Whether they’re helping sick children feel better, leading staff toward new challenges, improving patient care, or changing public policy, some nurses go above and beyond the line of professional duty. The six nurses listed below from the Midwestern region have been chosen as 2008 Nursing Spectrum Nurse Excellence Award winners. Finalist nominations were blinded and ranked by a judging panel of regional nursing leaders. View a gallery of the winners and finalists at www.nurse.com/nursingexcellence/galleries/MWawards.
ManagementJane A. Soposky, RN, NEA-BC
Jane A. Soposky, RN, NEA-BC Director of Patient Care Services St. Thomas Hospital — Summa Health System Hospitals, Akron, Ohio Regardless of which leadership role she is serving in, Soposky is always a patient advocate, ensuring business decisions do not compromise patient care or safety. Her leadership experience is extensive, including a recent term as interim vice president at her hospital. She leads by example, as illustrated by her research on empathy concepts, which she then taught to nursing home staff. She modeled the concepts by interacting with residents as part of a federally funded research project on empathy in nursing homes.
Clinical CareDelicia H. Shimkoski, RN, BSN, IBCLC
Delicia H. Shimkoski, RN, BSN, IBCLC Coordinator Childbirth/Lactation Services Hutzel Women’s Hospital — Detroit Medical Center Shimkoski always has a professional, energetic, optimistic demeanor — no matter what issue she faces. Because of her initiative, breastfeeding rates have doubled, a massive feat for an inner-city hospital where breastfeeding rates are traditionally low. She frequently makes house calls to help new mothers struggling with breastfeeding. Her compassion was in full view when a mother-to-be from Belize was separated from her family because of a hurricane in Central America. Shimkoski organized a baby shower by appealing to the community. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the mother opened gift after gift, in awe at the generosity.
Advancing and Leading the ProfessionSally W. Morgan, RN, MS, ANP-BS, ACNS-BC
Sally W. Morgan, RN, MS, ANP-BS, ACNS-BC Nurse Practitioner, Ambulatory Surgery, Perioperative Services The Ohio University Medical Center, Columbus
Morgan has made many improvements in the delivery of care and outcomes for surgical patients through evidence-based policies and procedures. She twice testified before the Ohio House of Representatives about the need for a designated month to honor nurses. As president of the Mid-Ohio District Nurses Association, Morgan uses her column in the organization’s magazine to encourage nurses to get involved. She was Magnet program director at her hospital and groomed 25 staff nurses to be Magnet leaders in their clinical areas.
Community ServicePatricia Dodge, RN, BSN
Patricia Dodge, RN, BSN Care Management Specialist Hutzel Women’s Hospital — Detroit Medical Center Having an infant in an acute care center can be a confusing, scary, and daunting experience for parents. Dodge makes it manageable by coordinating each step with the family so the progression of care is seamless. She sets up medical appointments, orders medical equipment, and teaches parents CPR and what steps to take at home. Dodge ensures every infant who leaves the NICU and special care nursery is registered with the Early on Developmental Society so that the child receives assessments every few months. Dodge serves on many hospital committees, such as the Newborn Back to Sleep Safe Sleep Committee, Neonatal Hospice Committee, and Car Seat Safety Committee.
MentoringKathy Bronikowski, RN, BSN
Kathy Bronikowski, RN, BSN Operations Director, Home Health Care Henry Ford Health System, Detroit Bronikowski is a firm believer in developing staff members’ talent and potential. Last year, she helped implement a career ladder program for RNs, and within a year’s time nearly 90% of vacant positions within her division were filled through internal promotions. Bronikowski has motivated colleagues to follow her example and become ambassadors of employee recognition. She also has become a tireless fundraiser. She drives many miles to pick up donations from local merchants to serve as prizes and awards for nurse performance.
TeachingMary Beth Wright, RN, BSN
Mary Beth Wright, RN, BSN Patient/Family/Community Nurse Clinician Kosair Children’s Hospital, A Part of Norton Healthcare, Louisville, Ky. Wright has made her mark through the development of an evidence-based education program for families in the care of tracheostomies. She teaches families and visits schools to teach staff about proper trach care. Part of her instruction includes a take-home bag that holds all the supplies families on the go need while in transit. Wright also is involved in the family advisory committee, which is working to develop education protocols.