Introductory Letter from NPC Chair Rachel Peterson, MSN, RN, CCRN

Reflecting on 2018 brings back many memories of hard work and significant accomplishments from all parts of our Shared Governance structure. I am incredibly proud to represent such a talented, committed and creative group of nurses.

Every year, I have seen major changes and new processes implemented that are driven by nurses to improve the care of our patients and their families. I am always impressed by  how adaptive we have become – increasingly willing to make positive changes that improve outcomes. 2018 was no stranger to change and there is so much that we experienced and we are all the better for it.

In February, we underwent our Magnet appraisal as an institution. Nurses from all over the hospital were part of the planning and preparations to receive the appraisers with open and excited arms. The opportunity to showcase our stories, processes, protocols, clinical areas and impress the appraisers with answers to their questions was a time of pride and celebration.  As stressful as a visit like this can be, our nursing leaders and staff were encouraged by how far we have all travelled together and how deserving we are of this national recognition. Clearly, the appraisers were impressed too and said so frequently in briefing sessions during the visit.

This last year, we spent time strengthening our Shared Governance structure by working with all the different council leaders to create a consistent Shared Governance day on the first Tuesday of the month.  Creating a fixed day on the calendar allowed nurses to better plan for and participate in various activities that strengthened the professional practice of nursing. It was no simple task to agree on that day, but it was met with wide-spread approval and underscored our unified commitment to improving our workplace together.

Through the formation of a task force and specialized processes undertaken in our ambulatory clinics, we were able to continue to evolve the Peer Review process. Peer Review at UChicago Medicine was created by nurses, for nurses, and nurses have proudly remained in charge of its implementation, education and evolution. This process is in its third year and continues to be strengthened and further refined every year.  It has enabled nurses to personally reflect on their professionalism and practice and receive feedback from peers about how they can continue to develop and grow. Peer Review has also helped nurses recognize their existing best-in-class practices and positively reinforce those skills and habits.

These examples are just a glimpse into nursing at UChicago Medicine.  There are so many things to be proud of over the past year and excited about for the future.  Please enjoy the Nursing Annual Report and take time to reflect on all that has been accomplished this year.


Rachel Peterson, MSN, RN, CCRN

Nursing Practice Chair 2019