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A Magnet for Pride, Devotion and Commitment

Conversations with Karen Grimley

Karen A. Grimley, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, Chief Nurse Executive, UCLA Health, Assistant Dean, UCLA School of Nursing
Karen A. Grimley, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, Chief Nurse Executive, UCLA Health, Assistant Dean, UCLA School of Nursing

Happy New Year!  Did you know the World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife? What a wonderful and esteemed recognition for nurses and midwives in the year of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday.

You embody the essence of this profession. Your pride and devotion to our patients, families and community is evident in what each of you do every day you come to work at UCLA, as is your commitment to improve the care environment for both patients and nurses. You are essential to our ongoing Magnet journey, carrying out our vision to heal humankind, one patient at a time, by improving health, alleviating suffering and delivering acts of kindness. The designations of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica and The Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA as ANCC Magnet institutions further validates the transformative nature of the work that each of you do. Your success is reflected in the clinical and experience outcomes realized by our patients, our organization and all of you.

Pride, devotion and commitment are born out of a desire to accomplish something that is important to you. It is fueled by personal values and drives achievement. While we might not be sure if we picked nursing or if nursing picked us, we are nurses. As individuals, we have committed to honor the American Nurses Association scope of practice and accepted our social contract of advocacy and caring. And here we are, at UCLA Health, a premier health care organization dedicated to patient care that is compassionate, kind and respectful as well as technically excellent.

How did we get here? Each of us has his or her own personal story of their journey to nursing. These stories are rich with compassion, personal loss, joy, risk-taking and more. During this Year of the Nurse and Midwife I would like to share some of these wonderful journeys with our colleagues in the hope they will inspire and renew the spirit of caring and give each of you a moment to be proud of the difference you make to colleagues, patients, family and community every day by being a NURSE.

For many of you, nursing is a vocation and something that is woven into the core of who you are. I know that is what it is for me. Being a nurse is not something I do for work; it is who I am. As a chief nurse, I spend my days listening for the voice of the patient and the nurses who care for them. Sometimes it is difficult to hear those voices through the layers of organizational complexity. This makes me work harder to peel away those layers by seeking different ways to hear you. That may be stopping by a unit, attending a staff meeting, participating in AN I and AN II forums, the unit directors’ meetings or professional governance councils. Other times it is by delivering introductions to Re-igniting the Spirit of Caring, Leadership essentials or Magnet essentials classes.

Listening to you this past year has helped us remove barriers to your ability to be at the bedside, improve leadership support and improve your safety. This year, the nursing leadership team and I will be stepping up our game, but we can’t do that without you. You are the backbone of this organization and, I am very proud to say, one of the finest nursing organizations with which I ever have had the privilege to work. Your commitment to our patients and health care teams is a shining example of nursing excellence in action. Your practice far exceeds the Magnet standards, and I am excited about your opportunity to share your accomplishments and our Magnet journey when our survey team arrives.


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