Below 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 May 6 at the Sheraton Society Hill in Philadelphia.
Louanne Stratton, RN, PhD
Chief Nurse Executive
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Stratton taps into her background as a nurse executive consultant to navigate the nursing staff toward high standards of practice. She is as committed to celebrating nurses accomplishments as she is to analyzing situations in which problems arise. Each workday begins with a 15-minute huddle, during which Stratton leads the nursing leadership team in looking at staffing, patient census, and other issues affecting nursing care that day. She recognizes that communicating and sharing her vision must occur at every level of nursing and that every audience is important and unique. Her participation in the original Magnet study and subsequent doctoral research at Magnet hospitals adds to her understanding of how to nurture and empower nurses in her charge. She recognizes the link between patient outcomes and nurses sense of accomplishment. Stratton exhibits an innate sense of when to intervene and when to allow others to lead. Her enthusiasm and vision encourages excellence in nursing to flourish.
Elizabeth Sheridan, RN, BSN, MA, NEA-BC, FACHE
Chief Nurse Executive and Chief Operating Officer
South Jersey Healthcare
In her dual role, Sheridan is responsible for nursing practice conducted by more than 800 RNs, 150 LPNs, and 70 assistive personnel. She has a unique opportunity to foster an environment of collaboration through integration of the departments she oversees. The results are improved patient care and patient satisfaction. Through her seat on the board of directors, Sheridan gives the nursing department a voice among the decision-makers at the organization. As a result, this powerful body recognizes the value of nurses contributions. Sheridan embraced the Magnet journey to facilitate her goals of structural and cultural unity and excellence in patient outcomes and satisfaction as well as financial stewardship. She oversaw the integration of two hospitals in the system within the newly constructed Regional Medical Center. The move better serves the community with expanded services and more efficient care and operation. In February 2008, the health system was awarded Magnet status. In addition, South Jersey Healthcare has received accolades and citations for individual units exhibiting exceptional patient care and safety.
Kathy Zopf-Herling, RN, MSN
Director, Nursing Informatics
The Chester County Hospital
Zopf-Herling works on both a strategic and operational level to improve healthcare workflow and patient safety. She is visible to all staff through regular rounding to ensure technologies operate properly and in a useful manner. As a result of a recent staff survey, she launched a redesign of the hospitals electronic documentation system. Her commitment to future technology initiatives is apparent through her meticulous planning and collection of staff input as well as her commitment to timelines and goals. She ensures her team of IT personnel provides round-the-clock support during system implementations, never shying away from long hours and inconvenient shiftwork. Zopf-Herling is a change agent who is constantly upgrading the nursing Web site to keep her nursing colleagues informed about the use of technology at Chester County Hospital. She also is taking the lead on the automation of the organizations medication administration system, a major re-engineering project that will include facility-wide barcoding of employees, patients, and medications.
Mary Agnes Fox, RN, MSN
Nursing Administrative Director, Critical Care/Telemetry
St. Mary Medical Center
Fox is dedicated to elevating the professionalism of nurses. She encourages self-governance among the nurse managers on her units. Her coaching and support has helped several nurses get published in nursing journals, present posters at national conferences, and achieve goals. Insisting that nurses be recognized for their educational and professional certification achievements, Fox has worked to create the Certification Advancement Program. Although there are no monetary awards associated with the program, CAP will be used as the basis for nurses annual performance evaluations. Through the Spirit of Nursing Awards, Fox ensures nursing accomplishments are celebrated hospitalwide. Her focus is always on providing quality care for patients. She chairs the Code 99 Committee and the Urinary Tract Infection Prevention Team, and is a member of the Special Care committee. In addition, Fox has helped bring professionalism in nursing to a larger stage as president of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders.
Agnes Masny, RN, MSN, CRNP, MPH
Fox Chase Cancer Center
As an NP in a breast and ovarian cancer prevention program, Masny embraces education for patients, peers, and the community. A nationally reconized expert in cancer genetics, she designed a curriculum to educate nurses on the subject. She secured a large research grant to develop both basic and advanced-level courses on familial cancer risk counseling. She has helped establish risk assessment programs at several community hospitals, mentoring nurses on how to provide education and counseling to their high-risk patients. Masny has the unique ability to be an expert researcher and an empathic clinician. She is a kind, compassionate, and skilled bedside nurse who provides excellent clinical care to her patients. Among her peers, Masny is known as a witty, enthusiastic, generous coworker who is always first to volunteer for assignments and help wherever needed. She has won many awards for her leadership in promoting the role of nursing in cancer genetics. Masny spreads her knowledge by organizing workshops, teaching college classes, writing books, and making presentations.