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Nursing Annual Report

Cynthia Gearhard
Cy Gearhard

Dear Nursing Colleagues, Patients, Families and Community Members:

I am pleased to share with you the 2019 St. Luke’s Nursing Annual Report, which reflects examples of outstanding accomplishments of St. Luke’s Health System nurses over the past year. Here are a few highlights.

St. Luke’s nurses are constantly finding new ways to close gaps to ensure safe environments or improve experiences for their patients. St. Luke’s Nampa staff continued to refine a unique family-care suite care model in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which keeps the mother and newborn together in a suite to promote the “ultimate” healing environment. Air St. Luke’s nurse, Victor Quon, BSN, MBA, RN, CFRN, developed a plan to create and implement a safer staffing model that consisted of dedicated teams where staff were assigned to transport teams based on rigorous, validated competencies. This has led to improved team performance, engagement, and morale; positive feedback from various internal and external stakeholders; and several teammates qualifying for professional promotions.

Additionally, our nursing staff have a keen eye for ensuring quality and patient safety. St. Luke’s hospice clinical manager, Kendra Tietz, MSN, RN, identified gaps with the use of outside pharmacy vendors and was able to colead, with our pharmacy team, an improvement effort that resulted in an internal solution for all Treasure Valley and McCall hospice patients. St. Luke’s Wood River Emergency Department (ED) developed a “Speak Up” campaign, which improved the process of medication preparation and administration. This included developing specific education for staff members and tools that enhance the engagement of patient and family members in their specific care. Finally, the St. Luke’s Magic Valley Canyon View team implemented the utilization of an ICARE Hourly Rounding Tool, which enhanced the nurses’ assessment of any changes in a patient’s mental state.

Sometimes it is the simple, yet innovative ideas that extend that caring touch. Like our St. Luke’s Elmore ED nurse, Wendy Vandenburg, BSN, RN, who cleverly diverted children’s attention with stuffed animals while they were in the ED. The tactic worked so well, she was able to secure funding to continue the program with children who visit the ED in the future. Similarly, our St. Luke’s Magic Valley ED staff were able to keep the holiday spirit alive by providing gifts to a mother who presented to the ED with her two daughters alongside on Christmas Eve.

In addition to so many successes and improvements over the past year, our nurses have grown through shared governance care council participation and other professional development opportunities, such as the Professional Advancement through High-Performance and Skills program (PATHS). Through PATHS, Molly Gill, BSN, RN, created a program in St. Luke’s Wood River that ensures no patient will die alone, while Megan Planck, BSN, RN, OCN, created a program for St. Luke’s Cancer Institute to better prepare caregivers who manage Blood and Marrow Transplant patients upon discharge. Finally, Jen Smith, BSN, RN, of St. Luke’s Nampa, developed an interdisciplinary team rounding program in the telemetry unit to improve communication and planning, which decreases health care costs for the patient.

I am humbled and honored to serve such an extraordinary nursing and interdisciplinary team. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to serve our patients and communities.


Cynthia (Cy) Gearhard, MN, RN, NEA-BC
Vice President, Patient Care Services/System Chief Nursing Officer

Our Professional Practice Model: Relationship-Based Care

Relationship-Based Care (RBC), our professional practice model at St. Luke’s Health System (SLHS), helps align caring and healing processes to meet the needs of patients and their families. RBC has been an instrumental guide in both care delivery and demonstrating our culture. RBC enhances relationships both personally with patients, families and caregivers as well as professionally with colleagues and ancillary teams. The RBC concepts most familiar to staff may be care of self, care of colleagues and care of patient and family. This model, however, includes much more.

RBC has six essential elements: leadership, teamwork, professional nursing practice, patient care delivery, resource-driven practice and outcomes measurement. These elements are crucial to all areas of discipline within health care and tie directly back to putting the patient at the center of our care. We are the preferred providers in our communities because we deliver coordinated, affordable and accessible care through:

  • Leadership – Giving strength and power to all who practice within their discipline; coaching, encouraging and mentoring all team members to exemplify caring and healing in their language, actions and professional practice delivery.
  • Teamwork – Building teams that work collaboratively together across all disciplines, strengthening best practice and driving exceptional patient outcomes.
  • Patient Care Delivery – Maintaining a culture of safety and professionalism in all we do, recognizing better has no limit.
  • Resource-Driven Practice – Focusing on exceptional patient outcomes, we promote evidence-based practice in our care delivery.
  • Outcomes Measurement – Monitoring patient outcome data benchmarked by national vendors and internally if a national benchmark is not available; better has no limit.
  • Professional Nursing Practice – Demonstrating a team-based approach in caring practices that embody unique clinical knowledge and understanding of the human condition.

Six Behavioral Roles of Professional Nursing Practice

Our nurses demonstrate the six professional nursing practice roles through their daily practice:

  • Leader – Advocate for patients/families; provide supervision/leadership to care team members; initiate changes to improve quality of care.
  • Teacher – Teach patients/families how to safely care for themselves within the health care setting and upon discharge.
  • Collaborator – Work with each team member to ensure they receive and provide important information and coordinate the plan of care.
  • Healer – Ensure patients/families receive physical, emotional and spiritual care based on assessment of their needs.
  • Guide – Ensure patients/families understand what to expect and are informed enough to make decisions about their care.
  • Sentry – Continuously assess, monitor and intervene for the patient to prevent complications, promote healing and optimize safe outcomes.
Relationship-Based Care helps transform work environments into cultures where personal responsibility and accountability prevail, healthy relationships flourish, and gratitude is openly expressed.

Health System Nursing Strategic Plan 2019-2020

Our strategic plan maps to St. Luke's four goal domains:
  • Culture
  • Quality, Safety & Outcomes
  • Care Experience
  • Stewardship

System Demographics

Download Full Copies of Our Nursing Annual Reports


2019 Nursing Annual Report

This year’s report reflects the outstanding accomplishments of our nurses over the past year.

2018 Nursing Annual Report

This report highlighted the accomplishments and exemplary outcomes of our talented nurses.

2017 Nursing Annual Report

This report covered nursing initiatives and excellence, including our celebration of our professional practice model: Relationship-Based Care.

Careers at St. Luke's

Join Our Team

You’ll travel a rewarding path of personal and professional growth at St. Luke’s, where we provide a patient-centered environment that extends from the hospital and clinic to the patient’s home, community, and workplace. We’re committed to establishing effective and meaningful patient relationships, promoting wellness, and supporting community health at every level of our organization. If you want to work where you truly make a difference in people’s lives, we encourage you to apply with us.