Thanks to a generous gift of $550,000 from Julie and Steve Vanderboom used to equip the Abbott Northwestern Hospital nursing simulation lab, the lab has been renamed the Vanderboom Learning Center. The Vanderboom Learning Center is part of the Nursing Excellence Initiative at the hospital.
"We feel this center will help contribute to the ongoing goal of exceptional patient care through excellence in nursing at Abbott Northwestern," said Julie Vanderboom. "We are committed to supporting this effort. It is especially meaningful to me, having graduated from the Abbott Northwestern School of Nursing and having practiced as a nurse at Abbott for 12 of my 33 plus years in the profession."
In October 2015, the Board of Directors for the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation authorized a multi-year Nursing Excellence fundraising initiative. The goal is to raise $7.5 million over five years to support the education and professional development of the Abbott Northwestern nursing corps. Funding is available for educational degrees, conference attendance, certification training and exams, nurse-led research, and to further develop the Vanderboom Learning Center, a simulation lab on the seventh floor of the hospital for experiential and on-the-job training for nurses and the broad patient care team.
"The Vanderboom Learning Center is a critical tool for training and educating our nurses and all our care providers to assure the best outcomes for patients. It allows us to train for common conditions as well as the very complex health issues that we see at Abbott Northwestern," says Travis Maher, RN, BSN, MSM, Abbott Northwestern Hospital Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President Patient Care Services. "The Learning Center also supports Abbott Northwestern’s status as a Magnet Hospital, which recognizes our excellence in nursing care as demonstrated by strong patient outcomes."
In the Vanderboom Learning Center, nurse leaders are able to create patient scenarios that mimic real experiences so that nurses know exactly what to do in the moment. Scenarios include different levels of complications, and those running the simulation can change the scenario in real time to introduce unexpected issues. Simulation is instrumental as a training methodology in reducing errors, increasing patient safety, reenacting critical events, decreasing time from orientation to proficiency and closing the gap between newly graduated nurses and their ability to think critically and independently.
"Julie is a passionate and strong advocate for nursing, and I have the pleasure of working with her in her role as a member of the Abbott Northwestern Foundation board," says Rich Meyer, president of the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation. "We are grateful for Julie and Steve’s support to help us advance excellent care throughout this great hospital. Ultimately, the Vanderboom’s support is a win for our patients."