Today I’d like to introduce you to our Chief Nursing Officer, Hella Ewing. Hella is a high-energy leader (that’s an understatement!) who advocates for our patients, our nurses, and our organization every day.
Hella: All Children's Hospital has a wonderful reputation within the state of Florida and amongst many other hospitals nationally. We are one of only three freestanding children's hospitals in the state of Florida. I was working in another facility in the state where pediatrics was constantly competing with the adult facility for resources. Here, every specialty from pharmacy, lab, child life, respiratory, nursing and physicians are totally focused on caring for the sickest of kids.
Online I watched the new All Children's Hospital being built. We celebrated two years earlier this year. It is a beautiful facility with the newest technology and highly skilled care group. I think the biggest draw was after I interviewed with the front line staff. It was obvious how committed and compassionate they are about caring for kids. They truly care. It is part of the culture and I wanted to be a part of that. I recently celebrated my two year anniversary and I can say I am hooked! What more could any CNO ask for: a hospital full of kids that need our care and wonderful staff to provide the care that is needed. I am very fortunate that they chose me to be a part of their team!
Jay: You’ve made a clear commitment to include front line Nurses in every facet of their practice and work environment. What are some examples?
Hella: We are committed to being the number one children's hospital in the nation. To achieve this goal we have to have front line staff who are engaged and feel they are 'owners' in this institution. We can do this by allowing them to participate in the direction we want to take in nursing. So many great ideas come from the front line staff and it is leadership's job to make sure we decrease barriers and support these ideas. Over the last year the team created so many wonderful programs.
Our front line leadership class has accomplished many group projects. They developed the new nursing model for ACH. They developed the new clinical ladder to support professional growth. We restructured the governance structure to include many wonderful clinical councils that provide oversight of clinical care, clinical education, clinical research, advance practice and IT documentation. Nursing was not happy with their performance feedback tool and competency criteria. They revamped it to make the feedback much more relevant. The new leadership cohort is working on the foundational plan for Magnet status.
The future for nursing and other clinicians is bright. We look forward to developing our clinical relationship with our peers at Johns Hopkins. We are learning so much from each other. It is such an exciting time here. There is so much more to come.
Jay: You have a reputation for being passionate about Nursing and supporting Nurses at the bedside. Why is this so important to you?
Hella: My passion for nursing stems from my own personal experiences. My husband was hospitalized for over 4 months. During that time we both had such great support by the nursing staff. There are not too many professions that you can go home at night and know you made a difference in someone’s life. We know nursing is a tough career. What makes nursing so special is that it is more than a job. Sure we are competent at caring for our patients but we also support the families on an emotional and spiritual level.
Look around All Children's Hospital. We get to celebrate wonderful moments with our families. Moms and dads holding their baby for the first time in the NICU. A child that finally receives a heart after waiting for months. A teenager making prom when no one even thought they would be leaving the hospital. These are all wonderful celebrations. We are also a part of some sad moments where we hold each other, cry together and support families through some of the worse moments in their lives. This is what nursing is about.
We only hire the best of the best - the ones who want to be a part of these moments. We celebrate staff who are recognized by our patients, families and peers. Most are very humble and say it is part of the job. We know it is more than that. It is being a nurse here at All Children's. There is nothing more special.
We hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Hella, and will check us out each week for news, interviews, stories, and opportunities here at All Children’s Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine.