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The Sacred Sixty: Nurse managers do rounds without interruption


Michelle Pecenka, RN

For Lucy Bird, RN, ONC, a nurse manager at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the time between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. has become her favorite 60 minutes of the day, every day. In fact, that hour is the highlight of the day for many nurse managers throughout the hospital.

During that hour, called the Sacred Sixty, nurse managers have uninterrupted time to round on patients in their units. Employees throughout the hospital understand the nurse managers cannot be interrupted with phone calls or emails or pulled into meetings during that time. Starting at 9 a.m., these nurses head to the hallways to talk to patients and family members about their experiences in the unit — things that are going well, areas for improvement and stories that highlight nurse-patient communication and relationships.

The program started in December 2010 and has been so successful that it has helped patient satisfaction scores in categories such as “likelihood to return” climb from as low as 15% to 90%. The program also has boosted job satisfaction for nurse managers as evidenced by a 23% increase in nurse manager engagement scores.

“As a nurse manager, I have stepped out of the role of bedside nursing, but this hour gives me a chance to be back at the bedside again and see the patients,” said Bird. “Having the chance to talk to families and answer their questions refuels my soul. If I could spend two hours doing it, I would enjoy my days even more.”


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Heather Stringer is a freelance writer. Post a comment below or email

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