Q&A with June Altaras: Building a best-in-class nurse culture
June Altaras is MultiCare’s senior vice president and chief quality, safety and nursing officer. We spoke with her to learn more about her role and how generosity can support a vibrant culture for nurses at MultiCare.
Tell us about your role at MultiCare.
June Altaras: I was brought here to help build a strong and vibrant nursing culture. That means creating an environment where our nurses are guided, mentored and supported throughout their career through professional development. It also means making sure that nurses feel like they are owners in decision making related to their nursing practice.
What is special about being a nurse at MultiCare?
June Altaras: It’s a great time to be a nurse at MultiCare because we’re on a journey to become a best-in-class nursing organization. We’re building structural empowerment within our departments to ensure that nurses have a voice and are involved in decision making.
We’re just beginning to get started on that work and will be using the American Nursing Credentialing Committee (ANCC) to achieve Magnet Recognition or Pathway to Excellence designation by 2025. These are the highest and most prestigious distinctions a health care organization can receive for nursing excellence and high-quality patient care.
Nurses who are part of magnet organizations have less burnout and feel a higher level of engagement and autonomy in their work. These organizations also tend to have less nursing turnover and better overall quality outcomes for patients and staff alike.
What are some challenges facing nurses today?
June Altaras: The largest percentage of nurses come from the baby boomer generation, and we recognize that they’re nearing retirement.
It’s also a matter of a complexity experience gap. The acuity levels of patients in our hospitals has increased significantly over time. Many things that were performed as inpatient procedures in the past are now done as outpatient or at home. All of this means that new nursing graduates are facing a much higher complexity rate in hospitals now than nurses who came out of school even 10 or 15 years ago.
We will need to continue evolving how we onboard nurses. Innovation will be key to our approaches and techniques for transitioning new grads into the field for the first time. Things like simulation are going to be critically important for us as we look to the future, as health care continues to change.
How can community donors support MultiCare nurses?
There are many programs we need to build out to better prepare our new nurses and achieve that best-in-class designation. If you think about somewhere between 300-450 new nurses graduating every year, the demand for space, technology and equipment is going to be exponential.
Anything donors can do to support our ongoing education and preparedness efforts will be extremely helpful. That support helps us adapt to the ever-changing needs of training, as well as transitioning new nurses into our facilities. It will help us build up some of the infrastructure that’s missing, and it’s going to take a big investment.
You can contribute to the future of nursing at MultiCare by making a donation today.