Advocate offers a variety of nursing specialties and areas of practice throughout the system which all embrace and support The Advocate Nurse. Examples of practice areas and supporting structures include:
Advanced Practice Nursing
Over 500 Advanced Practice Nurses (APN), including Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Nurse Anesthetists are employed throughout Advocate in a variety of both inpatient and ambulatory setting. With the emphasis to promote top of licensure practice, Advocate APN’s are a critical partner in the interdisciplinary team with the goal to optimize the outcomes for our patients. Advocate is continually working to support and strengthen our commitment to advance the role of APNs as they play a crucial role in caring for patients of all ages across the continuum of care.
The challenging and complex specialty of Critical Care Nursing is available across the Advocate system.
Using their critical thinking skills, the critical care nurse cares for patients who are at high risk for potential life-threatening health problems.
Critical Care nurses are supported by system and site specific training, classes and a wide variety of technology for use in the critical care setting. The AACN ECCO program is utilized in conjunction with Advocate’s LEARN program. Additionally, Advocate has a structured post orientation program to support the novice critical care nurse utilizing the expertise and advanced knowledge base of the tele-medicine RN.
Annual continuing education is provided so Advocate nurses have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of critical care nursing practice.
Emergency nursing is available across the Advocate system and many of the Advocate hospitals have level 1 or level 2 trauma designation. Emergency nursing provides The Advocate Nurse an opportunity to care for patients of all age ranges and a variety of clinical conditions. Emergency nurses are often the first person to care for a patients and families when they access health care and play a critical role in their outcome. Nurses have specialty focused orientation to emergency nursing and access to classes and content for Trauma and/or Emergency Nursing certification. The Advocate Nurses in the Emergency setting work collaboratively with the Advocate Emergency Council to drive best practices across the system.
Faith Community Nursing
As a faith-based health care organization, Advocate embraces the role of Faith Community Nursing as part of its continuum of care. The Advocate Parish Nurse Ministry is designed to build on and strengthen capacities of individuals, families, and congregations as they focus on the intentional care of the spirit as essential to the process of promoting holistic health and preventing or minimizing illness in a faith community. The first parish nurse program originated in 1984; today, through Advocate’s system-wide program, parish nurses practice in 36 diverse congregational settings. For more information, visit the parish nursing website.
Home Health and Hospice
Advocate’s home health and hospice nurses enjoy the opportunity to practice independently while spending one-on-one time with patients and their families in the home. Building on established clinical practice skills and developing new areas of expertise, our practice primary nursing enhanced by the integration of a home-based Solutions for Health. Weekly interdisciplinary case conferences facilitate coordination of care, putting patients and family at the center of all we do.
Monthly educational offerings and ongoing system continuing education provide the nurses with the resources needed to develop professionally and to pursue certification and nationally recognized credentials, such as the Solutions for Health education, the Oncology Nursing Society, Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider Card, Hospice and Palliative Care nursing certification and End of Life Nursing Education Curriculum training.
Medical/Surgical and Telemetry
Medical/Surgical and Telemetry nursing is practiced throughout the Advocate system and the Medical/Surgical and Telemetry (MST) Committee supports a variety of professional development opportunities with focus on evidence-based initiatives. Some of the clinical education content include Stroke, ECG, Diabetes, Heart Failure and Pharmacology offerings. We continuously offer certification review content for Medical/Surgical and Progressive Care nurses. The MST Committee is also involved with supporting NICHE concepts and is involved with the Chicago Suburban Chapter of the Academy of Med/Surg Nursing.
Nursing informatics is a rapidly growing area of nursing as technology advances to increase patient safety and outcomes and improve nursing workflows. Advocate utilizes nursing informatics in all aspects of the electronic medical record (EMR).
The CareConnection Education Council meets each month to review updates and make recommendations regarding the informatics and EMRs. The council members also discuss best practice for providing education to each of the sites.
Oncology Nursing is practiced at all Advocate locations. The Oncology Nursing Committee supports development of evidence-based oncology nursing policies, procedures and protocols and nursing professional development for nurses in this specialty. Nationally recognized courses such as the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Course, the ONS Radiation Therapy Course, the End of Life Nursing Education Curriculum, provide the opportunity for ongoing professional development. Other programs include the Basics of Oncology, a 3-day program for nurses new to the specialty, Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs program, and an OCN® Review course to assist nurses to prepare for oncology nursing certification.
The specialty of pediatric nursing is based out of the Advocate Children’s Hospital located on the Oak Park and Park Ridge campuses with pediatric satellites at several of the Advocate sites. Advocate Children’s Hospital is a dedicated Pediatric Critical Care Center, one of the 12 “world class” neonatal ICUs and is one of America’s Best Children’s Hospital for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery. Pediatric Nursing at Advocate Children’s Hospital provides a wide range of opportunities to practice pediatric sub-specialties supported by a strong Nursing Pediatric Council that drives research, evidence-based practice in collaboration with the interdisciplinary team to improve the outcomes for patients and families.
The Perianesthesia Forum supports practices in this specialty, which is available throughout Advocate Health Care in both ambulatory and in-patient settings. The forum members also review procedures, and protocols in an effort to develop evidence-based standardization of practices throughout Advocate. The forum provides opportunities to enhance the professional development through continuing education and certification in the specialties Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN®) and the Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA®) in addition to the review of evidence based literature to support the development of education and competency.
Perinatal and Neonatal
For perinatal and neonatal care, available in most Advocate Health Care sites, a dedicated forum oversees system-wide initiatives for professional development. New associates are provided orientation to these specialties which include the S.T.A.B.L.E. program for neonates and fetal monitoring education. An electronic fetal monitoring online course is also offered to nurses responsible for interpreting fetal monitor tracings. In addition to providing opportunities for education, council members also work with the Obstetric Patient Safety Council to provide evidence-based policies and procedures based on standards from AWHONN, the American Academy of Pediatrics, The National Association of Neonatal Nurses and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The Perioperative Council members provide opportunities for continuing perioperative education for nurses in this specialty, available throughout Advocate Health Care in addition to a specialized orientation. These opportunities include review courses to help nurses prepare for the national certification exam offered by the Association of Operating Room Nurses. The council also examines competencies, policies, procedures, protocols, and current research findings to ensure perioperative nursing practice is evidence-based.