Leaders Interacting with Nurses to Increase Knowledge of Spectrum Systems (LINKS)

Implemented in 2006, the LINKS program provides the opportunity to strengthen staff and leadership communication and understanding of each other’s roles.  The objectives of this paid, 4-week experience include:

  • Increase communication between staff RN’s and those in leadership roles
  • Provide staff with valuable insights into administrative philosophies and goals
  • Provide leaders with valuable insights into the staff RN role
  • Retain competent nurses through this enhanced experience.

LINKS program participants for FY16 share the impact of the experience.

  • beldingbj-200x301

    Leaders Interacting with Nurses to Increase Knowledge of Spectrum Systems: what a wonderful concept and program. As the next CSLC Chairperson, I was accepted into the program in October 2015 and I hoped to gain a broader sense of nursing at Spectrum Health Grand Rapids. I learned so much more! I was able to spend time with nursing leadership at the CNO, CNS, director, manager, educator and supervisor levels. I also spent time visiting areas where nurses set policy and practice expectations which directly impact patient safety and satisfaction- in areas like infection control, patient relations and Patient-Family Advisory Councils. I learned that nurses do so much more than direct patient care at Spectrum Health. We, as nurses, have a vital role throughout this healthcare system and in this community. The strength of the LINKS program lies with the knowledge that is openly shared; it enriches, supports, nurtures and allows for excellence in nursing at the bedside. The program also opened my eyes to the wealth of opportunity available for nurses at SHGR. Explore your possibilities with LINKS.”

    BJ Belding RN, CNOR
    Registered Nurse
    Surgical Services, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

  • clarkmelissa-200x301
    “The LINKS program was a great opportunity for me to be a part of. Throughout this program I got to shadow many different leaders in many different roles, and it gave me a better understanding of Spectrum Health as a system. Every person that I had the opportunity to spend time with was very welcoming and helped me develop as a leader. I accepted a nursing supervisor position shortly after the LINKS program and I couldn’t imagine it working out any better. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to gain many mentors from this experience.”

    Melissa Clark BSN, RN, OCN
    Inpatient Nurse Supervisor
    Oncology, Butterworth Hospital

  • schilbeandrea-200x301

    “I had such a great experience participating in the LINKS program! The LINKS program is an amazing opportunity offered at Spectrum Health. I was very fortunate to follow various leadership roles and healthcare professionals; it is apparent how they greatly influence each other to make this system such a cohesive and successful organization. I have a greater appreciation and understanding for the decisions made throughout the organization and have a broader understanding of how the nursing profession strongly impacts the healthcare system. The experiences and lessons learned from this program have carried on into my nursing profession and graduate school education, for which I am very thankful for! I would highly recommend the LINKS program to any nurse who is interested in learning more about Spectrum Health and nursing leadership!”

    Andrea Schilbe RN, BSN, CMSRN
    Registered Nurse
    Bariatric Unit, Blodgett Hospital

  • temp

    “The LINKS program is an incredibly rich learning experience and I am very thankful to everyone that hosted me throughout the month.  When I started LINKS, my goal was to learn how nursing fits into the greater Spectrum Health Delivery System and how the entities work together as a whole. I was continuously impressed with the various roles for nursing and how they impact our patients and the organization. Before the LINKS program I only had a passing understanding of nursing leadership within the organization, but then was able to observe the types of decisions and work being done as well as learn from different leadership styles. I saw firsthand the concern and thoughtfulness nursing leadership has for the bedside nurse. I also had an exceptional experience at Healthier Communities and at Gerber Memorial Hospital learning different aspects of the system and reaching underserved populations. LINKS is a crash course in Spectrum Health and I enjoyed every day.”

    Tammy Vanderwoude BSN, RN, PCCN
    Inpatient Nurse Supervisor
    7 Meijer Heart Center