Nursing at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

Patient-and Family-Centered Nursing Care

The nurses at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children provide high quality care to the patients entrusted to them. Nurses at St. Christopher's work in collaboration with a multidisciplinary health care team that is committed to the health and well-being of our patients. For more than 135 years, St. Chris nurses have served children's unique health care needs and worked to maintain an environment of trust by practicing patient- and family-centered care. Our nurses spend a great deal of time with the patients they care for and not only communicate with their families, but also serve as strong advocates for patients and promoting patients' best interests.

At St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, we believe that the family unit is essential to a child's well-being, especially when a child is hospitalized. Our nurses incorporate parents, significant family members and other caregivers as integral members of the health care team. Parents know their children best, and we recognize that they can provide valuable information and support for their children. Their involvement and information assists us in providing the best care possible, and helps us to know how to best support our patients so their families can focus on their children.

Magnet® Status

Nursing excellence is a priority at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, which is exemplified by our nursing department's dedication to maintaining high performance standards and emphasis on continuing education and professional development.

St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is recognized for nursing excellence through our designation as a Magnet institution by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a distinction achieved by fewer than six percent of health care institutions nationwide. The Magnet Recognition Program® acknowledges quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice.

To earn this prestigious designation, St. Christopher's Hospital underwent a rigorous voluntary application process to demonstrate that it met each of the 14 attributes or outcomes exemplifying excellence in nursing, known as Forces of Magnetism. The Forces of Magnetism are the categories that are deemed essential to excellent patient care. They include quality of nursing leadership, quality of care, educational activities, professional development and models of care that give nurses responsibility and authority for the provision of direct patient care.

Nursing Plays Vital Role

At St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, our nurses are involved in multiple aspects of patient care from providing direct clinical treatment to guiding policy development, quality initiatives and implementing patient safety goals. They also provide patient education and guide case management for patients with chronic medical conditions. In many cases, nurses serve in non-clinical leadership positions within the hospital, which helps them carry out their respective responsibilities with a greater understanding of patient care issues.

Nurses play a vital role in the operation of St. Christopher's and there is a great deal of nursing involvement in hospital decision making and policy development. The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) is part of the hospital's senior leadership team and reports directly to the Board of Directors on patient care issues. Either the CNO or another Nursing Director serves on each of the hospital and medical staff committees. The nursing leadership team is supported by nurse managers and unit-based educators who are responsible for day-to-day management on their assigned units. Together the nursing staff works alongside the medical staff and administrative personnel toward a shared goal of providing exceptional patient care.

One way that St. Christopher's has made a commitment to patient safety and satisfaction is by maintaining a low nurse-to-patient ratio and utilizing charge nurses-who are not assigned to specific patients-to focus directly on the coordination of care between nurses and physicians, work with families and ensure units run smoothly.

Education is Ongoing

From the moment a nurse begins work at St. Christopher's, there is an emphasis on education and continually developing best medical practices. Once employed, every nurse undergoes an extensive orientation program that includes both classroom work and clinical experience under the guidance of a unit-based preceptor. The orientation program lasts a minimum of three months, but may extend as long as six months for nurses in certain specialties, such as critical care or neonatal intensive care.

Newly hired nurses then participate in a mentoring program where they are paired with an experienced nurse. This one-year program allows nurses to fully acclimate to St. Christopher's and the unique concerns of working with children.

In addition to educating staff nurses, St. Christopher's works in collaboration with many area universities and nursing schools to teach the next generation of nursing professionals. Nursing students participate in clinical rotations during the school year, which provide them with closely supervised hands-on experience in pediatric medicine.

Nursing Employment

To view nursing employment opportunities at St. Christopher's, contact Nurse Recruiter Susan McFalls at (215) 427-6842 or susan.mcfalls@tenethealth.com.