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Fostering a Commitment to Nursing

Fostering a Commitment to Nursing

May 08, 2024 Posted in: Patients & Providers  3 minute read time

During the pandemic, 100,000 nurses left the profession. For nurses looking to develop their careers, CHI Saint Joseph Health offers the opportunity to learn from experienced nurses who stayed.

“Nurses are motivated to serve and succeed in their professional careers,” said Andrea Holecek, EdD, MSN, MBA, RN, NE-BC, CENP, FACHE, vice president of patient care services at Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph London and Saint Joseph Mount Sterling. “If we don’t encourage and support nurses, they’ll move on to other organizations that will.”

Here are a few ways we’re helping our nurses thrive, so you receive the best care.

A Supported Transition

In May 2023, CHI Saint Joseph Health launched a new nurse residency program. This program targets all nurses who have less than a year of hospital-based experience.

Following a week-long orientation, nurses take assessments to ensure they have basic essential skills. They also attend classes, such as:

  • Heart rhythm
  • Telemetry (real-time patient monitoring)
  • Workplace violence


With these fundamentals in place, new nurses head to their hospital units. There, from day 1, they work alongside an assigned preceptor. These preceptors mentor new nurses, answer questions and act as a sounding board.

Nurses work alongside their preceptors for 18 to 24 weeks. During that time, nurses in the program attend a four-hour class each week to learn more about patient care within their specific departments.

“Whether the nurse is coming straight out of nursing school or from a nonhospital environment, the transition to hospital care is unique,” said Kami Poole-Warder, MBA, RN, CCM, NE-BC, vice president of patient care services at Saint Joseph East, market education and professional practice. “The nurse residency program supports nurses through that transition, helping them gain confidence and skills to provide the best possible patient care.”

Education Encouraged

Along with in-house education, we support nurses seeking to enhance their knowledge through advanced degrees and certifications. Such support has wide-reaching benefits.

“The more educated a health care organization is overall, the better the outcomes for the patients, employees and company,” Holecek said. “By helping our nurses develop professionally, we’re serving our community.”

Earning advanced degrees and certifications is more than an investment in time. To lighten the financial load, CHI Saint Joseph Health provides reimbursement in the following amounts:

  • $500 for professional maintenance. This annual reimbursement can go toward professional organization fees, continuing education credits and other activities that help nurses maintain certification. Part-time nurses can receive up to $250 annually.
  • $5,250 of tuition reimbursement. Through our affiliation with various colleges and universities, nurses enjoy discounted tuition programs. Additionally, our foundations provide scholarship opportunities to make it easier to earn career-advancing degrees.

Portfolio of Professionalism

We do our best to recognize nurses who push themselves to excellence. To keep up with their efforts, we encourage nurses to submit a portfolio of their ongoing professional and academic efforts. A team reviews their portfolios and awards monetary bonuses based on the nurses’ efforts.

Everything in the portfolio should demonstrate a commitment to the nursing profession, as well as the nurse’s community and patients. Items that fit into these portfolios include:

  • Attainment of academic degrees and certifications
  • Peer teaching and mentoring
  • Projects to improve patient care quality
  • Volunteer hours
  • Written and published articles

“We want our nurses to be aware of the latest practices and policies and feel empowered to provide the best possible care,” Poole-Warder said. “This support helps our nurses feel valued. When they feel valued, they stay here for years to come, growing their careers and caring for their community.”

The power of humankindness works here. Learn more about a career at CHI Saint Joseph Health

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