Mclean Hospital

Nursing Network 2018

A publication of the McLean Hospital Nursing Department

May 19, 2018

The Summer 2018 issue of Nursing Network celebrates the history of McLean Hospital’s School of Nursing Alumni Association, honors this year’s recipients of the Julia Altschule Award and Margaret C. Tibbetts Award, and reflects on the Spring Nurses’ Day Conference and its theme of suicide prevention.

Nursing Network Summer 2018Celebrating History at Final Nursing Alumni Association Meeting
For 136 years, there has been a connection between McLean Hospital and the graduates of the McLean Hospital School of Nursing. For the last 50 years, there has been no school of nursing, but that did not diminish the alumni’s desire to maintain the connection to “our McLean.” With less than 150 alumni remaining, it became time to close the alumni association.

Making a Difference: 2018 Altschule and Tibbetts Awards Announced
For 2018, Kevin Norris, MHS, is the recipient of the Julia Altschule Award. During the recent Nurses’ Day Conference on May 11, Margaret “Meg” Shields, RN, received the Margaret C. Tibbetts Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership.

Spring Nurses’ Day Conference Focuses on Suicide Prevention
Continuing its long tradition of offering twice-a-year professional development opportunities, the McLean Hospital Nursing Department presented its Spring 2018 Nurses’ Day Conference on Friday, May 11, in Pierce Hall. The daylong program examined state and federal suicide prevention programs, reported on national suicide trends and statistics, and offered practical advice and training to nurses working with potential suicide victims in clinical settings.

Read more in the full issue.


The Spring 2018 issue explores professional growth opportunities for McLean nursing staff. Some are new to McLean like Steven Rainone, MSN, FNP, RN, now nurse director for the Clinical Evaluation Center. And some are longtime staff like Nicole Visaggio, RN, recently appointed to the nurse manager role for the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program and the Short Term Unit. Nicole has worked at McLean for 17 years, initially as a mental health specialist.

Nurse directors throughout the hospital are working to streamline communication and educate staff through employee newsletters. These newsletters give program staff the opportunity to learn more about updates in the field and the latest information in patient care at McLean.

The Nursing Department’s crisis prevention intervention (CPI) instructors are instrumental in promoting McLean’s values of patient/family engagement and least-restrictive alternatives. In 2017, our instructors taught 33 classes, educating 620 staff members. The instructors also meet monthly to problem-solve and share best practices.

Nursing Network Spring 2018 coverDe-Escalation Training: More Than Just a Class
McLean nurses and mental health specialists pride themselves on their ability to help patients through difficult times during their care. The verbal and non-verbal communication skills employed by staff are commonly referred to as de-escalation strategies. These skills and strategies are critical to promote patient engagement and facilitate least-restrictive care.

Program Newsletters Educate Staff and Streamline Communication
Staff at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program have noticed a significant drop in emails from Christopher A. Richard, BSN, RN, the nurse manager for the program. That’s because about a year and a half ago, Richard began publishing a two-page weekly newsletter chock full of timely information on everything from policy reminders to new hires.

A Well-Traveled Career Path: Mental Health Specialist to Registered Nurse
Nicole Visaggio was a mental health specialist (MHS) at McLean for a year before she decided to become a nurse. She spent the next three years working full-time as an MHS while attending nursing school. Now a nurse manager, she is midway through a master’s degree in forensic nursing.

Read more in the full issue.