Baptist Health Lexington receives national nursing award

The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) has named Baptist Health Lexington as the recipient of its 2014 Employer Recognition Award. Each year, this award recognizes one institution that employs 25 or more registered nurses for providing sustained support of oncology nursing certification.

Kay Ross, RN, MSN, AOCN, vice president of clinical services at Baptist Health Lexington, accepted the award at an awards recognition breakfast earlier this month during the Oncology Nursing Society’s annual meeting in Anaheim, California. As part of the recognition, the hospital also will be featured in an upcoming issue of ONCC Certification News.

Ross said the hospital is grateful to its nursing staff for its commitment to oncology certification and to its leadership for fully supporting the efforts.

“This award demonstrates our organization’s dedication to supporting high-quality oncology nursing care,” Ross said. “Like ONCC, we believe that certification makes a difference. Our oncology nurses are better prepared to anticipate and meet the needs of our patients as a result of our certification efforts.”

To be considered for the award, oncology nursing staff nominated Baptist Health Lexington and submitted an application documenting the organization’s efforts to encourage certification for oncology nurses.

To encourage oncology nurses to obtain certification, Baptist Health Lexington:
· Requires Oncology Nursing Certification for nurses hired for advanced practice positions and prefers that staff nurses be certified. Eligible nurses without certification are expected to seek certification, taking the exam within a year.

· Reimburses nurses for new certification and renewal costs.

· Pays certified nurses at a higher salary level.

· Holds free onsite Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) preparation classes, which are provided during work hours, and pays nurses for their time in class.

· Hosts a nationally recognized speaker during a two-day OCN review course that is free for Baptist Health Lexington nurses, who can use paid education days to attend.

· Provides continuing education funds that allow some staff nurses to attend certification review courses in other states.

· Recognizes certified nurses by hanging recognition plaques throughout the oncology areas, sending email announcements, holding a recognition breakfast and recognizing the nurses during staff meetings.

· Hosts celebration events to mark certification goals.

· Supports nurses’ participation in professional and community activities – these have included the Oncology Nursing Society and ONCC committees as well as leaderships positions and volunteer efforts in community organizations such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society and Lexington Cancer Foundation.

In 2012, Baptist Health Lexington achieved a goal of 100 percent certification for all eligible nurses in their outpatient cancer care settings. The hospital is currently working toward 100 percent certification for 2014 and anticipates reaching that goal in November.


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