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Embracing a Culture of Professional Development

Exemplary Professional Practice

The University of Miami Hospital and Clinics' Nursing Professional Practice Model is exemplified in the resilient and driven nursing practice at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. The patient and family-centered model represents a balanced integration of interprofessional, culture, and relationship-based care, while incorporating evidence-based practice. Representative of the model's value-based components, the nursing staff sets high standards for their professional practice, both in the care they deliver to patients and their perseverance towards professional development through continued growth, discovery, and quality assessment.

Anchoring nursing practice in excellence is demonstrated every day throughout the health system. In 2021, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s nurses, despite a year laden with personal and professional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remained steadfast in their commitment to lifelong learning. Rather than being discouraged by the challenges of the pandemic, several staff members were motivated to become more knowledgeable in their professional nursing practice and sought certification as a Certified Registered Nurse in Ophthalmology. Certification requires sustained practice in ophthalmology, success in the comprehensive examination, and an ongoing commitment to continued education and professional contributions to the specialty.

Magdalena Bacon, BSN, RN, CRNO, a Bascom Palmer Emergency Department nurse for over thirty years, was grateful to be in an environment that fostered continuing education and new ideas. She noted that: “Preparing for certification during the pandemic allowed a positive outlet” to constructively hone and update her clinical knowledge and skills and stated “certification was a means of validating my level of expertise while becoming a member of a specialized community of ophthalmology nurses who enhance patient care, outcomes, and satisfaction.”

Nury Cabrera, BSN, RN, CRNO, earned certification to offer acknowledgement of her growth in roles that began with her work as an ophthalmic technician and continued through her success in attaining a nursing degree. Certification was the successful outcome of her clinical knowledge, critical thinking skills, and education further affirming her expertise. Cabrera added that “as a mother and grandmother, I wanted to set the example for patients and my own family that ongoing professional growth was possible.”

Beatriz Elena Caicedo BSN, RN, AMB-BC, the Senior Nurse Educator at Bascom Palmer embodies the characteristics of a lifelong learner committed to the search for knowledge. She pursued her certification in Ambulatory Care Nursing to highlight her professional experience in ambulatory care. Caicedo reflected that though nurses during the pandemic were “faced with the unthinkable, they rose to the challenge in ambulatory settings, learned new skills, and adjusted to care for patients with unprecedented public health issues.” Inspired and encouraged by remarkable nurses, leaders, and peers, Caicedo pursued certification and leveraged technology to access the remote study and testing options, complete pre-requisites, and undertake the certification exam. Today, Caicedo feels “honored to be among those who have achieved certification in ambulatory nursing care.”

Denise Del Valle BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNO, AMB-BC, a perioperative nurse, was certified as an operating room nurse in 2017. As a nurse passionate about continuing professional development, she pursued a second certification amidst the pandemic when a preparatory course for Ambulatory Nursing certification was offered. Del Valle noted that she: “took the opportunity as a means of remaining positive and constructive during a period of uncontrolled loss.” Like many, seeking certification was a gateway to validation of years of experience, knowledge, and expertise through a nationwide attestation of competency. Del Valle reflecting on her certification pursuit stated, “I am grateful to the University for having the vision to promote our professional growth during this pandemic by providing and supporting nurses to participate in an ambulatory review course. It was instrumental in my successful acquisition of this certification in 2021.”

Irene Nonell, BSN, RN, CRNO, a Bascom-Palmer Emergency Department (ED) nurse for thirteen years, professes an enduring love for the field of ophthalmology. Through the years, she has fully engaged with the ophthalmology literature, sought knowledge to enhance her skills, and shared her clinical wisdom with colleagues. Nonell immersed herself in preparing for the certification exam and earned her CRNO designation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This opportunity was an accomplishment in self-actualization and affirmation of her professional expertise.

Ricardo Torres, ASN, RN, CRNO previously served as an ophthalmic technician and later pursued his nursing degree. Torres pursued his certification in ophthalmology nursing because of his commitment to professional growth and a desire to offer the highest level of care for patients and families. Torres believed that his expertise, years of service, and diverse roles in the organization were concrete examples of the best nursing care at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

The certification accomplishments of Bascom Palmer staff would be inspirational in ordinary times, but during the unprecedented times of COVID-19, assuring continued professional growth and commitment to exceptional patient care were paramount for these staff.

The certification accomplishments of so many Bascom Palmer staff would be inspirational in ordinary times, but during the unprecedented times of COVID-19, assuring continued professional growth and commitment to exceptional patient care were paramount for these staff.