Guest Column

KRH Nurses Are Highly Qualified

Countless members of the KRH team – from nursing to case management to certified nurse assistants – feel fulfilled by their work

By Marlayna Gran and Teri Steffens

I serve as Nurse Residency Coordinator, along with my partner Teri Steffens, for our nationally accredited Nurse Residency Program for Kalispell Regional Healthcare. We have the honor, and distinct privilege, of facilitating the development and professional growth of our newest members of the Nursing Profession here in the Flathead Valley.  

Today’s Registered Nurses are coming out of collegiate institutions and into the workforce with more skills and competence than ever before because of the increasing demands of the healthcare industry. Evidence strongly supports that when new nurses enter into the profession under the highly structured support and guidance of a Nurse Residency Program, they are far more likely to remain in the field of nursing and be more professionally engaged. This engagement directly and positively impacts patient safety and satisfaction. This includes nurses entering into specialty care areas such as the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, and Labor and Delivery Units. Leading healthcare organizations, such as Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic follow best practices and successfully support newly licensed nurses through residency programs in specialty areas. The adage about all nurses needing a medical surgical background was retired over a decade ago. 

In today’s world, the foundation of nursing is built on change. This change comes in many forms; whether it be through lifelong clinical learning or the endless pursuit to provide the highest quality care for members of this community in a field whose technological advancements can seem at warp speed. It is imperative for the modern nurse to embrace this in order to continue providing evidence-based care that is unique to each of our patient’s needs. Our new nurses are some of the best change agents because of their willingness to learn and practice with a spirit of inquiry. 

It is easy to fall into the trap of voicing outdated data to use as a weapon to resist change. But in light of a recent public statement questioning the competence of our new Registered Nurses, we are here today to make it clear that our new nurses are more than capable of providing high-quality, competent care to you and your family, regardless of the care area to which they are hired. They are welcomed, important, and highly valued members of our team at KRH and we are happy to work beside them.

There are two sides to every coin and a little yellow sign in a yard does not reflect the collective voice of every nurse or team member of KRH. And we are not alone in this perspective. There are countless members of the KRH team – from nursing to case management to certified nurse assistants – that feel fulfilled by their work here. There are countless members of the KRH team that feel supported by one another and are proud to be part of this organization. There are countless members, nurses included, who are grateful to be employed by this organization and to have the privilege to care for you and your family. 

It is high, high time to recognize the great work of our local healthcare providers. It also high time to recognize our equally hard-working crew of executive leadership at KRH; they have not been “mismanaging” this ship, but working tirelessly to right it and keep it steady for the safety and future of our community. 

On behalf of the many KRH associates that echo our sentiments, thank you for letting us serve you. Now let’s start showing a little love and let’s get ready for a new and hopeful 2021.  

Marlayna Gran has been a Registered Nurse since 2015 and has been employed at Kalispell Regional Healthcare since 2013. Teri Steffens has been a Registered Nurse and has been employed with the organization since 2006. 

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