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Happy Nurses Week!

Happy Nurses Week!

As we celebrate another Nurses Week this year, we take deep pride in the fact that for 18 consecutive years, nurses have ranked as the most trusted professionals in America. From what I have had the privilege of witnessing, this is especially true of the nurses here in the Memorial Healthcare System. Ethics and honesty drive the wonderful care that is provided to our patients and families, and the results have simply been superb. This year was extra special as we celebrated the honor of receiving the highest award for quality bestowed by the Florida Hospital Association for the exemplary MHS Nursing Strategic Plan, which has been put into operation so effectively that the nursing sensitive outcomes produced as a result are second to none. Our team rocks. Our patients benefit.

The theme of this year’s Nurses Week: “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health” is more appropriate than ever. It will be a memorable year. Nurses are literally impacting millions of lives across the world as the COVID-19 virus wreaks its havoc. At the center of care for those seriously affected are the nursing professionals who must maintain a prolonged physical and emotional closeness with their patients at a time the world at large must practice social distancing. While most current conversations are filled with references to having no guide, playbook, or roadmap to address the crisis, nurses have quickly adapted their scientific knowledge and their art of compassion in different ways to meet the needs of those entrusted to their care. They are creating the guide and writing history that will beneficially impact nursing care in the future.

And yet, even with all the hardship thrust upon them, these unprecedented times have not stopped our nurses from quickly adjusting or reshaping the basic tenets of their practice known to produce healing and reduce unnecessary suffering. We see evidence of nurses’ adaptability and perseverance everywhere we turn. In the ICUs for example, nurses now carefully thread the high touch, high tech equipment through a patient’s door to reduce the risk of viral spread. Nurses are also deploying and troubleshooting technological innovations to counter and work around the patient visitation restrictions, to continue facilitating much-needed family and social connections. They celebrate their patients’ milestone achievements in full personal protective gear with as much enthusiasm as they did in easier times.

Just as importantly, nurses also extend care to each other by weaving humor into their workflow in order to lift each other’s spirits and keep everyone in flight. They volunteer to step out of their comfort zones to help their sisters and brothers in hospitals across the healthcare system. There is simply no challenge too large for Memorial Nurses to overcome.

This year we will collect special memories, on which we will surely reflect for many years in the future. We are blessed with the best nurses, the best epidemiologists, and the best resources to be able to see the blue sky ahead through the clouds of our current situation. I am forever grateful to have the privilege of being a nurse on your team, the Memorial Team, and for the opportunity to witness your selfless dedication to our patients, our families, and to each other.

Happy Nurses Week 2020!

With Pride, Hope, and Gratitude,

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Home Is Where The Healing Begins.

Flexibility and Autonomy

For over 15 years, Dawn de la Vega has been a part of Memorial Healthcare System. Starting with direct patient care in a procedural area, Dawn then climbed the Clinical Ladder and advanced to a Manager position when she earned her Master’s degree. Now as Director of Nursing for Memorial Home Health, Dawn is building a compassionate, high-caliber clinical team!

The flexibility and autonomy that Home Health offers are what drew Dawn, and nurses like Aislinn Woody, to the job. Aislinn began working at Memorial in March as a Home Health RN. Raising a six-year-old child with a husband who’s deployed nearly half the year isn’t an easy task, so the flexibility Home Health affords Aislinn has been a blessing. Not only is she able to better care for her patients and her own family; Aislinn can now focus on her pursuing her education and earning her doctorate in nursing.

Working inside of patient’s homes gives Aislinn a lot of autonomy, but that doesn’t mean they’re not supported by their team. “You can go a week without setting foot in the office, but you’re still in a supportive environment. My clinical manager is always available to communicate,” says Aislinn. It’s this flow of communication that allows Home Health Nurses at Memorial to go above and beyond. By facilitating interdisciplinary communication, we’re able to use a holistic approach to improve a patient’s recovery.


