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M. D. Anderson nurses find empowerment in PACTs
Date:5/15/2008

PHILADELPHIA - According to nurse-researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, participation among nurses in the institution's unique Professional Action Coordinating Teams (PACTs) has increased 50 percent in one year.

In a poster presented at the 33rd Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society, Debbie Cline, RN, BSN, OCN and Patricia Johnston, MS, BSN, RN, OCN, reported that the PACTs attracted more than 353 new participants from the nursing community at M. D. Anderson from March 2007 to March 2008. When the data were gathered, there were 2,689 nurses working at M. D. Anderson.

Unique to M. D. Anderson, PACTs are ad hoc, multidisciplinary committees charged with resolving nursing practice issues within a set timeline determined by each work group. The issues assigned to PACTs are determined by M. D. Anderson's Nursing Practice Congress, a 36-member delegation elected by its peers.

Cline attributes the growth to the PACTs to a short and definable commitment of time (usually three to 24 months), a track record for decisive action, a strong influence on nursing practice at M. D. Anderson and an opportunity to hone leadership skills.

"It's quite impressive to see such a large increase in participation among many nursing disciplines at M. D. Anderson," said Cline, who is a clinical nurse on M. D. Anderson's stem cell transplant in-patient floor and chair of the institution's Nursing Practice Congress. "We believe that participation in the PACTs is increasing not only because they affect our practice but because they are supported by leadership and enable nurses to make better decisions at the patient's bedside. PACTs are comprised of multidisciplinary members including nurses, and address clinical nursing issues, but ultimately, it is the patient who benefits."

The greatest increase in participation was among clinical nurses, a group whose representation on the PACTs increased
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Contact: Julie A. Penne
jpenne@mdanderson.org
281-460-1788
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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