St. Mary's Hospitals nurses are:

Called to Care

Called to Lead

Called to Excellence

Called to Serve

Called to Achieve

Called to Challenge

Called to Collaborate

Our Nurses are Called to Care

As Bon Secours St. Mary's Nurses we believe ourselves to be an extension of this healing ministry of the Sisters of Bon Secours and the Catholic Church in the Greater Richmond Area. At St. Mary's we value compassionate, loving care that is evidence-based and provided by a highly competent, professional nursing staff. We consider nursing to be a calling and a profession as opposed to being merely a job.

Dr. Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring

In support of our "caring calling", our nurses adopted Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring as the theoretical framework for our practice. In Watson's theory, the art of science of caring balances both compassion and healing with quality and competence. Dr. Watson states, "Systems committed to authentic caring relationships and ethical-theory guided practices are transforming nursing and health care from the inside out. Such initiatives are redefining concepts of excellence and crating new standards of caring-healing practices to serve the public. Bon Secours is one such system which is part of this transformation of nursing that is devoted to offering compassionate caring services to individual patients, families and the public at large".

Dr. Watson's ten caritas processes give voice to the unique contribution of the nurse to health care team in our organization and community. We believe in practicing these ten caritas processes every day.

St. Mary's Hospital Adapted 10 Caritas Factors

  • Practice Loving Kindness
  • Instill Faith and Hope
  • Nurture Individual Spiritual Beliefs and Practices
  • Develop Helping-Trusting Relationships
  • Promote and Accept the Expression of Negative and Positive Feelings
  • Use Creative Problem Solving Methods for Decision-Making
  • Perform Teaching and Learning That Addresses Individual Needs and Learning Styles
  • Create a Healing Environment for the Physical and Spiritual Self Which Respects Human Dignity
  • Assist with Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Human Needs
  • Allow Room for Miracles to Take Place

(Adapted from Jean Watson's Caritas Factors by Westlake Hospital Nursing Staff - Melrose, Illinois)

As a result of our efforts, St. Mary's Hospital has been invited to participate in Dr. Watson's International Caring Consortium (ICC), a prestigious group of nursing leaders and organizations committed to bringing more caring into our daily practice.

Relationship Based Care

Nursing models of care delivery are important as they provide structures and processes to support the delivery of nursing care. Following a comprehensive evaluation of care delivery models, our nurses felt that a professional model centered around the nurse-patient relationship was desired. Relationship-Based Care encompasses this relationship as well as relationships with colleagues and self. We believe that developing caring and healing environments that foster healthy relationships will bring the positive outcomes that we all desire.

More information can be found at

Our Philosophy of Nursing

In concert with the mission, vision and values of the Sisters of Bon Secours and Bon Secours Health System, Inc. and Watson's Caring-Healing Theory, the professional nursing staff of St. Mary's Hospital provides holistic nursing care centered around the patient and family. Our caring practices engage the patient/family in a therapeutic relationship addressing the human responses to illness and health, promotion of wellness, patient education, and spirituality, including sensitivity to cultural issues. We strive to improve patient outcomes that maximize the patient's quality of life across the entire life span while maintaining appropriate standards of medical ethics in the delivery of patient care.

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Called to Lead

Our Nursing Leadership and Staff

Our Chief Nursing Officer

Francine Barr, RN, MS, CNAA-BC
Francine has been a registered nurse since 1976. She was committed to having a career as a nurse from a very young age. Upon completion of high school she entered an A.D. program at West Virginia Northern Community College. Two years later with R.N. in hand she entered the BSN program at West Virginia University. She was able to work as a Registered Nurse at the University Hospital to support the completion of her college degree in only two more years. As a magna cum laude graduate she began her career as a critical care nurse with special interest in cardiac surgery. By 1982 she had earned her Master of Science in Nursing at VCU in medical–surgical nursing with a minor in teaching and cardiovascular clinical specialization. These eight years of working and studying made her a true role model for the value of nursing education.

Francine has held positions in various areas of nursing including staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, Administrative Director of critical care and case management as well as Vice President of Bon Secours Richmond Care Management and of course most recently Chief Nursing Officer/Vice President of Nursing at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital.

She is a person called to nursing as a profession and has lived up to the mission she chose to serve. Francine has many roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend but her strong desire to provide loving care threads through each of them. Men and women in nursing need role models who can grow professionally while balancing the many other parts of their lives. We believe Francine Barr is an outstanding example.

Our Administrative Directors

Each Division within Patient Care Services has an Administrative Director responsible for integration, facilitation and collaboration of administrative and clinical practice. They serve as professional role models, leaders, mentors, and clinical resource/educators for nurse managers and other members of the healthcare team.

Our Nurse Managers

Each Nursing unit has a Nurse Manager responsible for twenty-four hour accountability for the unit. They serve as professional role models, mentors and clinical resources for nursing staff.

Our Nurses

Our nurses are challenged to leadership within the workplace through project leadership and participation, Nursing Governance Council participation and use of Evidence Based Practice principles. Also, through our Professional Advancement Program our nurses are challenged to advance to new levels of responsibility and leadership throughout their career.

