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Resource Nurse Programs

Simmons, Shelley, BSN, RN

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AJN The American Journal of Nursing: December 2011 - Volume 111 - Issue 12 - p 12
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000408165.89489.c5
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I'm a nurse manager at a busy rural medical–surgical unit and always looking for innovative ways to improve quality patient care. After reading "Creating a Unit-Based Resource Nurse Program" (Cultivating Quality, September), I wondered about the potential of this type of program on my unit. It could improve RN-to-RN interaction, help to build critical thinking skills, and lead to the mentoring of novice nurses and improvements in clinical judgment. Each of these concepts is delicate: without one, the others will suffer, especially in an environment with complex patient populations and relatively novice nurses.

The implications for quality patient care outcomes and a healthy work environment are significant, and using current staff members to fill the resource nurse role is a creative way to do more with less. In rural settings, resources and quality mentoring potential may be limited due to natural attrition. A quality resource nurse program could supplement the mentorship process and provide greater leadership throughout an organization.

Shelley Simmons, BSN, RN

Altus, OK

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.