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Primary Nursing is 40 years old!! June 9, 2009

Posted by mariemanthey in Announcements, Creative Health Care Management, History, Leadership, Manthey Life Mosaic, Professional Practice.
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This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first development of  Primary Nursing – on a medical unit (station 32) at the University of Minnesota Hospital.

The really exciting part of this anniversary is an effort underway to gather the pioneers of that first unit, from the CEO, John Westerman to the other administrators including Dave Preston ( co-director of the project), Peter Sammond, Stan Williams, and nurse leaders  Pat Robertson (Clinical Nursing Director), Diane Bartels, (Head Nurse, now a PhD ethicist), Karen Ciske, (Nurse Clinician) Colleen Person (unit educator),  and as many of the unit staff as we can locate.

There is a reason it started at that place and at that time. Societal changes combined with an energetic surge of  internal hospital reform from the executive suite coupled with deep frustration and dissatisfaction within nursing set the stage for this change. The presence of several thought-leaders who were also involved gave us a system-focused, principle-based understanding of the meaning of the nursing practice changes that evolved. This understanding resulted in language to describe the innovation in a way that facilitated adaption to every setting where there are clinicians and patients.

That paragraph represents my understanding today about why it has had such an impact on practice and patient care. I am thrilled we are celebrating it’s 40th year.

The gathering we are planning is pretty unstructured at this time. So far, we are talking about getting together for lunch at Coffman Union at the U of Minnesota sometime in August. I’m thinking this is a golden opportunity for us to capture the insights and learnings of some key figures in what became a massive change process.  I’m interested in any suggestions readers have about what we should capture and how to do it. What would you like to know about the experience of the execs, nurse leaders and staff involved in the risk that led to Primary Nursing?

The RBC Symposium sponsored by Creative Healthcare Managemenet is the latest manifestation of the current resurgence of Primary Nursing.  This resurgence  has also led me to offer a 5 day practicum in August. Info about both of these is available on chcm.com