Custom Tailored Nursing

Many nurses find working in Home Health takes some adjustment, especially if they’ve transitioned from an acute care clinical setting. As a home health nurse, you must be on top of your game, be able to think on your feet, and really understand the art of nursing. “The idea of going into home health was a little nerve-wracking at first. You have a lot of resources and support in the hospital.” Aislinn continued, “Home Health requires a nurse to shift in their thinking. It’s more about teaching patients to manage their health or illness at home, independently. You really want to empower patients to do it for themselves.”

While many nurses may find that adjustment challenging at first, the genuine gratitude they receive from their patients is just as rewarding. “Working in Home Health was one of my favorite jobs because you’re in the patient’s environment. Plus, I rarely came across a patient who didn’t appreciate or express their gratitude for every single visit,” says Dawn. “You’re working to help them be as healthy as they can be in the environment they want to be in.” Aislinn added, “Seeing patients succeed and watching them take ownership of their health is special. It’s something you can’t see in other settings. Recently, I took care of a woman in her 90s, who was very close to her family. They wanted to care for her, so I had to teach them how to administer an IV, remove a catheter, etc. It was wonderful seeing them come together and care for her so she could remain in a setting where she was comfortable.”


Our Culture. Your Career.

The love of a hands-on approach to in-home patient care isn’t the only thing that attracted Dawn and Aislinn to Memorial. Our culture played a significant role in their decision as well. “I was surprised by Memorial’s culture and ongoing commitment to training. As a leader, you know that when you take care of your employees, they will take care of your patients.” Dawn continues, “Also, the visibility and the human factor associated with our Executive Leadership. They’ve always been visionary, they’ve always done well by the organization, but their egos don’t reflect it. They’re just genuine.”

Another aspect of our culture that Aislinn found attractive was Memorial’s commitment to the community: “I believe in the not-for-profit healthcare model. So it was nice to find an organization like that in a place dominated by for-profit healthcare systems. They fill the niche of being a part of the community they serve.”

Finally, Dawn has some excellent advice for any nurse looking to join the Memorial Home Health team. She says, “Not only seek us out because of the excellent organization we are but bring your own ideas too. That’s what helps us become even better. We can always learn from energetic, motivated people.”

Learn more about #teamMHSflrodia and become a part of our fantastic Home Health Nursing Team.


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Exceptional Nurses. Extraordinary Care.

At the heart of Oncology are teamwork and passion.

Ana Rosa Espinosa, Administrative Director of the Oncology Clinical Services at Memorial Cancer Institute (MCI), and Nicolette Christie, Nurse Manager for Inpatient/Outpatient Oncology, have spent a combined total of 17 years with Memorial Healthcare System. Ana and Nicolette know first hand how Memorial’s culture has shaped everything from patient interactions to how they work together as a team.

Memorial prides itself on the culture it’s built, especially when it comes to nursing. “The nursing culture here involves coordinated teamwork,” says Ana Rosa Espinosa. “The team really works together and help each other out. Nicolette added, “It’s unbelievable. They get so involved and into their work with our patients.”

Oncology is a fast-paced and challenging speciality that requires vigilance. Patients are often very ill and are administered medications that can cause severe side effects and allergic reactions. This means Oncology nurses must remain on guard. Ana Rosa Espinosa says, “To work in Oncology, you have to have a passion for this. It’s really hard work. When you are giving patients an infusion of Chemo, you’re doing it all day long. You have to be aware of the side effect because, in one second, a reaction could happen.” Nicolette added, “The patient could say they see a little flicker in their eye and you have to pick up on that because that could be the start of something.”

Putting patients and nurses first.

One way MCI attracts the best nursing talent in the industry is by prioritizing their professional needs. We offer cross-training opportunities for our nurses, OCN certification reimbursement, and pay raises of 5% for every rung of the clinical ladder our nurses climb. “More than 50% of our RNs take part in the clinical ladder,” says Nicollete. “We also have a program called Tea for the Soul where our Psychologists provide counseling sessions to our team members, to help staff cope with the loss of a patient, ” says Nicolette.

In return, our nurses give our patients the compassion and world-class care that Memorial Healthcare System is known for. The Memorial Cancer Institute caters to the needs of our patients and their families by offering a variety of services including genetic counseling and testing, massage therapy, blood/iron transfusions, survivorship plans and more. Ana Rosa Espinosa explains, “We’re providing a unique service. We even offer a fast track for patients who need a quick injection, so they don’t have to wait for hours while other patients may be receiving an all-day infusion.”

