Longtime nursing administrator and educator Alice Vautier, RN, EdD, has announced her retirement from Emory Hospitals. Her departure is effective Friday, July 14, 2006.
Dr. Vautier, who has served as Emory Hospitals' chief nursing officer since 1995, has more than 45 years of experience as a nurse, teacher, administrator and innovator. She joined Emory in 1990 as assistant administrator for patient services. Although retiring from Emory, Dr. Vautier will remain active in the nursing profession and plans to teach online nursing administration courses and serve as guest lecturer, among other activities.
During a time in which health care nationwide has continued to experience a continual rise in nursing staff shortages, Dr. Vautier helped to develop new programs to effectively fight those shortages and attract and retain talented nurses for Emory hospitals. Among her many successful programs are a nurse residency program for new or inexperienced nurses in 12 specialty areas; a very successful RN re-entry program that has, to date, hired and trained more than 100 nursing professionals; a preceptor and mentoring program, and a nurse extern program for nursing students. Eleven schools of nursing use the clinical areas of Emory Hospitals for clinical education. She has also been committed to providing tuition support to nursing students at Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing to increase the number of new nurses in Atlanta. She has encouraged nursing staff to further their education at the master's program and doctorate level. A highlight of her career was giving her son his master's degree from Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.
Dr. Vautier developed a partnership with Georgia Perimeter College to provide faculty salary support, clinical instructor support and student tuition support. This program received the GHA 2004 workforce award, and the best practice award from Corporate University Exchange. This partnership has been funded by money budgeted for foreign nurse recruitment. Dr. Vautier believes that Atlanta has people that want to be nurses, but lack the funding and support to achieve that goal. This partnership has allowed those future nurses to achieve the goal of becoming professional nurses.
"Alice Vautier has made Emory Hospitals and Emory Healthcare a top destination for the recruitment of talented nurses nationwide. Additionally, she has developed significant initiatives toward retaining the talented family of nursing professionals who provide the very best in care to our patients each day," said John Fox, Emory Healthcare president and CEO.
"The many different programs Alice has created and put into effect at Emory demonstrate her passion to both patient care and the nursing professional. And her tireless efforts within our community to help expand opportunities for bright, qualified nursing students will carry her legacy well into the future," said Mr. Fox.
Dr. Vautier graduated from the Cooper Hospital School of Nursing in Camden, NJ. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master's in nursing administration from Villanova University and her doctorate in nursing administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.
As a youth, she developed a passion for nursing while watching nurses care for her mother, who had suffered a stroke. She earned her diploma in 1961 and became a staff nurse at Cooper Hospital. From 1963 to 1981, Dr. Vautier served numerous capacities at Philadelphia's St. Christopher's Hospital for Children - beginning as staff nurse and culminating as vice president of nursing, a position she held from 1977 to 1981.
From 1985 to 1990, Dr. Vautier served as vice president of patient services at Cabell Huntington Hospital and adjunct professor at Marshall University School of Nursing in Huntington, WV. She was instrumental in bringing graduate education in nursing to Marshall and was a founding member of Sigma Theta Tau. She initially joined Emory Crawford Long Hospital in 1990 as assistant administrator for patient services.
"Alice has provided us a level of leadership that encourages education and has created a therapeutic healing environment for our patients," said Al Blackwelder, chief operating officer for Emory Crawford Long Hospital.
"I can think of no other individual who so clearly embodies the spirit of caring, teaching, mentoring and leadership within the field of nursing care. She will leave us with an incredible void, but our organization is so much better because of her, and countless nursing professionals and hospital patients will reap the benefits of her passionate commitment to care for many, many years," Mr. Blackwelder said.
According to Pete Basler, chief operating officer for Wesley Woods Center, Dr. Vautier helped facilitate a smooth and welcoming transition for nursing staff at his hospital and into the Emory family with the incorporation of Wesley Woods as part of the health care system.
"In 1998, with the consolidation of Wesley Woods and Emory Healthcare, Alice headed up the efforts to make nursing at Wesley Woods Center part of Emory and welcomed Wesley Woods nursing into the Emory Hospitals nursing family," said Basler. "She was an advocate for upgrading the nursing units, as well as equalizing pay and benefits for the staff. Alice helped shape the present and future of nursing on the Wesley campus and we thank her wholeheartedly for her contributions."
In 2004, the Georgia Hospital Association named Dr. Vautier its Workforce Leadership Award winner in recognition for her commitment to working collaboratively with her community, colleagues and state to improve the status of the health care workforce. Among her many other honors include being selected to the Teachers College, Columbia University Hall of Fame in 2004; Teachers College Nursing Alumni Nursing Service Award 2004; Villanova Medalist 2000 For Distinguished Leadership in Nursing Practice and Health Care Delivery; Villanova University Medal for Excellence in Nursing Administration 2000.
"Dr. Vautier has been a champion for nursing and has made Emory a top destination for those seeking an employer that embraces and honors its nurses. And she has made educating America's future nurses a priority through her partnerships with area schools of higher education," said Robert Bachman, chief operating officer for Emory University Hospital.
"Alice has always remained steadfast in her belief that nursing care is a driving factor in patient care and quality outcomes. It would be impossible to even imagine how many lives have been, and will be impacted because of Alice's commitment to nursing. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who inspired her many years ago. I am confident that one day others will say the same of those who walked in her shadow."