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HCM receives designation for nursing excellence


Hill Country Memorial nurses from all departments gather to recognize the organization-wide efforts of nurses to provide safe, outstanding care. Back row: Duane DeLawter, Ruth Ann DeLawter, Hannah Ellwanger. Middle row: Terri Immel, Brooke Eckert, Jennifer Murray, Carrie Weaver, Christina Gonzalez, Karen O'Rourke. Front row: Gina Enderlin, Jessica Reinke, Allison Osborne

In June Hill Country Memorial received the Pathway to Excellence designation for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Hill Country Memorial is now one of only 152 hospitals and health care organizations worldwide to receive the designation.
The Pathway to Excellence designation identifies the elements of interprofessional work environments where nurses can flourish and feel invested in their work and the care they provide. The designation supports nursing job satisfaction at HCM and identifies it as one of the best places to work for nurses.
“This designation validates our organization’s excellence in nursing,” said HCM Chief Nursing Officer Maureen Polivka, R.N., B.S.N, J.D. “It confirms that our nurses are empowered and valued members of health care teams, and they know their efforts are supported.”
The Pathway to Excellence designation is granted based on the presence of the six standards.
• Shared decision-making
• Leadership
• Safety
• Quality
• Well-being
• Professional development
In order to earn the Pathway to Excellence distinction, HCM successfully underwent a thorough review process that documented quality initiatives in creating a positive work environment as defined by nurses and supported by research.
Furthermore, such initiatives were shown to be evident in the HCM’s practices, policies and culture. For example, HCM’s Clinical Practice Council includes nurses from every clinical unit of the hospital, Home Care and Hospice. The council meets monthly to discuss and recommend new processes, products and policy changes regarding the practice of nursing.
After the review process, more than 180 HCM nurses from the hospital, Home Care and Hospice departments were surveyed to validate the presence of the six Pathway to Excellence standards at HCM. Ninety-eight percent of respondents reported that they were involved in decision-making, meaning that they have authority to affect the work they do.
“HCM is committed to creating an environment where nurses excel and feel valued as vital members of health care teams,” said Polivka. “Empowered nurses are dedicated to their profession and invested in the best possible care for patients.”