How Creating a Mission, Vision, and Values Statement Can Inspire Your Health Staff - National Commission on Correctional Health Care
WRC MVVS for blogApr 14, 2023

How Creating a Mission, Vision, and Values Statement Can Inspire Your Health Staff

I am fortunate to work for a mental health correctional facility, the Wisconsin Resource Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, that has a Mission, Vision, and Values Statement for its health services department:

Our values: Diversity & Inclusion, Communication, Teamwork, Respect, Safety & Security

Our vision: The Wisconsin Resource Center Health Service Unit strives to create a culture of excellence by being a national leader in providing quality health care while working collaboratively with a team of professionals to assist our patients in achieving optimum health and mental well-being by implementing clinical best practice, education, and continuous improvement.

Our mission: For patients to achieve their best physical and mental well-being

I also am fortunate to work for a director of nursing who understands the importance of the Mission, Vision, and Values Statement: Melissa Mitchell, MSN, MHA, CCHP. I recently volunteered to help her on a Mission, Vision, and Values Statement project. As part of that project, I became curious to know how many other prison health services departments in the United States listed mission, vision, and/or values on their facility websites. After a thorough internet search, I found fewer than 20 facilities with such a statement, and I understood immediately the importance of moving forward with co-leading this project.

What Does a Mission, Vision, and Values Statement Do?
A Mission, Vision, and Values Statement, or MVVS, communicates a team’s purpose, its aspirations, and its standards of behavior. MVVS are a collaborative effort that give nurses the courage to carry forth their mission, their vision, and their values. At the Wisconsin Resource Center, the health services unit uses our MVVS to guide and inspire all nurses to do their best. The MVVS also provides emotional satisfaction to the nursing staff as we strive to pursue a culture of excellence by incorporating the values, vision, and mission into our work environment. 

Working in corrections is not a common career choice for a nurse. Studies show that nurses in correctional facilities make up less than 1% of the United States registered nurses’ population. A health services-specific MVVS can help with recruitment efforts by giving applicants, prospective employees, and new employees information about what to expect in the work environment, and demonstrate to them that the team works collaboratively to carry out its mission, vision, and values.

I encourage all nurse managers to support nursing staff in creating MVVS for their unit. Creating service-specific MVVS demonstrates leadership, promotes services offered, and creates a positive impression of the facility.

Creating an MVVS
A mission statement needs to clearly state the health services department’s purpose and should include key reasons for the health services’ existence. The vision statement describes what the staff aspires to accomplish in the future, and the values statements is a list of values that unite and guide staff behavior. Additionally, one can create a logo image that exhibits the value statements. Follow these steps to get started:

  • Meet to discuss creating an MVVS for the health services department. Include management and/or nursing staff.
  • Send an email to invite all nursing staff to meet and discuss creating MVVS.
  • Research and provide an article to help clarify the purpose of MVVS. 
  • Establish who will volunteer to lead and finalize the project. 
  • Email a survey and allow enough time for all nursing staff to submit their ideas about each section of MVVS, including their vision of a logo image.
  • Meet and discuss as needed. 
  • Review ideas and vote on the final MVVS and logo image. 
  • Reach out to information technology department to display the MVVS on the facility website.

Some Ideas for Incorporating an MVVS Into Practice

Once the MVVS is completed, you can request that management display it on the facility website, introduce it to the staff, and look for opportunities to incorporate the ideas represented into work interactions. Without management support, it will be impossible for the health services staff to carry the MVVS into practice.

Since MVVS represent key elements of the health services department and provide insight into the culture of the department, it is important that leadership display the statement. MVVS have a greater impact when they are displayed and incorporated into work practice. Try these ideas:

  • Display the MVVS on mouse pads, posters, and the company website. 
  • Introduce new employees to MVVS during orientation; introduce prospective employees during the interview process.
  • Create a QR code that can be scanned using a smart phone, allowing interested applicants to view job openings and the MVVS.
  • Utilize any part of the MVVS in email communication when applicable.
  • Refer to the MVVS as a guide when in a conflict situation. Both staff and managers can use it as a resource.
  • Incorporate the mission, vision, or values into a team activity or ice breaker in a meeting. 

At WRC, our values are guiding behaviors that describe how we pursue our vision and mission. These actions demonstrate the value we place on our work culture, our profession, and the work we do.

Erica Soto, MSN, CCHP, is a nurse clinician, Wisconsin Resource Center, winner of the 2022 NCCHC Facility of the Year Award.

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