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Phoebe Nursing Simulation & Training Education Program Earns Brilliance Award


Albany, GA | Nov. 23, 2021 – Phoebe won a regional Brilliance Award from Vizient Southern States for its unique program to train new nurse graduates.  Phoebe’s education team developed the Nursing Simulation and Training Education Program (NSTEP) last year when early COVID-19 restrictions prevented nursing students from completing clinical rotations that typically provide them with vital hands-on training before graduation.

“We quickly developed a comprehensive curriculum to ensure each of those new nurses was prepared on day one at the bedside to provide safe, high-quality care to our patients,” said Tracy Suber, EdD, Phoebe Vice President of Education.  “The 8-week program included hands-on simulation and skills lab time in the Phoebe Simulation & Innovation Center.  It proved so successful, we modified it into a 6-week program that is now required for all new nurse graduates we hire,” she added.

Vizient Southern States is a membership alliance for not-for-profit healthcare providers that provides solutions and services that improve the delivery of high-value care by aligning cost, quality and market performance for its members.  Last week, Vizient held its annual Connections Summit in Las Vegas, NV.  Dr. Suber and Phoebe Director of Education Larecia Gill, PhD, were chosen to give a presentation called “Designing an Innovative Program for the Novice Nurse Workforce” that focused on NSTEP.  Dr. Suber and Dr. Gill were honored with the Brilliance Award for their presentation.

“Vizient Southern States is proud to recognize its member hospitals with Brilliance Awards for improvements made throughout their organizations.  It has been another challenging year, and we want to show our appreciation for all that they do to provide high-quality care in their communities,” said Bill Senneff, President & CEO of Vizient Southern States.

Vizient chose projects or initiatives that demonstrated a commitment to quality patient care, patient safety and performance improvement and which had proven positive results.  Surveys given to NSTEP participants show statistically significant increases in their confidence and abilities following the program.  The Phoebe education team plans to conduct a longitudinal study to include tracking of quality metrics to determine if improvements can be attributed to NSTEP and other training programs operated through the simulation center.

“We received a lot of great feedback and questions following our presentation.  One ICU nurse from a midwestern hospital told me he was amazed by all the support we offer young nurses through our nurse residency program at Phoebe and asked the best ways to replicate that at his hospital,” Dr. Suber said.

That support begins with nurse externships, which are paid positions at Phoebe that allow nursing students to gain real-world experience and build skill competency.  New nurses can then move on to a preceptorship program and NSTEP, before taking part in workshop seminars which continue for the first year of their employment.  While attending NSTEP, nurses also simultaneously experience clinical orientation with preceptors and nurse educators.

“This extensive support system helps ensure our patients get great care from every nurse.  It also improves their self-confidence which builds more satisfied and fulfilled nurses who are more likely to stay with Phoebe,” Dr. Suber said.

Phoebe was one of six members of Vizient Southern States honored with Brilliance Awards for their presentations at the national conference.