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Investing in and advancing clinicians

We believe excellent people make excellence happen, and we offer a variety of educational programs and partnerships to ensure a strong pipeline of nurses and physicians to our facilities. We’re also committed to listening to our clinicians and providing the tools they need.

Nursing at HCA Healthcare

Nurses have an unwavering commitment to caring for their patients and supporting each other. While the COVID-19 pandemic showed the world how vital our frontline colleagues are, it re-emphasized another industry-wide issue – nursing staffing challenges – that was a concern before the pandemic. In its State of the World’s Nursing 2020 report, the World Health Organization estimated a global shortage of 5.9 million nurses.

For the past several years, HCA Healthcare’s strategic vision for nursing was focused on investing in nursing through four key pillars: advocacy and leadership, increasing performance visibility, consistency in nursing practice and operations and leveraging scale to drive performance. In 2022, we are refining our nursing strategy approach by building on previous strategic pillars and focusing more on innovative ways to solve nursing staffing challenges and enabling nurses to practice at the top of their license.

Our 2022 nursing strategy was developed by listening to nurses at all levels of our organization and will be guided by these four pillars: advocacy and leadership, staffing and care team support, education and academic partnerships, and professional practice. This emphasis on listening to our colleagues will continue through dedicated nurse workgroups.

2022 nursing strategy pillars

Advocacy and Leadership

Advocacy and Leadership

Develop extraordinary leaders at every level and provide unparalleled opportunities for a career for a lifetime by:

  • Recruiting and retaining the workforce
  • Developing nursing leadership
Staffing and Care Team Support

Staffing and Care Team Support

Create innovative and effective care delivery models to support care teams and meet patient needs by:

  • Optimizing technology
  • Diversifying and optimizing the workforce
  • Improving nursing workload and patient safety
  • Enhancing nursing communication
Education and Academic Partnerships

Education and Academic Partnerships

Access to industry-leading education and career development opportunities to positively impact patient care by:

  • Gaining nursing market share
  • Strengthening new nurse competency
  • Expanding access to Centers for Clinical Advancement
Professional Practice

Professional Practice

Ensure ownership of evidence-based practice to elevate nursing excellence by:

  • Improving nurse sensitive quality indicators
nurse as <span class='text-nowrap'>HCA Healthcare</span>

Vickie Estrada, BSN, RN, Staff Nurse Transplant Nephrology, Research Medical Center

Education opportunities

Galen College of Nursing

HCA Healthcare is the majority owner of Galen College of Nursing, one of the country’s largest private nursing colleges. This partnership provides our nursing colleagues with access to more education and career development opportunities. We continue to expand access to quality nursing education by opening new campuses around the country.

In November, Galen and Fisk University, a Historically Black University, announced an articulation agreement that allows Fisk degree coursework credits to transfer to Galen so students can go directly into Galen’s BSN program. Students can complete the BSN program in as little as two years. This will help Fisk students obtain degrees that can lead to advancement and growth, drive diversity in the nursing field, and in turn make a meaningful impact on the quality of healthcare in the communities we serve.

HCA Healthcare’s tuition assistance program includes the HCA Healthcare-Galen College of Nursing Grant, which allows direct billing between our two organizations. That means zero out-of-pocket tuition costs for colleagues pursuing an online RN to BSN. Galen offers other unique programs — both online and at campuses across the country — to HCA Healthcare colleagues.

HCA Healthcare invests approximately $40 million per year in the tuition assistance program, which has helped about 5,000 colleagues graduate. More than 70% of degrees have been in the nursing field.

Richard Casserino, Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC

students learning with medical dummy

Left to right: Research College of Nursing students (2022) Angie Lopez Rodriguez, BSN; Ebele Egbuniwe, BSN; Ellan Harder, BSN

“When I went into my unit, I was met with a team of nurses that was just so eager to help me grow as a person, as a nurse and as a leader. You go from learning something online to doing it in simulation lab and then having to perform it on the floor.”

Janie Holmes, MSN, RN, CPN
Nurse Residency Cohort Graduate
Manager of Pediatric ICU
TriStar Centennial Medical Center

Nurse Residency + StaRN programs

Our year-long Nurse Residency Program includes more than 500 hours of clinical education both in the classroom and at the bedside. Graduate nurses work with a community of experienced nurses and their fellow residents to better prepare for their nursing career.

Our StaRN (Specialty Training Apprenticeship for Registered Nurses) Program provides intensive training for our nursing students.

Centers for Clinical Advancement

HCA Healthcare currently has 11 Centers for Clinical Advancement, including a co-location with Galen College of Nursing. These simulation learning centers across the country give our nurses the opportunity to continue their clinical education with lifelike simulation equipment so they can feel confident and knowledgeable in a variety of patient care situations.

224,835

residency/StaRN hours

107,630

simulation hours

13,900+

orientation hours

116,665

miscellaneous class hours

12,330+

non-education hours

4,810+

individual learning events, classes, meetings and simulation events occurred in 2021

Advancing care through technology

HCA Healthcare provides technologies to our care teams to promote the best outcomes for our patients and improve efficiencies for our nurses. HCA Healthcare was recognized as a 2021 CIO 100 award winner for Collaborative Nursing Technology. These awards honor organizations that are using information technology in innovative ways.

Our Information Technology Group (ITG) and Clinical Operations Group (COG) hosted a Coding for Caregivers event in the spring. Nurses were asked to submit ideas for improving work efficiencies at the patient bedside. After more than 5,000 ideas were received, nearly 600 participants worked together in 29 teams to create solutions, some of which are currently under development for our nurses.

The HCA Inspire app allows our nurses to connect with peers and mentors, grow professionally, access their schedules and more.

Through iMobile, a secure text messaging system, our nurses can easily communicate and share information with other members of the care team, receive updates on patient status and be alerted when a patient needs them.

Our Care Team Assignment (CTA) application consolidates staff assignments for several downstream clinical systems like Nurse Call and Mobile Heartbeat. It serves as the single source for a patient's care team information and allows other tools like Sepsis Prevention and Optimization of Therapy (SPOT) to identify a patient's caregiver at any given time. CTA data also provides insight into staffing acuities for our inpatient nursing units. At the close of 2021, 91 sites were live across our system, helping to reduce the number of applications and devices that a nurse or other staff member needs to assign themselves during the shift, and allowing us to better identify more members of the care team like respiratory therapists or case managers for more targeted clinical decision support and communications.

ICON (Integrated Clinical and Operational Navigation) is an integrated performance management program for HCA Healthcare leadership that provides team-based action planning, shared performance improvement, unit performance and strategic mapping. The goal of the ICON tool is to empower nursing leadership with an enhanced, standardized communication framework as well as provide access to shared best practices. ICON allows a unit director to build a team and a culture of continuous performance improvement, rather than reactionary planning following an event occurring. This prolific change to proactive management of nursing performance results in improved teamwork, culture, safety and quality outcomes for the patient. It is currently being utilized in six divisions and 42 facilities across HCA Healthcare, with multiple additional integrations planned in 2022.

hca inspire mobile app displayed on a phone
photo of smartphones
coding for caregivers award
person working on server

Valerie Wilen, CRNA, Overland Park Regional Medical Center