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BENNINGTON — Throughout the month of August, the nurses of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, participated in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) RN Survey, which measures nurse job satisfaction. The results are in. SVMC’s nurses scored SVMC higher than the national average in all categories. Studies link high nurse satisfaction with improved patient outcomes.

“We have so many nurses and leaders from all areas working together to make SVMC the best place to build a satisfying nursing career, and those efforts are paying off,” said Connie A. Jastremski, RN, MS, MBA, ANP-C, FCCM, chair of the SVHC Board of Trustees Board Quality Committee. “When nurses are happy and empowered, patients, get the highest quality care. That’s why these measures are so important.”

Nurses from all departments rated the practice environment, staff participation in policy decisions, accessibility of the chief nursing officer, job enjoyment, the administration’s demonstrated response to employee concerns, recognition for a job well done, adequate staffing and resources, nurse-physician working relationships, autonomy, and others.

SVMC’s nurses rated the hospital particularly high in a category designed to determine nurses’ satisfaction with their role in making important decisions about care.

“Members of the leadership team are present in clinical areas,” said Debora Malachuk, RN, BSN, who has worked as a nurse in the Medical-Surgical Department for 16 years. “They are quick to listen and support us in any way that we need. With that familiarity and collaboration, I feel empowered to make changes that positively impact my patients.”

While all measures were positive compared with industry averages nationwide, the survey provided information about areas that hold the greatest opportunity for improvement, including the need to offer more career development and continuing education programs. It also identified departments that are thriving and those that need additional support.

“We are proud of the 2022 results and grateful for the information we need to improve even more,” said Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President for Patient Care Services Pamela Duchene, APRN, PhD. Noting a gain in survey results over 2021, Duchene continued, “our year-over-year performance gives me great confidence that we have the systems and tools we need to continue the positive trend in ways that matter most to our nurses.”

Developed by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and administered by Press Ganey, the NDNQI® is a validated instrument for measuring nurse satisfaction and hospital quality. The program database examines the relationships between nursing satisfaction and patient outcomes. Healthcare systems use the information to guide nursing strategy. More than 2,000 U.S. hospitals and 98% of Magnet®-recognized facilities participate in the NDNQI program.


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