As we enter into the holiday season and the end of 2020, we are hopeful that the COVID vaccine will help return us to life as we knew it. We are also seeing the surge increase as we enter into the winter months and must remain as vigilant as ever in our efforts to keep our patients and staff safe.
Even with these challenges, our work continues to enhance our nursing culture of excellence as we pursue Magnet status. We will be holding our first-ever Nursing Town Hall meeting in January to provide updates about our work in our four Nursing Pillars- Clinical Care, Education, Research and Advocacy- as well as highlight some of our Spaulding Nurses as Leaders. We want to answer your specific questions, so please be thinking of them and look for more information in early January.
I continue to be amazed and proud of our Spaulding nurses as I witness the talent and professionalism exhibited each and every day. Your strength continues to shine through during this difficult and historic time for health care workers. I want to share the video of the powerful images captured by Simon Zohar, DPT from Spaulding Outpatient Center Cambridge, of the strength of our staff from across the network. Thank you for all that you do, and have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Maureen Banks, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, FACHE
Chief Nursing Officer & Chief Operating Officer 
Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
The Magnet Journey Update

We continue to stay on track with our Magnet journeys for both SCC and SHC.  The Magnet document is an opportunity to express all that is good about being a Spaulding nurse; to brag about the amazing care you provide and to demonstrate your commitment to quality and evidence based practice.  Do you have a story to tell?  What are you the most proud of?  We want to hear it! Please contact Deb Abele at with Magnet stories. 
Meet Our Nightingale Fellows! 
Earlier this year, Spaulding announced the creation of the Nightingale Fellowship, a 2-year program designed to encourage and support nurses' professional development through continuing education, assigned mentorship, individualized learning experiences, and opportunities to broaden their professional perceptiveWe will introduce two of our Nightingale Fellows in each newsletter.
Joshua Brewster advanced his career from certified nursing assistant to registered nurse at Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton, where he is now the Charge Nurse on the 1st floor. He is inspired by the interprofessional teamwork among caregivers contributing to his sense of fulfillment in his nursing practice. Josh wishes to enhance interprofessional practice on his unit.
He is working with mentor Marcia Morris, Nurse Manager of the Comprehensive Rehab Program, to study different methods of communication and collaboration used in Spaulding Charlestown. He is also shadowing Clinical Practice Leaders to learn about different tools and technologies used to improve communication in patient care. While Joshua intends to continue to develop his clinical knowledge and skills, he will also pursue opportunities to advance his expertise in the development of others as a preceptor and educator.
Christina Cassidy is a Certified Rehabilitation Registered nurse (CCRN) and is currently the Charge Nurse on the day shift on the 4th floor at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. She also holds a certification in Holistic Health Coaching, and is inspired by the physical and emotional progress that patients and their families make during their course of care. Christina is interested in preventative, complementary, and alternative therapies and views the role of the nurse coach as empower others to live their healthiest lives.
She is working with mentor Katherine C. Rosa, Nurse Practitioner at the Benson-Henry Institute at MGH, to learn more about integrative care. She participates in the weekly Strength and Resiliency Program with Dr. Rosa to learn ways to help patients cope with chronic illnesses using a holistic approach. Christina has seen the value of this approach in clinical care and also wants to teach fellow nurses how to access integrative care to take better care of themselves as caregivers.
"In the rehabilitation setting, we have an opportunity to formulate longer relationships with our patients and more time to teach them about healthy habits. Things like diet, exercise and stress reduction are often within the patients' control and they can affect positive change on their own health."
For questions about the Nightingale Fellowship Program please contact Lauren Williams, SRN Nightingale Director at
Pediatric Research Study Receives IRB Approval   

Nancy Milligan, RN, is the Manager of the Outpatient Medical Clinic in Charlestown - a fast-paced, high-volume clinical practice for over 30 Physiatrists and other medical specialists. Nancy has also been instrumental in the creation the Ambulatory Nurse Council, bringing together nurses who work in Spaulding Ambulatory settings in Charlestown, Wellesley and Framingham to foster a culture of teamwork and enhanced clinical practice. Nancy implemented some of the strategies she learned in the IHP Nursing Leadership Program, such as implementing a daily communication huddle, instituting a 'Roving Leaders' concept and encouraging the Ambulatory nurses to participate in Nursing Advocacy and Research activities. She is quick to point out, however, that the success of the Ambulatory nurses is because of their skills and competence, not because of her efforts. Nancy states, "Make no mistake, the Ambulatory nurses are the stars here! They experience unique challenges in our ambulatory settings- their problem-solving and triage skills are incredible. They have learned to utilize other resources within SRN to expand and enhance their clinical practice."

