Patient Resources

Nursing Excellence

Excellence is our starting point, not our finish line.

Nursing Philosophy

UT Southwestern is committed to providing quality nursing care through the effective use of resources and development of innovative programs in clinical practice, education, and research.

We value the worth, dignity, and autonomy of our patients and their families. We believe that each individual has unique physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs that are served through personalized, compassionate care. We encourage each nurse to care for his or her body, mind, and spirit as a critical element in achieving clinical excellence.

Nurses at UT Southwestern are also encouraged to nurture and support one another in an environment that fosters teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration. Working collaboratively affords us the opportunity for common goal-setting through trust, mutual respect, and a commitment to open and honest communication in serving our patients.

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Transformational Leaders in Patient Care

"As I walk the halls of our University Hospital and clinics each day, it's no wonder I smile. Around every corner, I see reflections of nursing at UT Southwestern; it's often in the greeting of a grateful patient. The patient experience drives us in our calling as nurses. Nurses here are passionate about patient care excellence. They make sure that the whole family unit feels cared for and part of the team. They are transformational leaders at every level."

– Susan Hernandez, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN, Chief Nurse Executive, UT Southwestern Health System

David A. Wyatt, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, CNOR

David A. Wyatt, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, CNOR

Chief Nursing Officer, University Hospital

Christopher McLarty, D.N.P., APRN, ACNP-BC

Christopher McLarty, D.N.P., APRN, ACNP-BC

Chief Nursing Officer, Ambulatory Services

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Christi Nguyen

Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Nursing Excellence

Nurses at UT Southwestern are focused on providing compassionate, patient-centered care. Every nurse is a leader, whether at the bedside or in a quality, patient safety, or management role. Through their presentations at local, national, and international conferences, our nurses are recognized for leading nursing excellence in education, research, and evidence-based practice.

Nursing Mission and Vision

The Nursing Division at UT Southwestern is committed to being a national leader among academic health centers in providing high-quality, safe, and innovative patient care and to being a model of excellence in professional nursing practice, education, and research. We endeavor to:

  • Enhance quality, patient safety, and service
  • Guide professional nursing practice
  • Create a healthy work environment
  • Cultivate transformational leadership and collaborative governance
  • Embrace research, innovation, and technology
  • Educate the nursing leaders of the future

2023 Nursing Annual Report

Nurses at UT Southwestern continue to raise the bar in providing care and championing excellence in education, research, and leadership. Find out more about how we’re committed to being a model of nursing excellence in our annual report.

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Achieving Magnet Designation

UT Southwestern has achieved Magnet® designation twice, the highest honor awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Magnet® designation means our nurses are nationally recognized for providing excellent, evidence-based patient care, advancing their practice through research and professional development, and are respected by their colleagues for the important role they play on the patient care team. For our patients, the distinction ensures they are choosing a university hospital system that provides the “gold standard” of nursing excellence. We are among only 9% of the nation’s hospitals that have achieved Magnet designation. UT Southwestern exemplifies the true essence of the Magnet model. As an organization that values, recognizes, and encourages continuing education and professional certifications, we believe these are vital components to building the professional development and practice of our nurses.

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UT Southwestern Values

Excellence: We strive for the highest standards of clinical excellence, educational distinction, research integrity, and administrative quality in all we do, and we are rigorous in our commitment to ongoing improvement.

Innovation: We endeavor to develop new knowledge about diseases and healing, to enhance the lives of patients through better care and treatments, to creatively approach challenges, and to inspire the next generation of physicians, scientists, and health professionals.

Teamwork: We work collaboratively and with a shared purpose, drawing on our diverse backgrounds, talents, and ideas and bringing an unwavering integrity to everything we do.

Compassion: We foster an environment in which patients, visitors, and colleagues are treated with respect, dignity, and kindness in every encounter, every day.

U.S. News & World Report - Ranked in 11 Specialties

Transformational Leadership

UT Southwestern is ranked the #1 hospital in Texas* and among the top 20 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2023-24. (*tie) These rankings are a testament to the passion our nurses, other clinicians, and staff of our university hospital and clinics have for providing exceptional care to patients and support for their families in North Texas.