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Called to Excellence

Our Nurses are Called to Excellence

We Support an Environment of Constant Growth

Bon Secours is dedicated to helping nurses grow professionally throughout their careers. We consider nursing to be a calling and a profession not just a job. We are dedicated to helping nurses earn advanced degrees, specialty certifications and achieve personal growth. Our many human resources driven programs provide tuition reimbursement, professional dues reimbursement and conference and travel expense reimbursement.

Professional Advancement Program (PAP)

The Professional Advancement Program (PAP) provides a vehicle for our nurses to plan and develop their journey of professional growth. It encourages active engagement in commitment to caring, safe practice, effective communication, innovation and teamwork. Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of evidence that supports this engagement. Portfolios are reviewed by the Advancement Committee and nurses are able to achieve promotion to Clinical Nurse I, II, III, and IV. Each level requires proof of a more sophisticated level of engagement and expertise. The PAP allows us to reward the contributions of nurses to professional practice and quality patient outcomes, as well as retain their expertise at the bedside.

Board Certifications

Our expectation is for our nurses to be board certified in a specialty. The cost of the exams, for staff who pass the exam, are covered by St. Mary's. Our nurses are certified in specialties such as:


  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health
  • Geriatric Psychiatric & Mental Health
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Cardio Vascular Care
  • Case Management
  • Child/Adolescent Psychiatric & Mental Health
  • Diabetes Management
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Informatics
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing Professional Development
  • Pain Management
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Public/Community Health
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Bariatrics
  • Forensics
  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Cardiac Surgery

Professional Organization Involvement

Our nurses are encouraged to participate and become leaders in local, national and international nursing organizations including the American Nurses Association. Many of our nurses also participate and serve as leaders in nursing organizations related to their specialty certifications.

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Called to Serve

Our Nurses are Called to Serve

2007 Community Outreach Efforts

Our corporate mission is based on reaching out to people in need. Our nurses proudly continue this tradition each year. In 2007, our nurses again participated in many outreach projects both within the surrounding community and on an international scale.

Local Outreach

Reaching out to Richmond, Virginia
We feel it is important to support our community locally. Partnering with local charities and other organizations allows us to touch lives outside of the hospital. Our nurses regularly conduct health screenings at churches, schools and other community events. These screenings include blood pressure checks, immunizations, smoking cessation programs, breast cancer awareness and education on sexually transmitted diseases.

Also, our nurses enjoy participating in school career days at local schools and with boy and girl scout troops.

Many of our nurses volunteer at free clinics, on rescue squads and participate in church and charity group medical missions within our city and state.

Another important service that our nurses provide to the community is their willingness to provide first aid services at community events.

For the past eight years, SMH nurses have provided first aid services at community events and the Virginia State Fair. This year, a team from our Emergency Department had the opportunity to participate as first aid volunteers at the Central Virginia British Car Club 2007 Car Show. The event had over 2000 visitors and over 300 car owners participated.

But that's not all. Read on to find out about more local and internal efforts our nurses have participated in.

Richmond Community High School Partnership

This spring, our RN Residency Coordinator, supervised an eight-week program for 30 Richmond Community high school students interested in healthcare. The program was designed to give these students extensive, varied and worthwhile expose to healthcare and related careers.

YMCA Y-teens Summer Program

This summer, several teenagers from the YMCA Yteens program participated in an internship at St. Mary's hospital. They were able to see many areas of the hospital during their 8 days here and will hopefully continue to be encouraged in pursuing healthcare occupations.

International Outreach

Pondiasseau Clinic, Haiti
One of our CVICU nurses joined five other Bon Secours healthcare professionals on a health mission trip to the nation of Haiti. It was a dangerous and challenging five hour drive on unpaved roads to reach the clinic in Pondiasseau.

Medical Missions to Honduras

In 2007, nurses from our NICU traveled to Honduras with a team from Friends of Barnabus Foundation. They helped set-up a medical clinic in the village school and saw over 450 patients each day. They also helped identify patients in need of extended care for cleft lip surgery, palate repairs, cardiac surgery and orthopedic care.

One of our Labor and Delivery nurses also visited Honduras on a mission trip sponsored by her church Trinity United Methodist. She helped run open clinics for women and children, performed health screenings, ran eye clinics and distributed glasses. The mission team also helped make referrals to visiting surgical teams.

A NICU in Afghanistan

Two of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses were recently invited to visit the very first NICU in Afghanistan. Run by CURE International, the NICU was opened in early 2006, providing the only specialized neonatal care for the entire country. Armed with six suitcases filled with desperately needed donated and purchased equipment, our nurses traveled for two days to reach the capital city of Kabul. Once there, they worked along side the Afghani nurses, providing one-on-one training in the care of the sick neonate. They also taught several class on Neonatal Resuscitation and Basic Care of the Neonate for the Afghani doctors and midwives, and helped establish the first protocols and guidelines for the new NICU.

