From The Desk Of Deb Burton

November 14, 2018

Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season is our time to reflect with gratitude; both for what we have been given, and for what we have to give. As I consider this past year with the PSJH nursing community, I am overflowing with gratitude. What each of you give to our patients, to each other and to the mission of PSJH is simply breathtaking. All 40,000 of us, every single day. Together, we are Best in the West—because of who we are together, and what we each bring to our work. Thank you, a million times, thank you.

So how did we change the world, and change lives for the better in 2018? Consider a few huge accomplishments:

  • For the first time in more than a decade we have sustained continuous improvement, and exceeded our targets, for multiple nurse-sensitive patient safety challenges.
  • In the past 12 months, we have added 5 more Magnet-designated hospitals and 3 more Pathway to Excellence facilities for a total of eleven Magnet and five Pathway to Excellence-designated facilities organization-wide. Heartiest Congratulations to Providence Alaska Medical Center, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Mission Hospital - Mission Viejo, Providence St. Patrick Hospital, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Providence Center for Medically Fragile Children, Providence Centralia Hospital, and Swedish Ballard!
  • Providence St. Joseph Health made the top 10 employers for new grads, and we were the only health system that made the list. Largely, this reflects the extraordinary work and collaboration of our Clinical Academy colleagues across the system. By the end of 2018, 4,600 new graduate and new-to-specialty nurses will have completed one of our 23 Clinical Academy residencies and fellowships.
  • University of Providence was approved to launch a pre-licensure BSN program (both traditional, post-high school and second baccalaureate accelerated options), to begin in January 2019. In addition to our very successful RN-BSN completion program, we are launching two additional graduate programs: a Master’s of Science in Nursing with an education concentration, and a primary care nurse practitioner program. Find more information at or send me an email:
  • Because of the enormous success of our Clinical Academy programs, and the fact that the Clinical Academy received ANCC accreditation this year (!), we have now launched a consulting business through the PSJH Nursing Institute to offer consulting and program assistance outside our health system.
  • Our nursing research program continues to grow exponentially. In 2017-18, PSJH nurses published at least 50 journal articles, and made at least 150 presentations at regional and national/international professional and specialty nursing meetings. Congratulations to Dr. Beth Schenk, tireless and extraordinarily talented leader of our nursing research program, on being inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as a Fellow this year!

But the deepest gratitude for all that we are and do comes from our patients and their families. The impact of our collective professional dedication is felt most profoundly in those intimate, sacred moments between those of you providing direct clinical care and the vulnerable patients your serve. If you are not sure you are really making a powerful difference in the lives of each patient you touch, come read my email someday. It is for each of you I am most grateful as you are the PSJH mission made visible. The rest of us stand in service to, and in awe of each of you.

This season, I will give thanks at least 40,000 times for each of you. You can never be thanked enough. And for those of you in direct patient care roles, I am deeply honored to call myself your greatest fan.

The Happiest of Holidays to each of you.


Gratefully, Deb