Vice President, Nursing Services
Chief Nursing Officer
Tim, RN, hardly takes a breath when he is on a roll. And whenever he's talking about nursing and South Shore Hospital, he is definitely on a roll.
As vice president of nursing services and chief nursing officer, Tim oversees a team of nearly 1,000 nurses. Together with his administrative colleague – Rose DiPietro, RN, vice president of clinical, home health and support services – he is leading the charge to set a new standard for nursing at South Shore Hospital.
“With the investments that we’ve made in recent years, we are not a run-of-the-mill hospital,” he says. “Our organization is providing more clinically complex, time-sensitive interventions than ever before – and doing it with our traditional ‘high touch.’ We’re top tier. I call it ‘technology with a face.’”
Tim should know. After a dozen years at Massachusetts General Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, and years as a nurse on burn units as well as a neonatal intensive care unit respiratory therapist, Tim is intimately familiar with what top hospitals provide their patients – and their nurses.
“Good nurses like to keep up with the latest advances in patient care,” Tim explains, “They also want to know that they will be supported in their decision-making and that they are working in an environment that’s safe.”
One of the first things Tim did after arriving at South Shore Hospital in 2004 was to add clinical nurse specialists to the nursing staff. Clinical nurse specialists – or “clin specs” – are advanced practice nurses who have master's degrees in nursing and specialize in a particular field. A clinical nurse specialist has special expertise in patient care, family education, and staff support. Today the hospital has 21 clin specs with expertise in adult and neonatal critical care, maternal/child, perioperative, medical-surgical, orthopedics, oncology, emergency, pediatric, and cardiovascular nursing care. All are involved in developing continuing education programs for the hospital’s nursing staff. In addition, the nursing team includes a nurse scientist who supports staff in defining and applying evidence-based nursing practice.
As Tim sees it, clinical nurse specialists are an outstanding resource for all nurses. Each is assigned to a specific nursing unit, where staff nurses benefit from their expertise.
“Nursing is an evolving science,” Tim explains. “Our clin specs are helping our experienced staff nurses learn new ways of providing nursing care. When we put into practice the latest in evidence-based nursing care, everyone wins. Our nurses win, because it is professionally rewarding to learn new skills. And our patients win, because they are benefiting from the latest nursing interventions.”
Under Tim’s leadership, South Shore Hospital is pursuing Magnet Status. Magnet status is an award given by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC), an affiliate of the American Nurses Association, to hospitals that satisfy a set of criteria designed to measure the strength and quality of their nursing. A Magnet hospital is stated to be one where nursing delivers excellent patient outcomes, where nurses have a high level of job satisfaction, and where there is a low staff nurse turnover rate.
Tim credits the resurgence of Shared Governance as a major reason why nurses choose to work at South Shore Hospital.
“The fundamental belief behind Shared Governance is that patients are best served when practice decisions are made by the health care team members closest to their sides,” says Tim. “Shared Governance gives our nurses a voice in the important clinical decisions that are made for our patients.”
“Good nurses want to be challenged, constantly trained and supported,” he says. “It’s my goal to assure that South Shore Hospital continues to offer our nurses the most progressive and stimulating work environment possible.”
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