Forty Under 40: Jacqueline Coffman

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 4,261 views 

Class of 2017 Forty Under 40 Jacqueline Coffman Administrative Director for Nursing Services Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas

During the four whirlwind years that Jacqueline Coffman has worked for Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, she has led the opening of two inpatient departments and spearheaded two new ventures: a nurse residency program and a system of team nursing care.

Coffman, the hospital’s director of nursing, joined Mercy in 2013 as director of the medical/surgical department. She moved into her current role one year ago. She oversees more than 350 employees at the 200-bed hospital, and by 2019 the number of beds is set to double through expansion.

The one-year nurse residency program began in June and aims to acclimate nurses and retain talent. A common refrain heard from recent nurse graduates is, “This [job] isn’t what I thought it was going to be at all,” Coffman said.

For the team nursing model, nurses of varying levels jointly care for nine to 10 patients; already, the model is reducing costs and increasing both patient and caregiver satisfaction. Mercy Fort Smith will soon adopt the method, which reintroduces Licensed Practical Nurses to ease staffing shortages.

Coffman, a Springdale native, began college intending to be an accountant, but switched majors to find more human interaction. Four years into her nursing career, she was invited to take a leadership role.

Her focus is on visibility and presence, while fostering respect and honesty and “taking care of the staff, which is already stretched thin, to ensure patients get nothing but our best every single encounter.”

Coffman is pursuing an MBA in healthcare administration. Ultimately, she aims for a chief nursing officer role, following her mentor Charlotte Rankin.

As Mercy emphasizes compassionate service, Coffman often volunteers to help the community’s underserved, including homeless residents at the Eighth Street Motel in Rogers.