The pursuit of nursing excellence helped nurses truly save the day for hospitals inundated with COVID-19 patients during the worst and scariest early days of the pandemic in the U.S., according to nurse leaders.

Now isn’t the time to relax the drive for nurses to control their practice, even as hospitals face intense budget challenges. The foundational elements of nursing excellence should actually be reinforced and strengthened since the benefits of empowering nurses were clearly shown during the pandemic and nurses enjoy well-earned, strong community support.

Margarita de la Fuente, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Professional Practice and Magnet, Duke University Health System; Jeff Doucette, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals; and Deborah Piehl, Executive Director, Professional, Compliance and Nursing Programs Accreditation, University of Miami Health System, discussed the importance of nursing excellence to the pandemic response during a recent Tipton Health Nursing Leadership webinar.


Each speaker shared strategies their organizations used to continue the pursuit of nursing excellence even during a pandemic.

Developmental Programs Are Essential to Effective Nursing

Nurse leaders should strongly advocate for developmental programs.

Your organization’s ability to react and adapt to a crisis depends on training and development programs dedicated to nursing excellence.

Encourage Collaboration and Mentoring Among Staff

Interprofessional collaboration was critical to the successful response to the pandemic. Those relationships should be nurtured and not allowed to fail. Foster innovative and collaborative strategies to make change happen. Your nursing staff may find themselves in situations they’re not specifically trained to manage. Nurses and physicians with certain specialties can train and mentor nurses who are being pulled into new areas to ensure the best possible care is provided.

Physicians may also want to step in and help nurses with the amount of work they are taking on. With a limited number of people being allowed in rooms with patients, nurses are being tasked with heavy workloads. Encourage and enable your physicians to learn what they need to do in order to be in the rooms—they want to help, they want to assist your nurses.

Implement Strategies to Keep Your Nurses Sharp

There are a few strategies you can employ as a nursing leader to keep your nurses engaged and ready to continue the pursuit of nursing excellence:

  • Designate an associate chief nurse executive to help you and your team create strategies for your nurses to continue learning and growing.
  • Focus on developing your nursing leaders, especially on the manager level. They, in turn, will give this attention to the rest of their teams, ensuring that all the nurses in your organization learn and grow.
  • Build communication strategies that are constant. The upcoming months will be a time of uncertainty, and the best way to keep your nurses engaged is keeping them in the loop. Communicate every day!


Learn more from our speakers.

Visit to hear more from our panelists and their experiences on supporting nursing excellence during a pandemic.

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