Award-Winning Nurses

UTSW nurses are appreciated and honored across campus, in the local community, nationally, and internationally through a variety of awards and recognitions. Each year, our nurses, collectively and individually, continue to receive awards and accolades, including the:

  • AAMN Best Workplaces For Men in Nursing
  • American Heart Association-Stroke Gold Plus
  • Daisy Awards
  • DFW Great 100 Nurses Awards
  • D Magazine Excellence in Nursing Awards
  • Meritorious Service Awards
  • National Association of Epilepsy Centers-Level 4
  • Nurse Excellence Awards
  • Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders-NICHE Level Exemplar
  • PACT Awards
  • Press Ganey Nurse of the Year Award
  • Strauss Service Excellence Awards
  • Texas Department of State Health Services-William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital Level IV Trauma Facility
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Nurse Satisfaction

Collectively, more than 2,000 UTSW nurses participated in the recent Nurse Satisfaction Surveys. The advanced practice registered nurses, along with nurses in our hospital and hospital-based clinics, completed the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) with a 93% participation rate. Ambulatory nurses piloted the new GLINT survey with a 75% participation rate. Both survey results showed UTSW Medical Center Nursing outperforms academic medical centers in all Magnet categories of nurse satisfaction, a fact we are truly proud of!

Structural Empowerment

Shared governance and shared decision-making: Clinical nurses have a voice within the UT Southwestern shared governance organizational structure, which is built on a solid foundation of teamwork and collaboration. Shared decision-making and accountability empower nurses with a process for determining professional nursing practice. These organizational standards are developed through staff-led interdisciplinary committees, task forces, and councils to improve patient outcomes and patient experiences. Nurses of all levels take conscious ownership of patient care, safety, ethics, research, performance improvement, and evidence-based practice. Our shared governance structure supports the practicing nurse as a key decision-maker with a credible, sought-after perspective. This model strengthens practice by supporting relationships and partnerships among clinical areas, providing an innovative and collaborative environment that benefits patients. In short, nurses at UTSW have a voice!

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Exemplary Professional Practice

UT Southwestern is accredited as a Practice Transition Program by the American Nurse's Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs. The Practice Transition Program received our 2nd Designation with Distinction in 2023, demonstrating our dedication to organizational enculturation of new nurse graduates. In 2022, we onboarded 277 new nurses to 12 specialty areas and maintained a retention rate of 96%, which was well above the retention benchmark. Since the inception of the program, we have supported 854 new nurses. Program leaders a see the program as an integral part of recruitment and retention during UTSW's continued expansion.

Other highlights that showcase our exemplary professional practice include:

  • More than 78% of UTSW nurses hold a B.S.N. degree or higher.
  • UTSW nurses also validate their mastery of skills, knowledge, and abilities through national certifications.
  • Excellence and teamwork save lives, and we are on pace to save more than 300 lives this year, which places us in the top 5% of all academic medical centers. Patient survey responses place us in the top 5% for patient experience, as well.
  • We've received the Press Ganey Pinnacle Award.
  • Opportunities for professional growth and development at UTSW abound. To name just a few:
    • Nursing Grand Rounds
    • ANCC Accredited Nurse Residency Program
    • National Nurses Week Events and Professional Development Days
    • Abstract and Writing Boot Camps
    • Leadership Academies and Training – including Aspire to Achieve
    • On-Site Free Continuing Nursing Education
    • National Certification Review Courses
    • Incentives, Tuition Reimbursement, and Clinical Ladder
    • Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Council, Resources, and Journal Clubs
    • NOMAD – Peer Group Support
    • High-Reliability In-Situ Simulation Training
    • End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium
    • Yearly State of Nursing Address from Chief Nurse Executive
    • Yearly Nursing Annual Report

New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements

Nursing-Led Research, Publications, Presentations, and Posters

The UTSW Division of Nursing has developed and implemented structures and processes to involve more nurses in the research process, and new knowledge gained through nursing-led research efforts and contributions is continually disseminated. Nurses at all levels seek this knowledge and evidence to frame their practice in leadership, clinical education, advanced practice, and direct patient care. As evidence of our organizational commitment to professional development, UTSW supports attendance at local, regional, and national conferences. Financial support for continuing education is aligned with organizational priorities and initiatives. The amount of collaborative research, publications, presentations, and posters from nurses throughout UTSW continues to grow every year.

Explore Nursing Excellence: