Summer 2015

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1 0 | PULSE S u m m e r 2 0 1 5 M ost people haven't heard the term "advanced practice nurse," but many of us have had the benefits of interactions with these highly trained and skilled clinicians. In addition to a nursing degree, advance practice nurses (APN) require a master's degree and specialization in their chosen field. e California Board of Registered Nurses recognizes four types of APNs: clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist and certified nurse-midwife. At Torrance Memorial Medical Center, patients will find two of these: nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists. According to Barbara LeQuire, MSN, CNS, PNP, vice president of nursing services and a pediatric nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist in neonatal care, these nurses have diverse roles. "Caring for patients and families, developing staff nurses, leading organization-wide practice changes and committees, academia or working directly with physicians" are all functions of an APN, she notes. Clinical nurse specialists oen plan educational rollouts for their individual units or for nurses throughout the hospital. At the Torrance Memorial Cancer Resource Center, for example, advanced practice nurses offer information on diet, exercise and lifestyle choices for cancer survivors, which can help with recovery and diminish the risk of recurrence. Patients may be familiar with having office visits with nurse practitioners, who oen assume high-level roles. "ey are clinical experts who round daily with physicians, assess and plan patient care, write prescriptions and discharge patients," says LeQuire. Mark Lurie, MD, medical director of the Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute at Torrance Memorial, notes that the nurse practitioners he works with in cardiology truly make a difference for both doctors and patients. In the Heart Failure program, for instance, patients oen come in with serious illnesses and have many issues to address. e nurse practitioners are able to interpret results from medical tests and scans, counsel patients and, perhaps most importantly, pay close attention to all aspects of an individual's care. "For physicians, they make our lives easier. For patients, they make their lives far more pleasant," says Dr. Lurie. Dr. Lurie credits the Heart Failure Program's Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association to nurse practitioner Roxanna Balter, MSN, ACNP, CHFN, who helped organize the team and adheres to the rigorous, evidence-based guidelines required for accreditation. By focusing on best practices, APNs help lead, support and improve patient care on a daily basis, says LeQuire. She proudly notes that Torrance Memorial has earned the coveted "Magnet" recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which recognizes health care organizations that provide excellence in nursing. "With our experts side-by-side with our staff on a daily basis, these APNs make a difference every day," she says. "Our patients benefit by their knowledge, expertise and focus on improving outcomes, and that makes us one of the state's best hospitals as noted in U.S. News & World Report." WRITTEN BY BRIE CADMAN TORRANCE MEMORIAL'S ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES PROVIDE HIGH-LEVEL CARE—COUPLED WITH COMPASSION—DAILY. NURSES: THE HEART OF HEALTH CARE H E A LT H L I N KS

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