Yvonne Dobbenga-Rhodes, RNC, clinical nurse specialist in the Maternal
Child Health Department at Washington Hospital, was recently elected to
serve on the 2016-2017 Board of Directors of the National Association
of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS).
“This election is an honor,” said Dobbenga-Rhodes. “It
will help me advance the quality of nursing care at Washington Hospital
while also giving me an opportunity to make changes and improvements for
advanced practice registered nurses at the national level.”
“NACNS has done a great deal to build awareness of the important
role that clinical nurse specialists play in making sure patients receive
high-quality care based on the best and most recent research practices,”
Clinical nurse specialists are advanced practice registered nurses who
work in specialized areas of nursing. Their goal is to make sure nursing
care is of the highest possible quality, is based on proven practices,
and is focused on the needs of each individual patient. Clinical nurse
specialists offer direct patient care and also lead initiatives with other
nurses in order to improve care and clinical outcomes as well as to reduce costs.
As a maternal child health nurse, Dobbenga-Rhodes performs patient and
staff education, consultations, and clinical research. Clinical nurse
specialists have served at Washington Hospital for nearly 30 years. In
addition to Maternal Child Health, they work in Critical Care, the Emergency
Department and the Education Department.
Through her involvement and leadership with NACNS, Dobbenga-Rhodes contributes
to the health and well-being of families and children in the local community.
Her participation in NACNS has strengthened her commitment to advancing
nursing practice throughout Washington Hospital, and this has helped ensure
that patients receive comprehensive, safe, compassionate care at the bedside.
Washington Hospital is designated a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses
Credentialing Center. This is the highest level of recognition a hospital
can receive for the quality of its nursing care.
The Hospital has supported Dobbenga-Rhodes, giving her opportunities to
research and publish papers on amniotic fluid embolism, cardiac disease
in pregnancy, congenital cardiac heart disease in newborns, and thrombophilia
in pregnancy. Through these publications, she has shared her knowledge
and experience with other nurses at Washington Hospital.
“At our Hospital, we have a very dedicated group of professional
registered nurses, physicians and ancillary staff members who are committed
to supporting families through their life-changing, childbearing events,
as well as when their children require hospitalization,” she observed.
“I consider it a privilege to work with such an amazing group of
intelligent and compassionate individuals. Washington Hospital’s
commitment to the community is unparalleled, and we are always seeking
to find new methods to support the health care needs of women, infants
As an NACNS board member, Dobbenga-Rhodes is also a liaison to the nursing
organization’s practice committee that investigates ways to reinforce
the value of the advanced practice role of the clinical nurse specialist.
“I contribute to the quality of nursing care in Labor and Delivery,
Postpartum, and Pediatrics by providing evidence-based staff education
and patient consultation. These services support positive outcomes for
patients,” she explained.
A charter member of NACNS, Dobbenga-Rhodes has been in the nursing field
for 33 years and has worked at Washington Hospital since 1994. She has
worked in the field of maternal child health for 26 years.
In addition to being a clinical nurse specialist, she is board certified
in inpatient obstetric nursing, neonatal intensive care and pediatric
nursing. She is also an instructor for the neonatal resuscitation program,
basic life support and intermediate fetal heart monitoring. In the past,
she was on the adjunct faculty for Ohlone College and Holy Names University.
Dobbenga-Rhodes holds a Master of Science degree in Women’s Health
Care from the University of Rochester School of Nursing in Rochester,
New York, and her BSN from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
She is a member of the California Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists;
the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the Association
of Operating Room Nurses; the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric
and Neonatal Nurses; the National Association of Neonatal Nurses; the
Society of Pediatric Nurses; and Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor
Society of Nursing.
NACNS was founded in 1995 and is the only association representing clinical
nurse specialists. The organization is dedicated to advancing clinical
nurse specialist practice and education and increasing public access to
quality clinical nurse specialist services.
To find out more about the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists,
go online to www.nacns.org. For more information about Washington Hospital,