Commitment to Education

THE BEATRICE RENFIELD DIVISION of Nursing Education and Research promotes excellence in the clinical care of patients, combining patient care, education and research activities, and by working to:

  1. Promote competency of nursing staff through evidence-based orientation, staff development and continuing education utilizing adult learning principles.
  2. Promote, conduct and utilize nursing research regarding patient care and clinical practice.
  3. Advise and counsel staff for professional development and advancement through individual and group consultation, including management of tuition and certification reimbursement processes.
  4. Disseminate information regarding new technology and products, research and policies and procedures as needed.
  5. Provide support services essential for professional and personal problem solving to assure quality patient care in a continually changing health care environment.
  6. Evaluate the outcomes of educational activities with such measures as written evaluations, competency assessments, chart reviews, patient and/or staff interviews and divisional QI data.
  7. Coordinate learning experiences for undergraduate and graduate academic nursing students, as well as coordination of international nursing observational experiences and specialty nursing clinical placements such as for WOCN students.

The Beatrice Renfield Division of Nursing Education and Research is responsible for nursing education activities at Beth Israel Petrie Division, Beth Israel Brooklyn, the Beth Israel Methadone Maintenance Treatment Programs and ambulatory facilities including the Phillips Ambulatory Care Center and the Continuum Cancer Center Westside location. The staff of the Beatrice Renfield Division of Nursing Education and Research is comprised of a director, 8 Nurse Education Managers and 2 support staff. The Nurse Education Managers are master’s prepared with diverse clinical backgrounds, and practical experience in major areas in nursing, including maternal-child health, psychiatry and chemical dependency, adult acute care and adult critical care.


Beatrice Renfield Division of Nursing Education and Research Programs


Beth Israel Medical Center’s centralized Beatrice Renfield Division of Nursing Education and Research presents orientation to provide all levels of nursing staff with a broad overview of BIMC’s patient-centered model of care and nursing staff’s role responsibilities based on departmental standards of care. The goal of nursing orientation is to ensure that new employees receive consistent information regarding policies, procedures, standards and documentation to support professional practice. New employees participate in a competency-based orientation that is designed to meet individual needs. Various learning methods including computer training, classes and self-learning modules are used concurrently with clinical preceptorship to assist in role socialization and integration into BIMC’s culture and environment.

RN Orientation

Newly hired nurses receive a comprehensive, 8-day competency-based classroom orientation, which includes education on Joint Commission readiness, policies, procedures, equipment, skills and the electronic medical record. The nurses are taught how to navigate the intranet to identify clinical resources, for example, how to find patient education information or how to validate medical staff credentials.The classroom orientation is followed by a clinical orientation on the patient care unit. Nursing Education also runs a weekly support and educational session for RN orientees during their first 3 clinical orientation weeks. Topics covered include time management, delegation, cardiac arrest and stroke code management.

BIMC Nursing Education provides, in addition, the very special Blue Sky program for newly graduated nurses. The goal of the Blue Sky initiative, which began in July 2007, is to improve support of new graduate nurses, enhance job satisfaction and autonomy, increase critical thinking skills and ultimately reduce new graduate turnover. The Blue Sky program was designed, based on feedback from Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing students as well as evidence from the literature, to address the fact that new graduate nurses, without adequate support, find it very stressful to transition from student to professional staff nurse.

The Blue Sky program during its first 3 years has helped 96% of 215 new graduate nurses make that difficult transition smoothly to their new role.

The Blue Sky program coordinator presents weekly critical thinking development sessions designed to help new graduate nurses identify common diagnoses and determine the nursing interventions and rationales appropriate for each case scenario. The Blue Sky program coordinator also communicates at least weekly with each new graduate orientee, his or her preceptor and nurse manager to determine the new grad’s progress toward the goal of managing an independent patient assignment. A key element in the new grad’s successful transition is the orientee-preceptor relationship. Since the beginning of the Blue Sky program, 134 experienced BIMC staff nurses have participated in the preceptor workshop for which the content was revised to emphasize skills that would help provide a more effective and structured orientation for new graduate nurses.

Per Diem and Agency Nurse Orientation

A 3-day competency based classroom orientation, which includes education on Joint Commission readiness, policies, procedures, equipment, skills and the electronic medical record.

Patient Care Associate (PCA) orientation

An intensive, 2-week competency-based orientation for patient care associates (PCAs). It includes didactic content and skill workshops in the classroom as well as supervised clinical practice, (in phlebotomy and taking EKGs). The orientation program has a strong customer service focus and incorporates discussion, with interactive scenarios, about communication among PCAs, patients, families, nurses, physicians and hospital staff. It also includes skill building in how to provide care to a diverse patient population.

Unit Support Associate (USA) orientation

A 1-week classroom and clinical orientation designed to provide the clerical and secretarial education needed by new USA’s on the clinical units. Like the program for PCAs, the USA orientation emphasizes customer service skills and knowledge of diverse patient populations.




To maintain staff competency in care of patients in emergency situations, the Beatrice Renfield Division of Nursing Education and Research regularly provides or schedules the following courses:   

  • Basic Life Support
  • Heartsaver CPR
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support
  • Scenario–based simulation training, including mock codes


Learning opportunities are provided to support nurses throughout all phases of their professional development. Specialty nursing classes and programs are offered on a recurring basis throughout the year:

  • Preceptor Workshop
  • Team Leader Workshop
  • Critical Care Course*
  • Basic EKG*
  • 12 lead EKG*
  • AWHONN Fetal Monitoring*
  • Psychiatric Nursing Overview*
  • Addictions Nursing Overview*

* contact hours awarded


Staff Recognition

Nurse Recognition Week

Beth Israel annually recognizes and celebrates the contributions of its registered nurses during the week of May 6th.

The Beatrice Renfield Circle of Excellence Awards

Beatrice Renfield was a member of the Board of Trustees at Beth Israel from 1988 until her death in November 2002. Over the years Mrs. Renfield, although not a nurse herself, was a passionate supporter of nursing. Her philosophy was that quality health care is a direct result of excellent nursing, so she became a champion for nurses who helped create new and innovative models of nursing care that are now utilized throughout the country.

As part of Beth Israel Medical Center's Nurse Recognition Week celebration each year, we present the Beatrice Renfield Circle of Excellence Awards. The Circle of Excellence Awards were begun by Mrs. Renfield in 1991 to recognize excellence in nursing practice and are now given in honor and memory of this extraordinary nursing advocate. The Nursing Department acknowledges and rewards many of its outstanding nurses at the ceremony during National Nurses Week in May. In addition to a sterling silver laurel wreath pin designed by Mrs. Renfield, each award recipient receives a $1000 educational stipend.