Here are the finalists in the Management category for the Nursing Spectrum 2009 Nursing Excellence awards. A recognition gala is planned for June 9 at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Md.
Jennifer Smith, RN, BSN
Nurse Manager, Labor and Delivery
Franklin Square Hospital Center
Smith is tireless in promoting the goal of zero preventable adverse events related to labor and delivery. She carefully analyzes data from many sources and identified failures in communication between team members that led to implementing new safety initiatives in order to reach her goal. She has overseen a significant culture change by all team members, and her support has led to improved patient outcomes. Thanks to the changes that were implemented, the labor and delivery unit has enjoyed improved results in several patient safety and nurse satisfaction surveys. The achievements have earned the unit a Certificate of Achievement from the Maryland Patient Safety Center.
Kimberly Kidd-Watkins, RN, MSN
Director of Clinical Nursing
University Specialty Hospital
Thanks to her prowess in recruitment, professional growth, and team building, Kidd-Watkins has been credited with re-inventing an entire unit in which she previously served as service line manager. In 2006, she took over a unit that was enduring low morale, high turnover, and low patient satisfaction scores. Her drive, fairness, and compassion, along with a tenacity for quality and professionalism, helped staff members embrace her ideals and respond. The units turnaround created motivated, committed nurses who loved working for her. The staff even requested permission from administration to give Kidd-Watkins a special recognition celebration for turning the unit around. While flowing from the office to e bedside, Kidd-Watkins supports the staff with her clinical skills. Her staff now is active on task forces, committees, special transition projects, and a customer excellence initiative. Her strengths in leading change, empowering teams, and organizing work groups have aided the staff and the unit.
Bonnie Shope, RN, BSN, CPAN
Manager, Pre-Admission Testing, PACU
Mercy Medical Center, Weinberg Surgery PACU
Shope, who manages a 61-person staff in the perianesthesia department, is appreciated by nurses for her even-tempered style and open-door policy. The hospital received national recognition for overall outpatient satisfaction from Healthstream Research, which would not have been possible without Shopes dedication to patient services, according to one coworker. Among the many initiatives Shope has accomplished in less than two years are an innovative paging process that communicates the need to move patients from the PACU area to a floor bed in order to bring patients from the OR to PACU. Also, she worked collaboratively to develop a process for transferring patients with Suretrans infusion drains to the units earlier in order to decrease the length of PACU stays from four hours to two hours. Shope, who serves on the American Society of Post Anesthesia Nurses national conference planning committee, has been credited by one coworker with turning around the PACU and surgery centers by being visible and accessible to the staff.
Carol Stephens, RN, BSN, ONC
Director, Ortho/Neuro/Trauma Unit
When Stephens arrived on the ortho unit, it was disorganized and the nursing care was fragmented. As director, she has inspired the nurses to do their best, take professional pride, and accept responsibility for the care they provide and empowered them to be leaders. Patient satisfaction is steadily increasing on the unit, which receives numerous thank you letters each month highlighting positive patient experiences. Known for her sense of humor and leadership by example, Stephens is an advocate for patient care and nurses through her multiple contributions to nursing leadership at the hospital and support of committee memberships and involvement of her staff.
Debra Bendahan, RN, BSN, NE-BC
Director of PACU and Invasive Services
Inova Mount Vernon Hospital
Known for her insight and leadership abilities, Bendahan generated a business plan for endoscopy growth that resulted in a $70,000 funding award. She also has overseen three consecutive quarters of patient satisfaction scores in the 90th percentile. Bendahan has re-emphasized the importance of research and has instituted cross-training initiatives between nurses in PACU, endoscopy, interventional radiology, and cardiac rehabilitation services. The departments under her leadership boast strong staff satisfaction rates and extremely low turnover. She participates in a program that offers back-to-school physicals for uninsured children and is an active member of the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary. Bendahan also has been recognized for her time as chair of the United Way campaign, during which the program has enjoyed the highest participation rate in her health system.