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NY/NJ Regional Nurse Excellence Finalists: Mentoring

Congratulations to the regional finalists in the 2009 Nurse Excellence Awards in the Mentoring category. For information about the award and how the candidates were chosen, click here:

GINA LYNN CALZADA, RN, BSN, CPON
Clinical Nurse II/Preceptor, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Transplant
Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian
New York, N.Y.

Gina is a clinical nurse and preceptor, and in that role is responsible for night orientation of all nurses hired to the unit, which includes new grads. She excels at preparing and supporting them, providing honest feedback, and helping them to learn all the products, equipment, medications, protocolss and diagnoses necessary, and assisting them to advance from novices to experts.

Understanding the importance of education for herself as well as her orientees, she maintains certification in pediatric oncology and is PALS-certified. She attends programs, seminars, and conferences locally and nationally, and shares the knowledge she gains. She has become an ELNEC instuctor for pediatrics, an APHON chemotherapy and biotherapy provider, and a certified pediatric oncology nurse.

Gina has had direct impact on the success and progress of the unit, which has now expanded beyond the care of children with cancer and hematologic conditions, to include children with various other conditions that require chemotherapy, biotherapy agents, or blood and marrow transplantation, autologous and allogenic. The unit also now conducts phase I and phase II trials.

Her 20-plus years of nursing experience have prepared her well for this role, and her opinions, knowledge, and practice are respected. Thanks to her initial and ongoing efforts, there has been an increase in nurse retention in a challenging nursing specialty, and staff says it has been rewarding to see new nurses progress and gain a true sense of accomplishment — which, they add, are greatly the result of Gina’s efforts.

Millie Hepburn, RN

MILLIE HEPBURN, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC
Neuroscience Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neuroscience
NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
New York, N.Y.

In her role as neuroscience clinical nurse specialist on five inpatient units with nearly 250 nurses, Millie provides education, mentoring, and clinical support, and is responsible for planning care modalities with other professional caregivers, creating programs, seminars, and symposia for nurses, and the design of educational programs that will enhance their professional practice and development.

She has been at the forefront of an evolution in the care of neuroscience patients, and a role model and influence in the way care is delivered to patients with stroke, TIA, and other neurological issues across the continuum of care. Among countless other initiatives, Millie created Nursing Neurological Unit-specific competencies that led to proficiency in each area and unit. She launched a simulated learning experience to augment traditional learning, and created an online tutorial. Within a year, more than 200 nurses completed the program, and to date, 100% of nurses have accomplished the competencies, ensuring a standardized approach to patient care.

Millie steers ideas into actions, brings staff together, embodies teamwork, and promotes cultural harmony. She has encouraged staff to obtain neurological certification, present at national conferences, and write and submit articles to nursing journals. The programs and projects she has introduced are numerous, and her talents, expertise, and passion for nursing are shared in the hospital, the community, and in schools. She is board-certified and currently pursuing her doctor in Nursing Science degree.

Her nominator says she is grateful for her mentorship, and can only hope to follow in her footsteps and morph into a nurse Millie would be proud of.

Mary Beth H. Leaton, RN

MARY BETH H. LEATON, RN, MS, APN, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Intensive Care Unit
Morristown Memorial Hospital
Morristown, N.J.

Mary Beth is responsibile for the education of 68 RNs in a 22-bed Intensive cCare Unit. She is well known, very involved, and highly respected throughout the organization. Her superior clinical abilities are based on sound evidence-based theory, her mentoring style on the application of evidence-based strategies. She has a voracious appetite for professional literature and has conducted research and written extensively,encouraging her staff to do the same.

Her design for their education includes addressing individual needs, assessing learning and teaching styles, and helping nurse preceptors to develop their own personal bedside teaching styles. She has numerous initiatives in place for new nurses, to ensure that the right learner is with the right teacher. She provides experienced nurses, new to ICU, with both a mentor and a preceptor, underscoring the difference between the two roles, and has them work together with the nurse.

She redesigned meetings, committee structures, and learning programs, and along with myriad patient care teaching moments, quality projects, and learning programs, she has mentored staff on research, writing, public speaking, and professional advancement. Some have become APNs, others have gone on to partner with physician practices, and still others have stayed in ICU and accepted adjunct faculty positions, to pass on what she has taught them.

She has shared her talents and her vision and has made many contributions, but the greatest might perhaps be in the number of nurses who have sought her counsel.

Nilsa Luyando, RN

NILSA LUYANDO, RN, BSN
Senior Staff Nurse, Nursing/Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
Montefiore Medical Center/Weiler Division
Bronx, N.Y.

Nilsa is a senior staff nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and her manager says it is almost impossible to put into words what it means to have her there as a mentor and resource person. She said she represents what is great in nursing and is a “beacon for the profession,” and every center of excellence would benefit from having a mentor like Nilsa.

She has the ability to guide, teach, and support her colleagues as well as new nurses, and makes a tremendous contribution to recruitment and retention.

Her mentoring style helps to mold novices into proficient nurses, and when they move on to other areas of nursing or other facilities, what they gained remains with them and they become assets to other nurses and organizations — a true win-win for the profession.

Colleagues are grateful for the comfort they have when new nurses come on, knowing that Nilsa will be a great preceptor to them. They say she is a terrific mentor, teacher, leader, guide, and an inspiration, and that she made a big difference to them.

Her thoughtful, caring style brings out the best in those she mentors, and staff finds her always ready and available to help in any situation.

She has a reputation for being hardworking, enthusiastic, and creative, but patient and calm, with a positive and professional demeanor. She gives fair and honest feedback and teaches in a supportive, nonthreatening manner, sensitive to needs and feelings, and recognizes individual abilities.

Staff said that Nilsa is extremely humble and would probably be embarrassed to know that she was nominated for this recognition; however, they nominated her because they appreciate her and cannot think of anyone who is more deserving.

Elka E. Riley, RN

ELKA E. RILEY, RN, BS, BSN
Clinical Nurse, Department of Neuroscience
The Mount Sinai Medical Center
New York, N.Y.

Elka is a clinical nurse in the Neurological/Neuroscience Unit and an associate nurse in the Acute Stroke Unit. She obtained a Preceptor/Mentor Certificate in 2006, and since then has been instrumental in the orientation process of many nurses to the neurological care of patients and is responsible for mentoring both newly hired and veteran nurses.

She has keen mentoring skills, is a driving force for excellence, and is valued for the respect she has for nurses. While helping them to learn required skills, she uses her own outstanding clinical skills, as well as her astute sensitivity to their physical and emotional needs. She takes her position seriously and can be relied upon to keep staff informed of any concerns she has with performance issues in a timely and appropriate manner. The staff truly feels a sense of calm when they know that she is in charge of the unit.

Elka also provides ongoing educational activities and presentations for staff. She is prized for the quality of her research and commended by her coworkers for always providing thoroughly developed, insightful, and concise information.

Elka is an active committee member, is currently pursuing her master’s degree in hursing, and has received several awards within Mount Sinai. Her clinical director, clinical nurse manager, and her peers wholeheartedly endorse her, and there was an outpouring of support from the nurses she has mentored. To measure her impact on the nursing profession, one need only examine the effect she has had on these nurses.

By | 2020-04-15T14:58:34-04:00 March 23rd, 2009|Categories: New York/New Jersey Metro, Regional|0 Comments

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