To keep our nurses practicing at the top of their license, we provide the emotional and professional support they need to be at their very best. Learn more about #teamMHSflrodia and discover how you can be a part of our incredible Oncology Nursing team.

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Multiple Patients. One Nurse.

Delivering joy for high-risk patients.

With over 36 years of combined experience, Gessy Targete-Johnson and Hortense Martin understand the dedication, passion, and diligence it takes to provide care for high-risk mothers and their babies.

“For Obstetrics, expectations for new nurses are high,” says Targete-Johnson, Director of Nursing at Memorial Hospital Miramar. “We expect nurses to be competent, compassionate and respect the leadership and patients involved with the unit.” added Martin, Nurse Manager of the High-Risk Antepartum Unit .“We want to hear what you have to say because you’re the one working closely with the patients. We want you to feel like you’re part of the team because you and your input is valued and wanted.”

The challenge for nurses in the field of high-risk OB is caring for two or more patients at once, but technology helps in this endeavor. As Targete-Johnson explains, “Fetal monitors are the number one instrument for Antepartum patients because you have one patient you can see and the other is in utero. So monitors such as the new FM40s help nurses and doctors observe  the baby’s health and gestation.” Martin added, “New ultrasound machines also allow us to see more than the patients basic anatomy.” Still, nurses can’t just rely on technology. They must stay diligent and detailed-oriented. Even minor changes in blood pressure can have dire consequences for soon-to-be mothers and their babies.

A happy staff means happy patients.

Memorial’s culture revolves around patient- and family- centered care, but  that doesn’t mean the needs of the staff are left to the wayside. As Jane McCarthy, Director of Nursing for High Risk Obstetrics at Memorial Regional Hospital puts it, “The culture of caring is the core basis for all we do at Memorial Healthcare System. It is a balance on taking care of patients, their families and each other. In other health systems, you take care of the patients and then you take care of the staff. Here we believe in taking care of the staff and in turn they will take care of the patients and their families, and as a result everyone benefits. Our team works diligently to ensure high quality care while caring for the family unit as a whole.”

Other ways Memorial keeps our standards high and our OB nurses working at maximum efficiency are by giving them a workload they can handle. This gives high-risk mothers, and their babies, the attention and care they need. McCarthy says, “We follow the AWHONN standards for nurse to patient ratios”.  Whether it’s having access to the best technology around or utilizing the industry’s best practices, Memorial is dedicated to giving its nurses the tools they need to succeed.

The future of L&D and High Risk Obstetrics at Memorial.

Memorial Hospital Miramar’s new six-bed antepartum unit is home to nurses who are  tasked with caring for high-risk mothers. These soon-to-be mothers who are at risk of complications arising from early delivery, high blood pressure, diabetes and more require the skills and knowledge of seasoned OB nurses. Targete-Johnson explains, “We’re seeing sicker as well as older moms in the population. As they get older, these types of units are needed more and more.”

It’s Targete-Johnson and Martin’s hope to ultimately expand the unit beyond the initial six beds to meet the rising demand of the population. To do that, they need like-minded nurses who are just as dedicated to caring for these vulnerable patients. It’s this focus on patient care that will drive the success of the unit into the future and beyond.

Learn more about #teamMHSflorida and how you can become a part of our new antepartum unit.


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Nothing more rewarding.

Bring your passion to Rehab Nursing.

With 18 years of experience at Memorial Healthcare System, Jackie Zayas, Director of Nursing at Memorial Regional Hospital South, knows a good rehab nurse when she sees one.

“Rehab Nursing has a different philosophy when it comes to patient care,” begins Zayas. At Memorial, nurses work closely with physicians and a multidisciplinary care team, to help set little goals that lead to major milestones. However, “it’s a challenge to find nurses with the level of clinical skill to care for medically complex patients with rehabilitation needs.”

