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PNCC Projects

Professional Services provides support, information, resources, and one-on-one and group consultation to nurses and to those serving on Professional Nurse Practice Committees (PNCC).

Leaders from PNCCs around the state gathered for a dinner at the 2012 ONA Convention in Hood River to discuss issues each PNCC has been facing. 

Here is a summary of some of the issues that have emerged within PNCCs during the first half of 2012:

Electronic Record Systems

For PNCCs whose hospital is beginning use of EPIC or another electronic record system, nurses report there has been a significant and visible effort to cover the time they are spending in learning the system. This has been achieved by hiring travelers, having coaches and super-users available and other supports that have enabled the nurses at the direct care level to be freed up to learn.

For many nurses, however, the move from one system of documentation of nursing care to another system, such as EPIC, is a shock. Nurses understand the value of documented nursing care. But the conundrum is this: does the data support the provision of nursing care, or is nursing care secondary to the collection of data about the care? Regardless of what computer system is used, there may be a gap between the spoken/written/clinical, ethical and evidence-based interventions of the nurse and the electronic system which receives that information. The dilemma this poses isn’t new, but it is significant because of three potential negative outcomes: a) the loss of an accurate picture of the nursing care that is actually given; b) the loss of nursing language, and c) the potential that gaps such as these are not addressed and the electronic record system "buries” nursing once and for all. The potential positive outcomes are: a) standardization of nursing care because evidence-based outcome standards are used to plan care; b) better capture of all the details of patient care, and c) greater amounts of data related to nursing care at the 1:1 level and to identify trends in care.

In some areas of the state, nurses who are experts in computerized systems report that the formation of clinical specialty practice councils enables nurses to identify, analyze and determine the "fixes” that can be made in documentation of the clinical work of nurses, thus forestalling loss of outcome data and assuring the use of richer clinical data at the bedside level of nursing care.

Contract Language Regarding PNCCs

There are many differences in ONA’s contract language related to PNCCs. Recently, Sue Davidson, AED, Professional Services, developed recommended language for PNCCs to use while preparing for contract negotiations. This information has been provided to all of the ONA Labor Representatives. It can also be provided to leaders and members of various PNCCs for review and use. If you are interested, please contact Pisith Kong at

Workplace Safety

Nurses at one hospital have developed an item on their meeting agenda related to workplace safety. For example, in one hospital in a diagnostic clinic, nurses discovered that the lead inside the protective aprons is so old that it is deteriorating and migrating downward inside of the apron. The PNCC has focused on pricing new aprons, becoming knowledgeable about the potential side effects of ineffective aprons, and lobbying for the timely purchase of new aprons.

PNCC Nurse Recruitment

Another PNCC in southern Oregon has begun to develop a year-long initiative to recruit nursing staff to serve on the PNCC. This mini-PR campaign is designed to point out the significance of having a voice on practice issues and working collaboratively to solve them. In addition, the PNCC chair has requested literature related to falls, one of the issues that the PNCC could address. Professional Services’ support to leaders and members of PNCCs is another way ONA can serve you, our members.


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Oregon Nurses Association
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