Nursing Leadership & Practice Excellence | Hackensack Meridian Health   

Nursing Leadership & Practice Excellence | Hackensack Meridian Health

Group of strong nursesHackensack Meridian Health is one of the most recognized health care systems in the nation for nursing excellence, boasting seven Magnet® designations and more than 8,600 nurses across 17 hospitals and 500 other patient care locations. Building on its strong foundation of nursing excellence and innovation, the Sheila Cancro Hackensack Meridian Health Institute for Nursing Leadership and Practice Excellence will advance the mission of humanizing care through the art and science of nursing. As one fully integrated entity, the Institute aligns nursing practice across the system, providing infrastructure, support, and advocacy for Hackensack Meridian nurses as they advance their careers, education and research. With a vision to boldly transform the nursing profession and provide a centralized structure that will serve to empower the voice of nursing at Hackensack Meridian, the Institute is organized into the following key bodies:

Center for Quality and Safety

Focusing on patient safety is a critical part of providing high-quality healthcare and the top priority at Hackensack Meridian. The Center for Quality and Safety (CQS) will focus on initiatives and activities that drive our commitment to quality and safety forward. This includes working to strengthen systems and processes, advancing efforts to support true shared decisions about treatments and outcomes, enhancing our culture of patient safety to achieve equitable care, identifying strategies to promote patients and families as care partners, and achieving a safe, compassionate and just health care environment for all.

The overarching goal of the CQS is to ensure our practices and processes decrease preventable harm and improve the experience of healthcare for our patients and team members. By focusing on best practices, the Center’s activities will seek to identify solutions to problems and needs and help improve patient care and enhance the practice environment. The CQS will help to create an environment where we are all encouraged to think critically, ask clarifying questions, and validate and verify, to allow Hackensack Meridian to provide the highest quality of personalized and patient-centered care. 

Initiatives under the CQS include:

  • Quality Improvement Education Workshops and Series
  • Nursing Sensitive Outcome Tracking: NDNQI
  • Infection Prevention Nurse Fellowship
  • Clinical Nurse Outcome Champions

Center for Academics, Research and Scholarship

Nurses at the computerAmong the pillars of our Magnet-rich culture at Hackensack Meridian is a deeply rooted commitment to nursing education, professional development, and knowledge generation through research. The Center for Academics, Research and Scholarship Academy (CARS) will provide our nurses with the support they need to work on and implement new standards of care, procedures and clinical processes. Based on a core belief that education is a lifelong process, the CARS will also help ensure that our nurses have the opportunities to grow and strive for better every day despite any financial barriers.

From annual events and fellowships to collaborative partnerships and affiliations, the CARS will provide nurses with the chance to grow their skills in multiple ways and help our nurses continuously expand their knowledge.

Initiatives under the CARS include:

  • The Ann May Center for Nursing
  • Annual Network Nursing Research and EBP Conference
  • Research/EBP Education
  • Research Journal Clubs
  • Research/EBP Fellowships
  • New Knowledge and Innovation Council
  • Nursing Research/EBP Newsletter
  • Doctoral Coalition
  • Externships
  • Academic Practice Partnerships
  • Clinical Affiliations

Center for Nursing Leadership

At Hackensack Meridian, we recognize that strong leadership is critical to advancing our organizational goal of transforming healthcare. Research shows that strong nurse leaders have a profound impact on the successful delivery of healthcare services. Nurses promote safety and help achieve quality and financial goals; they generate evidence-based practice; and, they improve quality in administration - from patient care to systems facilitation. The Center for Nursing Leadership (CNL) is committed to building on these competencies to prepare the nurse leaders of today and tomorrow.

As nurse leaders near retirement and new nurses enter the workforce, the CNL will facilitate structural empowerment and serve as a resource to motivate and inspire nurses to become effective leaders in an industry that continues to evolve. The CNL will provide pathways to achieve the essential and diverse skills effective nurse leaders require. Through fellowships and other learning opportunities, the CNL will support succession planning, professional development, and advance initiatives to allow our nurses to successfully transition into management and other leadership roles.

Initiatives under the CNL include:

  • Annual Leadership Summit Off Site
  • Executive Leadership Development for VPs and Directors
  • CNO Fellowship
  • Nurse Leadership Academy - Educational Series
  • Nurse Leader Quarterly Journal Club
  • Supervisor/ANM Development Serieseff
  • Emerging Leader Academy
  • Mentorship and Succession Planning

Center for Advanced Nursing Practice

The International Council of Nurses defines advanced nursing practice as, “a field of nursing that extends and expands the boundaries of nursing’s scope of practice, contributes to nursing knowledge, and promotes the advancement of the profession.” The Center for Advanced Nursing Practice (CANP) will focus on the growth of this field, and offer resources and support to promote higher-level skill sets that will help to spur career development and professional growth for our nurses. By offering opportunities for interprofessional collaboration, on-the-job training, and legislative advocacy, the CANP will help prepare nurses to perform versatile tasks in both patient care and health care overall.

Initiatives under the CANP include:

  • APN Practice Council
  • Top of License Practice Support
  • Privileging
  • Advanced Practice Nurse Residencies
  • Interprofessional Collaboration
  • Legislative Initiatives

Center for Enhancement of Shared Decision Making

Central to Hackensack Meridian’s strong Magnet culture is the continued promotion of shared decision making. Through multidisciplinary communication, unit-based councils, huddles and rounding, and committee representation, shared decision making serves to empower all nurses to have a voice in their practice and work environment. The Center for Enhancement of Shared Decision Making (CESDM) will build on our existing strengths by providing a structure to support greater engagement of nurses in decision making.

Through team building, collaboration across disciplines and advancing an environment that fully embraces recognition and inclusivity, the CESDM will foster a stronger culture of structural empowerment where our nurses are involved in decisions at the unit and organizational level. The CESDM will work to create meaningful partnerships and provide greater opportunities for clinical nurses to work together with leadership to help create the best possible outcomes and solutions for our organization and the patients we serve.

Initiatives under the CESDM include:

  • Creating/Sustaining a Magnet/Pathway to Excellence Environment
  • Shared Governance Structure
  • Peer Review
  • Reward and Recognition
  • Work Life Balance
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
  • Nurse Residencies and Specialty Academies
  • Network Wide Nursing Philanthropy Council

How You Can Help

Two nursesTo give a gift to support the Sheila Cancro Institute for Nursing Leadership and Practice Excellence, please click here and select HMH Nursing Clinical Advancement and Education under program type.

You may also contact the Foundation at 848-308-5000 or

Learn about our other nursing priorities by clicking here.
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