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Banner Estrella Medical Center

Banner Estrella Medical Center (BEMC) received the prestigious Magnet designation in October 2015. Exemplars mentioned from the American Nurse Credentialing Center included the robust nursing succession planning and the interdisciplinary team collaboration. Below are examples of professional nursing contributions in relation to the Banner Health Professional Practice Model (PPM). Banner Health’s PPM is foundational in creating a professional practice environment and is embedded within the structures and processes of BEMC. The PPM is a structure for nurses that supports the development of professional nursing practice and promote excellent patient care experiences.


  • Head Shaping positioning device: nurses are educated in the evidence-based practice to correct dolichocephaly by using an infant head shaping positioning device in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  The Banner Health Nursing Development Funds provided a grant to the NICU for the purchase of the positions devices and a caliper to obtain the Cranial Index. The practice change has proven to be beneficial in the NICU and increased awareness of health shape deformities throughout the NICU.
  • Banner Dysphagia Screening Tool validated: BEMC was one of four Banner Health facilities to research and validate a dysphagia screening tool utilized by nursing to screen patients for dysphagia with prolonged mechanical ventilation. The dysphagia study was published in the American Journal of Critical Care and is being disseminated nationally and world-wide.
  • VAN Screening tool added to ED nursing practice: to aid in quicker identification of large vessel occlusions of stroke patients, nurses at BEMC are educated to use an additional screening that is quick, effective and requires no calculation of scores: The Vision, Aphasia, and Neglect (VAN) screen tool. The VAN assessment tool aids in quicker identification of large vessel occlusions; thereby, aiding quicker transferring times for patients needing a higher level-of-care facility sooner when indicated.


  • Diffusion Program: Banner Estrella Medical Center is focused on helping their employees develop resiliency in today’s fast-paced environment.  A program was created, developed and implemented to support all health care team members throughout any stressful or unanticipated event that may impact emotional well-being. The program helps to prevent burnout and build resilience. Care carts are also available to use when any unit or situation calls for a little extra care to care for BEMC employees after a stressful event.
  • Shared leadership: Banner Estrella Medical Center has a robust interdisciplinary shared leadership (shared governance) program in individual departments as well as the facility-wide shared leadership committee. Recent projects that the BEMC (‘House’) shared leadership have collaborated and delivered: St. Mary’s food drives, employee car washes to donate either money or used healthcare equipment to the Southwest Lending Closet, selection of monthly STARS recipient (recognition program for individual and/or  a group award each month), patient supply rooms standardization, yearly Shop-n-Swap of hospital office supplies, Stairwell beautification project, EBP project resulting from Nurse Attitudes and Practices Promoting Sleep Study, development of a ‘Compassion Cart,’ ‘Scrubs Day’ where people bring in pairs of mildly used to staff members who need a pair scrubs, equipment labeling per unit/floor with color coding, and  labeling of orthopedic recliner. These projects are among the many that shared leadership has delivered at BEMC.
  • RN recognition: Banner Estrella values their nurses and is privileged to honor and celebrate the many wonderful ways nurses contribute to the delivery of excellent patient care. Some of the ways BEMC recognizes outstanding nurses is through quarterly celebrations honoring nurses with The DAISY Award, annual Nurses Day celebrations and Awards and in the monthly Professional Practice e-update newsletters recognition section that honors BEMC nurses’ milestones for RN’s who: hold positions/offices in professional nursing organizations, publish, present at conferences, complete research or an evidence-based practice projects, earn a higher degree or obtain a national certification. Each unit has a beautiful and special recognition wall that was designed by clinical nurses and their collaborative partner in the security department (shared leadership) to honor each registered nurse who has taken their exam and received national certification for the specialty of their practice. Banner Estrella Medical Center registered nurses are also recognized for their research/EBP/PI work when receiving acceptance for conference posters and podium presentations through the support of educational funds. Additionally, nursing research Grant Awards recognize registered nurses and occurs each year if a BEMC RN submits and is selected for a grant for research, EBP or PI project. These grants are provided by the Nursing research Grant Awards from the Better Together Campaign, Nursing Development Fund.


  • Neonatal Intensive Care Parent Advisory Council: this council is an outreach of former NICU babies’ parents to new parents while collaborating with staff to provide enhanced emotional support to parents and families of Banner Estrella Medical Center’s tiniest patients. Examples of the council’s influence include a change in visiting hours and an increased number of NICU visitors allowed in the unit at one given time. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is open 24 hours/ 7 days a week and up to four (4) individuals may now visit the infant’s bedside at the same time. Other changes from input of the council has provided an improvement to the discharge process and the adoption of EBP Kangaroo Care (an evidence-based practice and technique for holding a baby skin-to-skin with their mother or father). The council is a wonderful mechanism for NICU patient family members to collaborate with other new parents and the nursing staff to enrich the care environment for BEMC’s tiniest patients.
  • BEMC Patient Family Advisory Committee: this committee was established in September 2018 and includes community members from Phoenix, Goodyear, Avondale, Tolleson, Buckeye and Palo Verde. The committee’s work started with the development of a charter mission, vision and bylaws.  Discussions of the importance of caregivers’ understanding of their impact on patients and families motivated the committee to develop a program on Sensitivity Awareness Training  and presented the program by committee members to BEMC’s New Grad Forums. Other accomplishments include feedback on a new template for the ‘white board on the shower door’ project, review of the Discharge Packets that was developed by the Medical/Surgical department, and impressions on the new Banner Dress Code. Banner Estrella’s registered nurses value the committee’s views, suggestions and assistance in making healthcare easier so that life can be better so for community in which BEMC serves.
  • OB-ESI Tool developed and evaluated through research study at BEMC: a four-level classification Obstetric Emergency Severity Index (OB-ESI) triage tool was developed, implemented and evaluated. This tool helps nurses to accurately triage and prioritize OB patients so that the most acute patients receive care in a timely manner. The OB-ESI became a part of Banner Health’s electronic medical record documentation in 2019 and the tool is being disseminated through a professional journal manuscript submissions and nursing conferences in Arizona. The goal is that the tool will be disseminated and used across the nation.