Nurses at Baptist Health System hospitals in San Antonio make it a priority to serve as a “Community Built on Care” in all aspects of their work. One way in particular is through the creation of the Nurse Practice Council (NPC) at each of the system’s hospitals in San Antonio and New Braunfels.
Kristen Lemus, San Antonio/Nacogdoches/Rio Grande group chief nursing officer, said the aim of the NPC is to give staff a platform to initiate improvements that will positively impact patient care, safety and quality. “Our aim is to empower staff to have a voice in how nursing at our hospitals functions and grows,” Lemus said. “This is an essential part of the shared governance goal of NPC.” Lemus added that participants in the NPC receive mentoring and fostering of their leadership skills.
Comprised of RNs from every nursing unit in the hospitals, the NPC meets regularly to review various agenda items with the goal that individual unit representatives relay the information to their respective unit councils for review, consideration and implementation.
Hospital council members are encouraged to bring forth ideas, questions and concerns from their unit NPC councils to the meeting to share, seek and gain clarification, and create solutions to challenges.
“It is vital that we work together to encourage involvement among the nurses at our hospitals and unit levels to allow the next generation of nursing leaders to grow and succeed,” Lemus said. “This is truly cultivating a ‘community built on care’ for not only our patients, but for our colleagues as well. When our nurses succeed, our patients and customers will benefit as a result.”
Photo Caption: Kristen Lemus, RN, Tenet group chief nursing officer (far left), poses with nurses from Baptist Medical Center. They are among the nursing leaders who participate in the Baptist Health System’s Nurse Practice Council.