HCA Healthcare nurses shaping the future of healthcare HCA Healthcare nurses shaping the future of healthcare
Career & Development

Nursing in a New Landscape

July 15, 2021

HCA Healthcare’s more than 93,000 nurses are helping to shape the future of healthcare.

As the medical and healthcare fields undergo seismic changes, the landscape for nurses continues to evolve and has the potential to look dramatically different in the years to come. You won’t meet a more effusive proponent of the nursing field than HCA Healthcare’s Jane Englebright, Ph.D., RN, CENP, FAAN, chief nurse executive and a senior vice president. In her 28 years with the organization, starting as a staff nurse at Lewisville Memorial Hospital (now Medical City Lewisville in Texas), Jane has seen it all. She now leads more than 93,000 nurses and is enthusiastic about the vital role that they continue to fulfill. 

“The importance of good nursing care has never been clearer or more appreciated by our patients, our communities and this nation,” says Jane, noting the opportunities within the field today are almost limitless. 

“I’ve been a direct-care clinician, an educator, a manager and now an executive. My career has included both acute care and post-acute care,” she says. Her professional arc — which includes stints in school nursing and parish nursing — illustrates the many opportunities available today. 

Our key to nursing education is that we focus on the overall experience, not just the education. We look at students and their needs holistically, not just what they need to learn and how best to teach it. But they also need to feel supported during their education experience, to know they have many resources to support them personally and as students.

— Mark Vogt, chief executive officer of Galen College of Nursing

Mark Vogt sees the same breadth of possibilities. As chief executive officer of Galen College of Nursing, he’s reminded almost daily of the wide range of career choices that graduates can pursue. “Nursing is professionally and personally rewarding,” he says. “There are so many opportunities to take on greater responsibilities. 

“Nurses interact with patients more than any other healthcare profession does. They are the largest population of healthcare employees,” says Mark. “Job security and the options for career entry and progression will continue to grow. And it’s not just hospitals, but education; insurance companies; medical device and pharmaceutical companies; and, of course, long-term care, hospice and so many more.” No change or challenges could ever undermine the importance of nurses in their communities. 

Our nurses can make an impact at an unparalleled level, with the organization representing roughly 5% of all hospitalized care in the United States, says Jane. “Clinical teams across HCA Healthcare have become the differentiator for our organization within each community we serve.” 

“We have the ability to change nursing practice across our 2,000 sites of care and lead change for the nation,” continues Mark. “Examples include early adoption of bar code medication administration; reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections through nurse-driven protocols; and, most recently, the Universal Protection Framework for keeping staff, patients and visitors safe during a global pandemic.” 

Mark says he’s often reminded that, despite the near-continuous evolution of the nursing field, there’s a bedrock foundation that remains a constant. 

“As a nurse, you have the opportunity every day to affect the life of another human being. That’s why we talk about nurses being called to the profession. For many, it’s also a way to take their compassion for others and turn that into a rewarding career.” 

We will never be the same. Our profession has been forever changed. So, what is our new normal? We need nurses to define the future of patient care.

— Jane Englebright, Ph.D., RN, CENP, FAAN, chief nurse executive and a senior vice president

HCA Healthcare’s recent acquisition of Galen College of Nursing represents a special symbiosis of leading institutions in their respective fields. The winners are the patients, as well as Galen’s students and HCA Healthcare nurses who are looking to further their careers by way of new educational opportunities.

“Galen’s mission has always been focused on expanding access to quality nursing education,” says Mark. “Quality is a given. There is no other option but excellence when it comes to nursing education.” 

The reality of the nursing field today is that traditional programs, or existing programs, may not be capable of building to the scale necessary to address both current and anticipated nursing shortages. 

“With Galen now being part of the HCA Healthcare family, we have formed the largest academic-practice partnership in healthcare,” says Mark. “There simply aren’t enough nursing programs to fill what is a steadily growing need, only intensified from the stressors being put on the country’s healthcare systems with the pandemic, and nurses bearing an immeasurable brunt of the impact.” 

Jane says the Galen acquisition was “specifically designed to bring quality education to our HCA Healthcare colleagues, both those who want to be nurses and those who already are.

“Combined with the HCA Healthcare tuition reimbursement program, education becomes accessible to all,” she says. “For those who are already RNs, the Galen-HCA Healthcare grant is a way to complete a Bachelor of Science in nursing with very little out-of-pocket expense, and a master’s of nursing with a focus on leadership that was co-designed by Galen and HCA Healthcare.”

The new nursing landscape will invariably be impacted greatly by a pandemic that still hovers over our healthcare system, creating a lingering uncertainty. What is certain is that nurses will continue to courageously provide frontline care. 

“For our current nurses, we are so appreciative of the tremendous work they do, especially the heroic actions of so many during this pandemic,” says Jane. “Our expectation now is that these colleagues pay special attention to their own well-being, that they recharge their batteries and consciously rewire their hearts and minds to prepare for life in an environment with ‘smoldering’ COVID-19. 

We will never be the same. Our profession has been forever changed. So, what is our new normal? We need nurses to define the future of patient care.” 

Galen Is Growing!

Aspiring nurses and those currently working in the field who want to advance their careers should look into what Galen College of Nursing has to offer. Acquired by HCA Healthcare in 2020, Galen offers students the option of online-only degree programs as well as in-person classes at its six regional campuses in five states — with plans to open nine new campuses over the next two years.

Info: galencollege.edu or call 877-223-7040.