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Critical Care

The Critical Care Nursing Council oversees system-wide initiatives for critical care nursing professional development.  Continuing education opportunities specifically designed for critical nurses from novice to expert are offered free of charge for Advocate critical care nurses, including Introduction to Critical Care Nursing, CCRN Preparation, and Basic Chest X-Ray Interpretation, among others.  A variety of independent study programs, such as Critical Care Pharmacology, Hemodynamic Monitoring and Care of the Patient Requiring Mechanical Ventilation have been developed and afford Advocate nurses the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of critical care nursing practice.

In addition to providing opportunities for education, the council also examines competencies and policies to ensure that practice is evidence-based.  Critical care nurses are provided the opportunity to participate in clinical studies sponsored by the Critical Care Nursing Council and they present posters that highlight unit-based research studies and quality initiatives at the annual Advocate Critical Care Nursing Conference.

For more information related to the Advocate Critical Care Specialty Council, contact Bonnie Schleder Ed.D, APN

Home Health and Hospice

Home health and hospice nurses at Advocate Health Care enjoy the opportunity to practice independently while spending one-on-one time with patients and their families in the home environment. Building on established clinical practice skills and developing new areas of expertise, our home health and hospice nurses practice primary nursing enhanced by the integration of a home-based Chronic Care Model aptly named Solutions for Health. Weekly interdisciplinary case conferences facilitate coordination of care and place the patient and family at the center of all we do.

Monthly educational offerings and ongoing system continuing education provide the home care and hospice nurse 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 ELNEC training.

For more information related to the Home Health and Hospice, contact Kim Foxworthy, MSN RN at

Medical/Surgical and Telemetry

The Medical/Surgical and Telemetry Professional Practice Council offers a variety of courses designed to provide opportunity for professional development of the Medical/Surgical and Telemetry nurses. In addition to Stroke, ECG, Substance Abuse, Physical Assessment and Pharmacology courses, we continuously offer certification review courses for Medical/Surgical, Progressive Care, and Orthopedic nurses. The MST Council is involved with APN and staff nurse leadership development, works with the Alzheimer's Association and is actively involved with the Chicago Suburban Chapter of the Academy of Med/Surg Nursing.

For more information related to the Advocate Medical-Surgical/Telemetry Specialty Council, contact Mary Sue Dailey, RN, MSN, APN.

Nursing Informatics

According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), nursing informatics is “a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.” Advocate Health Care utilizes nursing informatics in all aspects of the electronic medical record (EMR). Advocate Health Care has provided electronic documentation to patient medical health records since 2003. Nursing informatics is a rapidly growing area of nursing and will continue to be as the technology advances to increase patient safety and improve nursing workflows and patient outcomes.

The CareConnection Education Council meets each month to review updates and make recommendations regarding the informatics and the electronic medical health record. The council members also discuss best practice for providing education to each of the hospital sites within Advocate Health Care.

For more information related to Nursing Informatics or the CareConnection Education Council, contact Karen Radz RN, BSN at


The Oncology Nursing Council supports over 80 hours of nursing continuing education at the system level specifically designed for oncology nurses, all free of charge to associates. 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 (ELNEC), the Pain Resource Nurse (PRN) Program, and the Rx for Change Smoking Cessation Course afford Advocate nurses the opportunity for ongoing professional development in oncology and palliative care. Other programs include the Basics of Oncology, a 3-day program for nurses new to the specialty, an online Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs program, and an OCN® Review course to assist nurses to prepare for oncology nursing certification. A CHPN Review course designed to assist with hospice and palliative care nursing certification has also been offered.

Faith Community Nursing

As a faith-based health care organization, Advocate Health Care embraces the role of Faith Community Nursing, a specialty practice of professional 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 to understand and care for one another in light of their relationship with God, faith traditions, themselves, and the broader society. Parish nurses 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 with the work of Rev. Granger Westberg at what is now Advocate Lutheran General Hospital; today, through Advocate’s system-wide program, parish nurses practice in 36 diverse congregational settings, such as Kenwood, Roseland, Uptown Chicago, Arlington Heights, Antioch, and Naperville. For more information, see the parish nursing site at

For more information about parish nursing, contact, Nancy L. Rago Durbin, MS, RN, FCN, Director, Advocate Parish Nurse Ministry & Parish Nurse Support Network at

Perianesthesia Forum

The Perianesthesia Forum reviews best practices and competency development based on the guidelines of the American Society of Perianesthesia Nurses (ASPAN). The forum members also review procedures, and protocols in an effort to develop evidence-based standardization of practice of Perianesthesia nursing throughout Advocate Health Care. The forum provides opportunities to enhance the professional development of our associates through continuing education and certification in the specialties Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN®) and the Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA®). The forum reviews evidence based literature to support the development of education, competencies, and policy/procedure review and includes a review of the safety and quality initiatives across the system in the bi-monthly agenda.

For more information related to the Advocate Perianesthesia Specialty Forum, contact Mary Higgins BSN, RN at

Perinatal & Neonatal

The Perinatal/Neonatal Forum oversees system-wide initiatives for perinatal and neonatal professional development. The council provides a 5-day orientation program for nurses new to the specialties, as well as S.T.A.B.L.E and Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) fetal monitoring programs.  An electronic fetal monitoring online course is offered every 2 years, and is mandatory for both nurses and physicians 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 the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), The National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

For Perinatal information contact Catherine Bennett APN/CNS at or  Nicole Chesis APN/CNS at

For Neonatal information or the STABLE course contact Phyllis Lawlor-Klean at

Perioperative Council

The Perioperative Council members provide opportunities for continuing perioperative education, including a review course to help nurses prepare for the national certification exam offered by the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN). The council also examines competencies, policies, procedures, protocols, and current research findings to ensure perioperative nursing practice is evidence-based. Additionally, the council explores options to advance the specialty at Advocate (i.e. research projects, grants, national awards, college/university affiliations, etc.). Our Organization's Key Result Areas: Health Outcomes, Associate Engagement, Patient Satisfaction, Physician Engagement, and Growth are incorporated into our monthly agenda.

For more information related to the Advocate Perioperative Specialty Council, contact Charlene McCabe, RN, BS, CNOR at


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