Rita Smith, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South’s director of patient services, with the Pathway to Excellence award.

Earlier in 2022, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South in Riverview was redesignated as a Pathway to Excellence Program® through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The hospital’s previous designation was from 2017-21 and the current redesignation is good through 2026.

The Pathway to Excellence Program recognizes health care organizations for positive practice environments where nurses excel, nursing leadership fosters a collaborative culture and hospital policies reflect nursing input where patient and nurse safety come first. As a Pathway-designated organization, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South nurses embody the highest standards in nursing practice. Better quality care from nurses means better outcomes for patients.

To qualify for the designation, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South had to meet practice standards essential to an ideal nursing environment. The hospital conducted a review process to fully document the integration of those standards in practices, policies and culture. St. Joseph’s Hospital-South nurses validated the data and other submitted data via an independent, confidential survey. This was a critical element exemplifying the theme of empowering and giving nurses a voice.

“Pathway to Excellence is recognized by the American Nurse Credentialing Center as achieving our commitment to providing a positive, high-quality care environment that empowers our nurses and staff,” said Rita Smith, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South’s director of patient services. Smith oversees nursing personnel, leads and evaluates the nursing team and helps to set nursing objectives and long-term goals.

“This creates a culture of teamwork, excellent care, successful recruitment and staff retention,” she said. “Our nurses and staff have a voice in the care we provide, and nurses feel empowered by having this opportunity. It is a huge honor to achieve this again at St. Joseph’s Hospital-South. It means we’ve met every expectation as a team. It’s a team achievement. It’s getting nurses, managers and leadership to unite as one to give the care the community needs.”

St. Joseph’s Hospital-South opened in February 2015 to bring high-quality health care services to Southern Hillsborough County in an environment designed to help patients heal. Part of BayCare Health System, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South features all private patient suites and offers emergency care, surgical services, imaging, intensive care, obstetrics, a NICU, cardiac catheterization and more in a peaceful, relaxing and family-centered environment. Located south of Tampa in Riverview, the all-digital, state-of-the-art facility is specially designed to make patients and visitors as comfortable as possible during their hospital experience.

For more information, visit https://baycare.org/.

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