This group also received approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct their first research study. They are studying the relationship between anxiety and pain in children who receive Botox injections in the Outpatient Medical Clinic. Many of these children have developmental delays and require multiple injections over a period of time. It was proposed that if we can reduce children's anxiety around getting the injections, it will also impact their expressed pain ratings. The study will explore the levels of the child's and parent/guardian's perceived level of anxiety and pain throughout the visit, with the goal of implementing different ways to modify the clinical environment or provide interventions (e.g. Pet Therapy) to potentially reduce anxiety and ratings of pain. A total of 70 subjects (35 children and 35 caregivers) will participate in the study beginning in January 2021.
SRN Community Advocacy

During this holiday season, our advocacy efforts across SRN have continued to support local charities: SRH- Harvest on the Vine, SCC- Sandwich Food Pantry, SRB- Cradles to Crayons and SHC-Transition Wellness Center. The SHC team started a clothing donation drive for the new residents of the Transition Wellness Center, and received so many items they created a designated 'Closet' to organize and dispense the items.

SHC staff who helped create the Closet include Amanda Ilaria RN, Cailley Tobin-Rosman RN, Susan Moore RN, Janel Wastaferro RN, Emily Graca RN and Erica Foley RN (not pictured: Christine Valente SW, and Ella Minasyan RN).

All SRN facilities also participated in a Food Drive to donate to their local charities supporting Food Insecurity, as well as now hosting a "Giving Tree" at each facility to provide support for employees' families who may be experiencing financial hardship during the holiday season.
"Strength Sees Us Through" SRN Tribute Video

SRN Launches Nursing Journal Club

We are excited to announce that the SRN Virtual Nursing Journal Club will officially launch on January 4th, with a new intranet site on PCC InSite. Each month we will feature a new article related to our Magnet journey. Nurses from across SRN will have an opportunity to read the article and respond to posted questions to create a virtual discussion forum with their peers. The goal is to enhance our culture of continuous learning, research and innovation. Participation in Virtual Journal Club will also allow nurses to obtain credit toward the Clinical Ladder. 

The first article, "Burnout, Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Trauma in Nurses", recognizes the occupational phenomenon and personal consequences of caregiving. Author Lesly Kelly, PhD, RN, FAAN spoke to the SRN Clinical Magnet Group on December 15 about the causes and solutions of burnout and compassion fatigue, especially as it relates to our current work with COVID patients. We are thrilled to be able to present this timely and critical topic to our SRN nurses through Journal Club. For more information or to recommend article topics, please contact Deb Byrne at  
Improving Access to the Clinical Ladder

Our Academic Pillar has completed the analysis of the RedCap survey sent out to nurses to determine potential barriers for climbing the Clinical Ladder. One of the main things that we learned from the survey is that there is a lack of knowledge of the requirements, potentially due to our large number of new graduate nurses. We will be using this as an opportunity to review the components of the application, provide samples for exemplars and revisit options for committee work for those who are unable to attend meetings due to scheduling or competing life priorities. One important thing that we learned is that staff is more likely to complete the process when co-workers who have been successful are supporting them. We are working to compile a list of all those who have successfully climbed the ladder and ask them to reach out to their peers.
Nursing Grand Rounds

On November 17th, the SRN Division of Nursing Grand Rounds hosted "Climate Change, Climate Justice and Health:  The Role of Rehabilitation Professionals". The program was presented by Patrice Nicholas, DNSc, DHL (Hon), MPH, MS, RN, NP-C, FAAN and Suellen Breakey, PhD, RN - both from School of Nursing and the Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. This engaging session focused on the impact of climate change on disease and social determinants of health.  The speakers included information about how the Spaulding hospitals can reduce their footprint and positively affect the health of the community.

Upcoming Grand Rounds topics include Nursing Burnout and Nurses with Disabilities. More information coming soon!
Daisy and Sunshine Award Programs to Recognize Exemplary Employees

At Spaulding, a central part of our Magnet journey is to promote a culture where each and every staff member contributes to a standard of excellence. Earlier this year, SRN launched two new award programs at all of our SRN inpatient sites, the DAISY and Sunshine Awards. Please look for nomination areas on our units for anyone to submit nominations.


The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day. Every quarter, we will recognize one nurse who exemplifies outstanding clinical care and compassion. Each DAISY Award Honoree will be recognized at a public ceremony in her/his unit and will receive: a beautiful certificate, a DAISY Award pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled A Healer's Touch. Click here for the nomination form.

Sunshine Award

This award is available to patient care associates who demonstrate compassion and dedication to their job and the patients we care for. These employees go above and beyond and are recognized as role models. Every quarter, we will recognize one patient care assistant nurse who exemplifies outstanding compassion and commitment to their patients. Each Sunshine Award Honoree will be recognized at a unit ceremony and will receive: a beautiful certificate, a Sunshine Award pin and a hand-blown glass Sunburst. Click here for the nomination form.