Supportive Care

Outreach RN: A Nurse-Led Initiative to Improve Transitions in Care for Critically Ill Patients With Cancer

Valarie Lucas

outreach nurse, critical care, escalation of care, patient safety, care transitions
CJON 2020, 24(6), 605-608. DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.605-608

A proactive nursing resource that provides early detection of clinical deterioration and assistance with timely transfers is vital in the effort to improve patient safety. The outreach RN (ORN) role is a nurse-led initiative that was implemented to facilitate safe patient transfers to either the telemetry unit or stepdown unit. This article describes the development of the ORN role as an additional clinical resource to promote interprofessional care, provide expert nursing assistance to unit staff, and enhance patient safety.


  • Critically ill patients with cancer often need escalations in care to critical care areas, such as the stepdown unit.
  • The ORN role provides education and support to primary nurses, boosting their confidence to manage patients with complex medical needs.
  • ORNs are expert nurses who deliver holistic patient-centered care, including advance care planning, during times of critical care transitions for patients.
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