“The work also requires a positive attitude of encouragement to help patients meet their goals for improved functionality and transition back into the community,” Zayas continues. “When you see a patient who has come in debilitated actually start walking again, that’s the whole ‘wow’ of nursing. Seeing the efforts of everyone coming together is just priceless. Progress is a beautiful thing to see.”

Memorial looks for Rehab Nurses with 1-2 years of experience, but will also train Telemetry and Medical Surgical unit nurses. “We have a new nurse residency program, as well as a 12-16 week orientation in Rehab Nursing. There is a lot to learn about our unique philosophy of hands-on rehab nursing, a lot to learn about body mechanics. Critical thinking skills are a must,” stresses Zayas.

“We want nurses who are open-minded, willing to learn and get involved. Nurses who set the bar higher and have a passion to make a difference. True professionals who have a burning fire inside of them to grow as a clinician. There are always opportunities here.”

Perhaps most important is the desire to assimilate into Memorial’s culture. “We hold each other accountable, but we also forgive easily,” Zayas explains. “We celebrate small wins, collaborate with transparency, and focus on solutions. We take care of each other too. Knowing that everything we do together trickles down to the patient and their success.”

Learn more about #teamMHSflorida and how you can join us, when you search for nursing careers now.

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Learning alongside the best.

New Nurse Residency Program welcomes inaugural class. 

We’re so excited to have just launched the Memorial Healthcare System Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency

Program™, with our inaugural class of 70 nurses. This one-year program has been created to transition and engage new nursing graduates in an opportunity for learning, curiosity and success in clinical practice. Highlights include:

  • The Nurse Residency is spearheaded by Maggie Hansen, Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive, in partnership with Anthony G. Gonzalez, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, Director of the Nurse Residency Program. The program is also fully supported by the CNOs and Nurse Educators at each of the six Memorial hospital locations.
  • Evidence-based curriculum and diverse learning opportunities have been designed to extend basic nurse education and skills growth in areas such as leadership concepts, patient outcomes, and the role of a professional nurse.
  • Residents are assigned to a home unit and Memorial facility. Current residency tracks include Inpatient Rehab, Med/Surg/Telemetry, Oncology, Emergency, Critical Care, Pediatrics and Women’s Services.

In addition to Memorial scholarship recipients and other external candidates, the program is also open to current non-nurse employees who have recently graduated from nursing school. See what one new nurse had to say about her transition to a clinical career:

“I attended orientation today and am very excited to say that I’m now part of the Memorial team of nurses. It’s been a dream of mine since I started working in registration in the ER. The most impactful part of my day was when I traded my patient financial badge for my registered nurse badge! I have had the privilege to work alongside amazing nurses for the past five years and am excited to finally begin my own nursing journey.

Our nursing culture inspires the achievement of superior outcomes through a shared vision, professional excellence, interdisciplinary leadership and collaboration. If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to be a Memorial Nurse, please visit our Nursing Careers page.

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Join a Progressive Care Unit with its own unique personality

The new Progressive Care Unit at Memorial Hospital Pembroke is open for growth, having recently transitioned from Telemetry to Step Down in order to meet community needs.

Approximately 80 percent of patients on the new 22-bed unit are transferred from Critical Care with condition like Congestive Heart Failure and COPD exacerbation that require a higher level of care. We are also partnering with MCVI Cardiologists and Vascular Surgeons to be the department of choice for the post-operative care of patients requiring pacemaker/AICD insertion, as well as other procedures including femoral bypass surgeries. Our nurses are highly skilled clinicians with the ability to administer various drips and care for the patient with chest tubes, tracheostomy, high flow oxygenation and continuous BIPAP.

“The PCU at Memorial Pembroke is an ideal opportunity for RNs who are seeking to increase their clinical knowledge base and care for a patient with a higher acuity, but are not yet ready for Critical Care,” notes Maria Weinstein, Director of Nursing for Critical Care Services. For experienced telemetry nurses, we offer an intensive Memorial Healthcare System Progressive Care Course, which is then continued to on-site high acuity training.  For new graduate Nurses/ Novice Nurses, we offer a New Graduate Residency Program which also includes Progressive Care training and a combination of both classroom and clinical hours.

