Here are the finalists in the Advancing and Leading the Profession category for the Nursing Spectrum 2009 Nursing Excellence awards. A recognition gala is planned for June 9 at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Md.
Claude (Skip) Margot, RN, MS, CNAA-BC
VP Patient Care Services/CNE
Shady Grove Adventist Hospital
Margot understands front-line nurses often have solutions to difficult problems, and he creates opportunities for nurses to develop innovations to improve the delivery of healthcare services. Many of his decisions are guided by the principle that he never would ask a nurse to do something he is unwilling to do. Margot identified non-nursing tasks that can be carried out by ancillary team members, thus enabling nurses to focus on nursing. He invites nurses to have an open dialogue with him at quarterly forums that involve discussions of what is going well and what has room for improvement. Together, Margot and the nurses work on solutions to the challenges they encounter. He also participates in a new nurse breakfast in which newly hired RNs have an open dialogue with him. When Margot took over, Shady Grove had 90 full-time positions that were filled by agency nurses. That number dropped to 35 within six months and continues to decrease. Besides strengthening nursing throughout all levels of the organization, Margot also has an in-depth knowledge of healthcare finance and the budget process and is able to articulate this at the CFO level. Margot regularly shows he is current and competent in leadership issues and clinical practice and has created excellence in patient care and professional engagement.
Christopher Parker, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, CHCQM, FAIHQ
Senior VP, Patient Care Services and CNO
Shore Health System/University of Maryland Medical System
Parker, who began his career at Shore Health System as director of critical care, has taken a new approach to recruitment of novice nurses in the two-hospital healthcare system with 200 beds. He began a novice nurse program for critical care RNs that combined clinical and didatic instruction with preceptors for clinicals and faculty for the didactic portion. The program, in which an RN is paid a full salary and benefits for 10 months, was so successful that a five-month novice nurse program was started for med-surg nursing three years later. Both programs have been recognized nationally. Since being appointed CNO, Parker has elevated the nursing department and has encouraged nurses to place a greater emphasis on outcomes. He also has implemented several nurse-physician collaboratives, including womens and childrens health, surgical services, and the primary stroke center. The groups meet monthly to discuss issues, develop outcomes measures, and review progress toward these measures. In Parkers role as senior vice president of patient care services, the pharmacy, home care, hospice, and inpatient and outpatient acute rehab departments report to him, along with the cancer center.
Carol Sylvester, RN, MS
Senior Director of Care Management
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
In her role, Sylvester has proved to be an excellent manager in the overall direction of case management, clinical guideline development, utilization management, social work, and clinical documentation improvement. A natural coach and mentor, Sylvester always takes opportunities to educate others, provides clear presentations, and serves as an adviser to others in the organization. She challenges others to see issues in a variety of ways, guiding them through a critical-thinking process to solve problems creatively. She uses every avenue possible to ensure complete communication with staff. One example is the implementation of a Care Management Web page. She also developed, and continues to lead, the facilitys palliative care program. Sylvester identified the need for a separate acute pain service and has taken the initiative to begin the process to accomplish this in a multidisciplinary way. While co-leading the Hospital Capacity workgroup, the reduction of red alert and yellow alert statuses has been outstanding and sustained. These examples have made Sylvester highly respected for her in-depth expertise, committed leadership, and clear and strategic thinking.
Barbara A. Kane, RN, BSN, MBA, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
Mary Washington Hospital
Kane is recognized as an inspirational leader who believes nursing is best exemplified by someone who not only strives to provide the highest level of patient care but also who gives back and shapes his or her community.
The examples of her work include indigent care, working with the Girl Scouts, and promoting strong relationships between the hospital and local EMS services. She also works as a preceptor with George Mason University students who are working toward masters degrees. In the community,
Kane is a member of the board of directors and the executive committee of a local free clinic. She also was instrumental in initiating the LifeNet Annual Angel tree celebration, which highlights the gift of organ donation and provides an avenue for donor families to celebrate the life of a lost loved one. Kane won the 2006 Regional Award for Nursing with Outstanding Contributions to the EMS by the Rappahannock Emergency Department and is a member of the local chamber of commerce healthcare provider recruitment retention committee.
Mary Louise Watson, RN, MS
Vice President of Nursing
St. Marys Hospital
Initially brought in as a consultant to the CEO when the COO and CNE positions were vacant, Watson focused on emergency care, Joint Commission compliance, newly hired director orientation, and patient satisfaction. After only three months on the job, Watson was appointed to the VP and CNE position. She was instrumental in St. Marys receiving the Nursing Excellence Health Services Cost Review Commission grant, which allowed for 10 RN-to-BSN/MSN tuition support scholarships to be awarded along with 15 other nurse leadership training opportunities. During Watsons tenure, St. Marys has received the Excellence Award for Quality Improvement for Hospitals for compliance in the gold award category of core measures. Watson, who is respected for keeping her team on the cutting edge of technology, also has been appointed by the governor to the Maryland State Board of Nursing.