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SJHH / About/ Nursing

Nursing at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

Nursing Vision

We will make a difference in the lives of those we care for, our organization, and the future of our community, through achievement of excellence in nursing and commitment to a culture of nursing innovation, empowerment, leadership and accountability.

Nursing Mission

We are committed to providing patient and family-centred care that is informed by evidence, rooted in compassion, and focused on health, healing and recovery, or supporting a peaceful death.

Philosophical Beliefs

The Recipient of Care…

We believe in:

  • Respect for the inherent dignity and worth of all individuals
  • Partnerships that support informed decision-making
  • The power and potential for change, growth, and recovery

The Context of Care…

We believe that:

  • The patient and family are central in the entire cycle of care
  • There is a place for faith, hope and individualized expressions of spirituality in the provision of care
  • A healthy work environment is critical to achieve positive outcomes for patients, nurses and the organization


We believe that:

  • Nursing is a knowledge profession, and we are committed to creating, disseminating and applying new knowledge in practice
  • Healing occurs best in an environment which supports therapeutic relationships and continuity of nursing care
  • Nursing is conveyed through our words, actions, values, and beliefs
  • Ongoing assessment, intervention and evaluation are key to determining and improving nursing-sensitive outcomes
  • Strong nursing leadership supports professional practice and decision-making and is central to quality care
  • The exchange of expert knowledge with students and colleagues through preceptorship, mentorship and formal and informal teaching and learning roles is essential
  • Building effective collaborative relationships is in the best interests of those we serve
  • Nursing is a challenging and rewarding profession which offers unique opportunities to make meaningful contributions to human wholeness, and to grow personally and professionally
  • Nurses have an essential role as advocates for patients, families, the health care system and the profession

When Aligned Around Shared Values and United in a Common Mission and Vision, Ordinary People Accomplish Extraordinary Results.

Nursing Professional Practice

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) employs over 1800 Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses and Advanced Practice Nurses, who provide leadership in evidence-informed patient and family-centred care. These nurses are key contributors to and leaders of multiple professional practice, inter-professional, and corporate initiatives to advance clinical practice, education and research at SJHH. Nurses at SJHH are supported by the Nursing Advisory Council (NAC). The NAC’s mandate is to uphold and advance excellence in professional nursing practice, education and research at SJHH using a shared governance approach. Members represent the NAC on many decision-making nursing committees including Skin and Wound Care Steering, Best Practice Spotlight Organization Steering, Releasing Time to Care Steering, Falls Steering, Policy and Practice, Medical Directives and Authorization.

Nurses practice at SJHH in a number of specialty practice areas at three sites: maternal and newborn, mental health and addiction, renal and urology, acute medicine, critical care, cardiac care, orthopedics, general surgery, complex care, rehabilitation, operating and recovery room, head, neck and chest surgery nursing. Many nurses have specialty certification in these fields through the Canadian Nurses Association. Specialty training and annual reviews are provided in many clinical areas. Examples include annual Critical Care Review and the Mental Health and Addiction Nursing Residency Program.

SJHH is designated as a Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO). This designation is awarded to healthcare organizations that have demonstrated support for the implementation of Best Practice Guidelines (BPGs). This dynamic partnership between the RNAO and SJHH focuses on making a positive impact on patient care through engaging nurses in championing the implementation and evaluation of evidence-informed practices. This partnership also enables us to support our nurses to attend Champions’ Workshops and pursue the RNAO Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowships (ACPF).

Advanced Practice Nursing

Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) include Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nurse Practitioners. They have advanced education at the graduate study level, understanding of systems’ issues and the ability to generate, synthesize and apply research evidence, as well as in-depth knowledge and expertise in their clinical specialty. Their practice is characterized by a high degree of autonomy, leadership, initiative, depth and breadth of knowledge. Our APNs develop advanced assessment and intervention strategies, manage complex clinical situations, as well as generate and apply new knowledge. Their decision-making skills stem from a strong experiential, theoretical, ethical and evidence-informed foundation in nursing. They provide consultations and collaborate with the members of the interdisciplinary team to develop quality improvement practices. Many of our APNs have clinical faculty appointments. Collaboration and sharing of information among APNs across SJHH is facilitated by monthly meetings.

Nursing Education

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) offers many opportunities for the professional and leadership development for nurses. A dynamic group of nurse educators supports quality practice and the ongoing professional development of nursing staff by developing, delivering, and evaluating high quality competency-based orientation and continuing education programs to nurses and inter-professional colleagues. Nurses in multiple roles act as preceptors and clinical tutors for undergraduate nursing students at McMaster University and the McMaster Mohawk Collaborative BScN and Practical Nursing Programs.

Acting in multiple educational roles, nurses make a difference in quality nursing practice by facilitating knowledge transfer, promoting implementation of clinical best practices, engaging in program development and evaluation, providing educational consultation, acting as mentors, providing inter-professional staff, patient and family education, leading policy development and change initiatives. Many participate in scholarly activities such as research, internal and external presentations in national and international forums, and publications.

For information about Nursing Placements at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, please click here.

Nursing Research

Nurses participate as principal and co-investigators and as locally responsible investigators in numerous research projects. In all clinical areas, nurses contribute to implementation of evidence-informed practice projects and to quality improvement, quality councils and program evaluation activities. St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton's nurses are primary authors and co-authors in work published in peer-reviewed journals and other publications.