Memorial Hospital Pembroke is known within the system as being both agile and innovative in its execution of our nursing strategic plan. Nurses are viewed as change agents with the autonomy to guide their own practice and develop pilot programs for the facility. One example of this is Pembroke’s “acuity-based staffing model” which takes a best practice approach to establishing nurse/patient ratios based on the acuity and daily needs of the patient.

“Our culture gives nurses the autonomy and support to provide true patient- and family-centered care,” says Jose Jaime, PCU Nurse Manager. “We breed collaborative teamwork. Nurses are highly motivated and fully engaged. We go above and beyond for our patients and one another. We are not just a team, but a positive and caring family.”

“You can practice at the highest level of your skills and training here,” adds Shelly Delfin, the hospital’s CNO. “You can do your best caliber work every day. We’re cutting edge, we’re growing. There is a lot of new energy here. Our ability to work together and embrace change enhances both patient care and the nursing practice.”

Experienced Telemetry Nurses are encouraged to join us in the PCU, as are early-career RNs and new grads. Learn more when you search jobs and apply online now.

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CVOR Nurses & Surgical Technologists: Advancing the practice of cardiac care.

Memorial Healthcare System’s TotalHEART Care program serves an entire population of pediatrics, adolescents and adults. We perform everything from the most delicate neonatal procedures to heart transplants and more.

“If you are looking for a position where you get to help others, while being part of a highly motivated and dynamic practice, Memorial is for you,” says Dr. Frank Scholl, Chief of Pediatric & Congenital Heart Surgery and Surgical Director of Pediatric Heart Transplant. “We are not only practicing advancements in cardiac care, we are developing them as well.”

Of course, it takes a highly skilled professional to work in the CVOR alongside surgeons like Dr. Scholl and his adult practice peers. While the physiology and anatomy of pediatric and adult congenital heart disease and adult acquired heart disease are entirely different, there are shared characteristics of success at Memorial.

“The need here is for dedicated, hardworking CVOR Nurses and Surgical Technologists with integrity,” Dr. Scholl says. “People who are caring and respectful of human life, who want to work in an integrative and supportive environment. Our team dynamic is notable, as is our culture of safety and commitment to patient –and family-centered care. Also, Nurses and Surgical Technologists are assigned to CVOR teams that work together on a daily basis – and work with a core group of cardiac surgeons and cardiac anesthesiologists – which helps to further improve patient care.”

We seek to hire experienced professionals who are driven to learn and grow into opportunities of increased complexity. In fact, CVOR RNs may even have the chance to participate in clinical and translational research as they advance their skills.

If you have what it takes to join one of Florida’s premier cardiovascular teams, learn more about our CVOR RN and Surgical Technologists careers here.

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Nurse Group Photo

Welcome to Memorial’s Family Birthplace

More than 400 families a month trust our L&D nurses for care.

Christine Shepherd, Labor and Delivery Nurse Manager, joined Memorial Regional Hospital in November 2016. What she found was an organization of enormous size and scope, along with the opportunity to bring other nurses into a unique practice model.

“I can honestly tell you that I’ve never had as much support from leadership as I do here. Nurses are encouraged to share their suggestions about patient care and to grow their skills into new areas. This is especially important as acuities increase and the Family Birthplace model evolves,” Shepherd says.

Labor and Delivery nurses who are newly hired at Memorial have the opportunity to cross-train as part of the larger Family Birthplace team. Nurses are supported by a Perinatal Navigator, Nurse Clinician and Clinical Nurse Specialist. New L&D nurses participate in a six-month Perinatal Education Program under the guidance of a preceptor for both didactic and hands-on learning.

“As we grow and expand, and as technology evolves, it’s important for nurses to be open to new ways of taking care of patients. We believe that nurses are better able to add value to the organization – and to their own careers – when they are able to have new experiences within the Family Birthplace,” stresses Shepherd. “We want all nurses at Memorial – L&D and otherwise – to be able to practice at the top of their license.”

If you’re an L&D nurse who wants to do more with your career, this is the place to do it. Learn more about our opportunities online now.