A MidAtlantic Rescue

Our nurses are dedicated to patient care both inside the hospital and out in the community. A perfect example of this commitment occurred aboard a recent trans-Atlantic flight. During the flight, a passenger became ill and the request for medical personnel was made to the passengers. One of our nurses responded to the request and came to the rescue of a gentleman suffering from a massive heart attack. She assessed the situation and cooperated with a medical team on the ground to save the passenger's life.

Our Nurses also Support the following Organizations:

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, United Way, American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Are you Interested in Partnering with St. Mary's Nurses?

If your community group, school or other organization would like to partner with St. Mary's Nurses, please contact the St. Mary's Nursing Resource Center by clicking below.

Contact Us

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Called to Achieve

Our Nurses are Called to Achieve

VCU School of Nursing Alumnus Award for Outstanding Practice

Our Chief Nursing Officer, Francine Barr, RN, MS, CNAA-BC, was selected as the 2007 winner of this award. The award honors a Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) alumnus who exemplifies an "innovative, professional and scholarly approach to nursing practice and contributes to the development of others within the field."

Advance for Nursing - Best Nursing Team 2007

Each year, Advance for Nursing magazine takes nominations for "Best Nursing Team". This is a nationwide competition!

We are proud to announce that our very own Antepartum Unit (APU) was named as winner for 2007. The team was selected from hundreds of nominations based on an excellent essay written by APU team member, Alyssa Leimburger, BSN, RN. The selection committee at Advance were impressed by the special effort APU nurses put into making their unique patient population feel extra special during what is often a challenging and emotionally draining time.

Johnson's Childbirth Nursing Award

A former patient nominated our child-birthing units for the Johnson's Childbirth Nursing Award. This award celebrates the care a patient receives during the childbirth experience.

Magnificent Mom Richmond

Each year Bon Secours, Style Weekly, the Children's Museum of Richmond, and Commonwealth Parenting select several Magnificent Moms from the hundreds of nominations they receive. Winners receive a prize package and are displayed in Style Weekly, at the Children's Museum and at Bon Secours facilities. This year several Bon Secours employees were selected as winners. One winner was St. Mary's nursing's very own Bonnie Ferrell.

St. Mary's Excellence Award Winners

Each year, we take nominations for several awards both for St. Mary's Hospital and Bon Secours Richmond. We are proud to present the winners for 2007:

RN Excellence Award Winner - Valerie Erie, RN

LPN Excellence Award Winner - Phyllis Fitzgerald, LPN

Special Merit Award Winner - Lisa Edwards, PCT

Rose Black Award Winner - Lana Price, RN

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Called to Challenge

Our Nurses are Called to Challenge

Information coming soon.

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Called to Collaborate

Our Nurses are Called to Collaborate

What is Nursing Shared Governance?

Nursing shared governance is an organizational framework which allows nurses increased professional autonomy. It empowers nurses and managers to contribute to the decision-making process related to patient care, nursing practice and the work environment through participation in nursing governance councils.

Our Governance Councils

Our nurses are encouraged to actively participate in all nursing councils and hospital committees. Our nursing shared governance structures are designed to encourage innovation, autonomy and professionalism.

Nursing Executive Council (NEC)

Organizes and controls resources, delineates and fulfills nursing strategic planning objectives and promotes and sustains an environment that enhances excellence in professional nursing practice.

Clinical Practice Council (CPC)

The Clinical Practice Council defines and controls all issues, materials and activities related to nursing practice reflective of shared governance and Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring.

Educational Council (EdC)

The Education Council defines and evaluates nursing education and orientation needs within the Nursing Division for the purpose of developing a highly skilled professional nursing staff that provides quality patient care integrating the foundational elements of the Professional Practice Model and Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring.

Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Research Council (ARC)

The Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Research Council includes two tiers of responsibility:

Designs and directs the implementation of and evaluates the effectiveness of the quality improvement program for the Nursing Division based on data analysis to ensure excellent patient outcomes and a safe, positive work environment for staff.

Validates knowledge on which nursing practice is based (evidence-based practice) and generates new knowledge to advance the science and art of nursing through promotion and support of nursing research.

Strategic Planning Council (SPC)

The Strategic Planning Council coordinates the development of a strategic plan which provides for a diverse professional nursing workforce, sufficient in number, appropriately educated, effectively utilized and adequately supported, to provide the highest quality evidence-based practice.

Nursing Operations Council (NOC)

The Nursing Operations Council provides a collaborative forum to share/disseminate information to and within the Nursing Division for all disciplines and departments.

Nursing Coordinating Council (NCC)

Promotes communication, integration of functions, resolution of conflicts and critical decision making between councils.

Nursing Congress (NC)

The Nursing Congress identifies and establishes priorities for the Nursing Division to advance professional nursing practice, to provide a mechanism for the membership to share and receive information, and to recognize and celebrate contributions of members.

Advanced Practice Nurse Council (APC)

Provide collaborative forum for the advanced practice nurse to share ideas and expertise with other specialties and provide leadership and expertise in the integration and application of evidence-based practice and research by nursing staff at the bedside.

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