Here are the finalists in the Clinical Care category for the Nursing Spectrum 2009 Nursing Excellence awards. A recognition gala is planned for June 9 at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Md.
Karen Moriarty, RN, MSN, PCCN
Critical Care Clinical Specialist, Stroke Coordinator
Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center
Through Moriartys leadership, the hospital attained Joint Commission recertification as a primary stroke program with no recommendations for improvement. She has helped foster teamwork and sustained at or above benchmark patient outcomes in the care of stroke patients. For example, she worked with speech pathology to revise the dysphagia screening tool and developed an inter-rater reliability system to ensure accurate screening by nurses. She also developed the first stroke simulation using the Clinical Simulation Center for Code 1 responders (nurses and physicians) in the area. She is credited with helping the hospital receive the Bronze Award for meeting benchmarks with stroke indicators from the Get With the Guidelines program. Moriarty, who established the hospitals first stroke support group program, often is consulted by other hospitals within the health system and externally. In the past year, she coordinated the critical care education update for more than 150 critical care nurses, precepted three graduate students, and had several articles published.
Cindy Rew, RN, BSN
Senior Clinical Nurse 2
University of Maryland Medical Center
A front-line leader in the SICU, Rew frequently is called upon by her peers to defuse conflicts. She is respected for an ability to help both parties see the others point of view. Rew was instrumental in maintaining unity among staff during a difficult time for the department, when an outbreak of Acinetobacter baumannii forced the department to be split into three separate functioning units, which lasted nearly three months. Rews positive attitude and optimism helped keep the staff united and working toward a common goal. She gathered enough support to facilitate a trip outdoors for a critically ill patient and her daughter. The patient was able to see and feel the sun, which had been absent from her experience for a long time. Rew recently accepted the role of champion for communicating efforts for Magnet designation. She has taken the step of making sure all departments, not just nursing, understand their impact on the journey.
Cheryl Tyson, RN, BSN
Charge Nurse, Neurosciences Unit
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Tyson, who has served as charge nurse on the neurosciences unit for eight years, graduated this year with a BSN and is studying for her neurosciences certification. As a charge nurse, she is known as a great listener with excellent communication skills. Even during busy times, Tyson is known for staying calm, being an example to staff, and doing the right thing for every patient. Tyson, who volunteers her time and skills as a jail nurse when she is away from the medical center, also has developed a pilot project to decrease the fall rate on neurosciences.
Teresa Johnson, RN, BSN
Mercy Medical Center Critical Care
An RN in the critical care/intermediate care departments, Johnson took the initative to organize and facilitate a team approach for the redesign of the nursing support technician after recognizing that several nursing team members were not satisfied with the current NST role. A new plan was devised to improve the role and customer service. The redesigned role now offers better communication between the technician and nurses. In the stressful critical care environment, Johnson is known for always staying calm and supportive and is a constant resource for less experienced staff members. Johnson truly enjoys her work at the bedside and believes so much in nursing that she has encouraged her daughter to pursue the profession as a career.
Nancy Tuttle, RN, BSN
Clinical Staff Nurse
St. Joseph Medical Center, Radiation Oncology Center
Tuttles passion for serving others and achieving standards of excellence has guided her career from a float nurse in clinical settings to serving as a primary nurse in a radiation oncology center. Tuttle was pivotal in the opening of a new center. During the transition between old and new facilities, a flood affected the old center, where patients were being treated. Tuttle calmly assisted in the cleanup something that was not expected of her so patients could resume treatments with as little interruption as possible. She instituted the Mammosite Brachytherapy program and was a critical participant in establishing the Endobrachial Brachytherapy program. In 2007, she was named her facilitys Employee of the Year. In her continuous search for knowledge, Tuttle attends the multidisciplinary tumor board conferences on her breaks from work. She is known to visit patients to offer words of encouragement and emotional support. According to one coworker, For a petite lady, she most certainly has broad shoulders.
Janine Wakeman, RN, BSN
IV Staff Nurse
Winchester (Va.) Medical Center
Wakeman is known as a leader on the MSICU, where she provides strong guidance to peers and physicians in a calm and positive manner. She is a strong preceptor for new staff and a mentor for peers who value her opinion and know the information she provides is accurate. Wakeman recently completed her BSN and has encouraged several staff members to do the same. Two of her peers have since obtained BSN degrees, and two more recently started the program. Two years ago, Wakeman recognized the UTI rate was trending upward, so she developed a plan to address her finding. She created a team project for all of critical care that carried over into a hospital-wide task force. Since then, UTI rates have fallen from 19 in 2007 to five as of October 2008.