Here are the finalists in the Mentoring category for the Nursing Spectrum 2009 Nursing Excellence awards. A recognition gala is planned for June 9 at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Md.
Meredith Huffines, RN, BSN, BA
Senior Clinical Nurse 2
University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore
Huffines has developed an orientation program for UMMCs new nurses. The program includes opportunities to share in the experience of other members of the multidisciplinary team. The program has improved efficiency in the orientation of new staff to the SICU. Huffines is credited with being instrumental in educating the physician and nursing staff about new clinical studies in which SICU patients are enrolled. As a member of the SICU delegation to the Maryland Hospital Associations Nursing Retention Collaborative, she has worked with nurses around the state to improve work environments. She also has been helpful with the student nurse residency program. Her welcoming and nurturing demeanor was comforting to the students, who said Huffines made them more relaxed and made the experience an enjoyable one.
Karen Gabel Speroni, RN, PhD
Director, Nursing Research, and Chair, Research Council
Inova Loudoun Hospital
Speroni successfully has been able to transform nursing research into an everyday occurrence in the clinical practice setting of the direct care nurses at the organization. She has prepared them to understand, design, conduct, critically analyze, and utilize research on various topics relevant to current nursing practice. She developed and implemented the Nurse Research Internship Program in 2005. The program provides the funding, resources, and required time for a staff nurse to work exclusively with Speroni for three to six months to design, develop, conduct, and analyze a research study. In 2006, the program was cited as an exemplar by the Magnet Recognition Program. All hospitals in the Inova Health System since have adopted the NRIP. Speroni also has offered her expertise and time to organizations around the country who are on their Magnet journeys. Since the inception of the nursing research program and council in January 2004, Inova Loudoun nurses and staff members successfully have developed 10 research protocols and have had nine manuscripts published a tremendous accomplishment for a community hospital in such a short time frame. Speroni has made research an integral part of the hospitals culture.
Patricia Mook, RN, MSN, NEA-BC
Assistant Vice President/Chief Nurse Executive
Inova Mount Vernon Hospital
Mook is a transformational leader who has motivated and encouraged a record number of staff members to return to school and complete advanced degrees. She has done this by creating an environment that supports creative scheduling and flexibility. Despite a very busy schedule, Mook regularly covers the workload of her direct reports so they have an opportunity to take part in a semester-long clinical. Last December, she covered for a staff member so he could travel to Minnesota to complete his MSN degree and present his masters project. She is a preceptor for George Mason University graduate students, and she allows those students to participate in all levels of confidential meetings. Her feeling is that through exposure to a variety of situations, students will be able to better apply and understand the theories they learn in class. Because of Mooks ongoing devotion to patients, the hospitals quality indicators have been excellent and the mortality rate is in the top 15% nationally. Because of Inova Mount Vernons well-developed Rapid Response program, Mook was asked to speak at a national conference for Joint Commission readiness, where the facility received the best practice award as a result of her presentation. Her presentations have come to students of various ages. This year, she has spoken four times to middle school children to encourage them to become nurses. When she heard staff members talking about establishing an organization to bring together nurses from Ghana, she was instrumental in encouraging their vision. Through Mooks encouragement, the Ghana Nurses Association of Virginia was formed.
Mary Jane Bowles, RN, MSN, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Critical Care Services
Mary Washington Hospital
Bowles, who assists in training and retaining nurses in the critical care center, also is a recipient of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Mentoring award. While encouraging nurses to continue their education, Bowles has developed and implemented a new graduate residency program, which allowed first-time new graduate nurses into the critical care center. She manages the rotation of new grads and will come in on weekends and off shifts to monitor progress and be available to new grad nurses. She recently gave a tour of the ICU and OR and reviewed documentation with two nursing professors from China. The Chinese professors and Bowles also spent time with a nurse in a med-surg unit.
Lori Mooney, RN, BSN, CRRN
Clinical Nurse 2
Kernan Orthopedic and Rehabilitation
A clinical nurse on the brain injury unit, Mooney began working at the hospital as an administrative assistant before returning to school to become a nurse. While mentoring others on her team, Mooney volunteers to serve on committees, assists in training sessions, and attends educational programs. All the information she receives is shared informally with her peers on the unit and during staff meetings. Not only does she provide the information on how proper care should be given, but she explains the reason for it and the positive and negative consequences for how it is delivered. Mooney represents the facility as a spokesperson for nursing at local schools by attending job fairs and serves as a resource for other nurses as a member of Kernans wound champions. She also is an enthusiastic participant in recruitment and retention initiatives and is pursuing a masters degree.
Battina Myers, RN, BSN, CEN
Winchester (Va.) Medical Center
An ED staff nurse for the past six years, Myers also works as a volunteer paramedic because she wants to make a difference. In an environment that is stressful to new and older nurses alike, Myers has devoted time and effort to mentoring many new nurses. She established the Preceptor Committee when she knew the facility would be hiring many new graduates. She has established a monthly skills day in which new grads get one-on-one training in relation to nursing skills and equipment use. Skills day also has involved a mock code and airway management. Myers also created a list of commonly used emergency medications that must be researched by each new orientee. All orientees are tracked on a weekly pathway to know what is expected of them. The facilitys retention of new grads has been high, and the length of orientation has decreased because of Myers effort and dedication. Myers also has talked with coworkers about creating a core group who could orient a new person on every shift.