proficiency and empowers nurses to further their education
and develop their professional skill sets. The official logo represents
MWHC’s investment in its nurses’ professional development
and the quality of patient care. The navy blue is representative of nursing
within our health system. MWHC supports their nurses’ growth and
wants to empower them to become an “ace” in their field.
MWHC Professional Practice Standards for Nursing
Having a professional practice model is essential to strengthening nursing
professionalism and enhancement of job satisfaction. Linked to high-quality
patient outcomes are structures to support nurse empowerment in controlling
their practice. Beginning January of 2015, we are happy to present to
the clinical bedside nurses, the Advancing Clinical Excellence (ACE) program.
This nurse-led program promotes a highly educated workforce and drives
succession planning. The foundation for ACE was adapted from Patricia
Benner’s novice to expert framework for the stages of clinical competence
and is based on the principles of the Magnet Recognition Program.
Regardless of the service, specialty, or practice location, every clinical
nurse who practices at the bedside across Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC)
is an ACE member. This program is not based on a point system, nor does
it include advance practice nurses or those holding specialty roles (such
as case manager, clinical nurse specialist, or educator). Every clinical
registered nurse (RN) has a job description, job code, and classification
as a Level 1 Novice, Level 2 Competent, Level 3 Advanced, Proficient,
or Level 4 Expert. The ACE program provides a framework for performance
evaluation based on the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Standards
of Clinical Nurse Practice, and supports clinical nurse career goal development
through advancement. Four categories of practice exist, with titles aligned
to match the Magnet Model components: 1) exemplary professional practice,
2) transformational leadership, 3) structural empowerment, 4) new knowledge,
innovations, and improvements.
Currently, the ACE program is governed by a board of 22 clinical nurses
who represent all areas of the hospital. The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO),
Magnet Program Director, and Human Resources representatives are non-voting
members. There are three Nursing Executive Committee (NEC) Liaisons that
aid the Chair of the Board. Being a member of this Board carries a great
deal of responsibility for those selected will serve as ambassadors to
our community and adhere to the highest level of ethical standards. Board
members are appointed by the CNO and to serve the health system is viewed
as a privilege.
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