Below are the finalists in the Teaching category for the Nursing Spectrum 2009 Nursing Excellence awards. A recognition gala is planned for June 9 at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Md.
Laura Anderko, RN, PhD
Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Endowed Chair for Values Based Health Care
Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies
Through her work with students and professional nurses, Anderko has empowered many to integrate environmental health knowledge into various practice settings. She serves as a member of the steering committee for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Practice-Based Research, which is among numerous leadership positions Anderko has held. She was selected by the National Environmental Education Foundation to serve as a faculty champion. As a result, Anderko has educated more than 500 nurses and student nurses in environmental health. She has taught environmental health nursing for more than 15 years as a stand-alone course and integrated the content into a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses. Anderko is working on a project funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will offer education modules to nurses regarding the health risks of fish consumption and environmental toxins. The modules will be made available online for free. She also represented nursing as a member of the EPAs Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee and the National Drinking Water Advisory Committee.
Linda Miller, RN, MSN, OCN
Oncology Clinical Educator
Georgetown University Hospital
Millers first role at the hospital was as a consultant in the role of Oncology Clinical Educator for the New Graduate Nurse Fellowship. She made such an impression that she was offered a permanent position. Miller was instrumental in obtaining a grant to subsidize a chemotherapy and biotherapy administration course for oncology nurses. She also led the plan to educate and implement end-of-life nursing education and care to the oncology staff and leadership. She also ensured that others in the hospital were familiar with the concepts. Miller was the first author of an IRB-approved research study called Impact of an Education and Support Program on Oncology Support Staff.
Lynn Orchowski, RN, PCCN
Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center
Orchowski, whose expertise includes pulmonary care with a focus on the ventilated patient, is known for her ability to teach by breaking down material into its simplest form so anyone is able to understand the concepts. She combines an impeccable knowledge base and a charismatic approach to teaching the subject matter to create enthusiasm within the ranks of the nursing staff. Orchowski is able to quickly assess each persons learning needs and tailor her message to teach quickly and effectively. A professional potter who operates two studios, Orchowski also is enrolled in an RN-to-MSN program.
Anne Belcher, RN, PhD, AOCN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN
Associate Professor and Director, Office for Teaching Excellence
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Belcher is a 40-year veteran of nursing education who has touched the lives of hundreds of students at the baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels. Hundreds more nurses have benefited from her teachings in continuing education courses on topics such as patient education, a variety of oncology nursing issues, spirituality, humor, and professional development. Guided by a passion for mentoring students, clinicians, and fellow faculty members, Belcher has worked on the local, regional, national, and international levels. Each fall, she offers the course Teaching Strategies in Nursing to masters students on Johns Hopkins Baltimore campus along with Chinese doctoral students from Peking Union Medical College. She also mentors students from the American University of Beirut, who spend six weeks at Johns Hopkins learning the role of the clinical nurse specialist with a focus on the teacher role.
Denise Schmitt, RN, MS, BSN, CEN
Clinical Educator SSU
Anne Arundel Medical Center
As nurses navigate the rough waters of healthcare, innovations in nursing and nursing education provide much-needed tools. In recognition of the challenges nurses face, Schmitt has developed an Academy of Nursing, a collaboration between the medical center and Anne Arundel Community College. Her efforts include a course to introduce undergraduate students to the perioperative environment. The course, which debuted in January 2008 for three students, has grown into a two-credit elective that will be offered twice a year. She is working to expand the academy to include introduction to ER nursing and labor and delivery courses. The academy has proved beneficial for the facility, the college, and most importantly, the nursing students. Schmitt also has developed a Traveling Coffee House, during which administration and nursing leaders visit different units to meet with staff, deliver pastries and coffee, and discuss strategic nursing initiatives and growth plans.