The finalists in Nursing Spectrum’s Nursing Excellence Awards event, which takes place May 5 in Schaumburg, Ill., in the Advancing and Leading the Profession category are as follows:
Kathleen A. Dasgupta, RN, MSN
Adult Liver Transplant Coordinator
University of Chicago Medical Center
Nominated by: Kathleen Shortridge
A transplant nurse coordinator at University of Chicago Medical Center for 25 years, Kathleen Dasgupta has been there for nearly 1,600 transplant recipients. Those patients and their families have come to know and adore Dasgupta as a reliable, constant and dedicated caregiver. Dasgupta has developed long-lasting relationships with her patients and continues to work as their advocate long after they have recovered from the transplant surgery. The nurse nominating her writes that she has never known Dasgupta not to respond to a patients needs. She also responds to the needs of her profession, teaching nurses with clear explanations of complex medical conditions, as well as educating new and experienced nurses about the history, science and art of transplantation.
Dasgupta gets great satisfaction from watching nurse colleagues grow and learn. She has served as a preceptor for many graduate nurse students from multiple nursing programs for the past 18 years. As a nurse and caregiver, Dasgupta offers intuitive and deep ethical insight while analyzing ethical conundrums. She never waivers, her colleague writes, in coming down on the sides of decency, kindness, sensitivity and intelligent empathy. Even when tackling difficulties in her own life, Dasgupta remains a constant on behalf of patients and their families.
Dave Hanson, RN, MSN, CCRN
Director of Professional Development, Nursing Excellence
Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights, Ill.
Nominated by: Rick McVey
Dave Hanson is a dynamic leader with a reputation for team building and collaboration. He is an extraordinary role model for nurses who strive to advance in the profession and in providing quality patient care. A nurse for nearly 18 years, Hanson has held many roles, from staff nurse to administrator and advanced practice nurse. Regardless of the job title, Hanson has been an exemplary leader, constructively using his leadership power to help people succeed and see themselves as winners. Hanson has seized opportunities to make a difference in the nursing profession throughout his career. As past president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), Hansons theme, Reclaiming Our Priorities, inspired thousands of acute and critical care nurses across the country and around the world to refocus their attention and resources on the really important work of nurses: quality and efficiency, thinking and working smarter, and, especially, making the right decisions. Hanson delivered more than 165 presentations between 2007 and 2009 while in his full-time position as an advanced practice nurse.
As AACNs national president, his leadership sustained long-standing interdisciplinary collaborations with four medical societies: the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Thoracic Society, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the Society of Hospital Medicine. His goal-focused honesty elicited the admiration of his physician colleagues, when he served on the Board of Regents of the American College of Chest Physicians. Today, he is recognized for his expertise in the areas of advanced pre-hospital care, cardiovascular care, fostering true collaboration, building and sustaining healthy work environments, transformational leadership and successfully mentoring new graduate nurses in critical care.
Kathleen Mitchell, RN, MBA
Adventist Midwest Health
Nominated by: Jolene Albaugh
Noted for her creativity and ability to engage her staff, Kathleen Mitchell has an open-door policy and always makes time for people. She is a strong proponent of recognizing high performers and clinical leaders, and, as a result, initiated an annual nursing gala in honor of those who excel. Mitchell developed a regional nurse graduate program, which enables recent graduates to work under the direction of seasoned high-performing nurses, to provide them with individualized orientations. Mitchell has established an affiliation with a local college to provide an RN-to-BSN program at the school with 100% reimbursement from the hospital. Mitchell accommodates her aging nursing staff by identifying safety and equipment needs that will make their jobs less physically stressful.
Thinking outside of the box, Mitchell transformed one of the largest rooms in the hospital into a serene meditation area, complete with a candlelit labyrinth. She has made numerous contributions to the community, as well. She chairs the Workforce Investment Board for Will County, which allowed the hospital to partner with the county to give young adults in the community, between ages 18 and 24, opportunities for summertime employment. Mitchell initiated a campaign called Backpacks for Kids, encouraging employees to buy and fill backpacks for local schoolchildren who otherwise would not have had supplies to start the school year. Mitchell receives a steady stream of thank you cards from the people whose lives she has touched.
Michelle A. Janney, RN, PhD, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President and Wood Prince Family Chief Nurse Executive
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
Nominated by: Betsy Finkelmeier
Michelle Janney, a fellowship graduate in Management for Nurse Executives at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, provides outstanding leadership. Those who nominated her describe how Janney successfully aligned Northwestern Memorial Hospitals nursing mission, vision, values, and strategic and quality plans with those of the organization through development of a multiyear nursing strategic plan. She led implementation of a Patient Centered Care Model across nursing that uses tactics such as in-room change of shift report, hourly rounds, safety huddles and white board documentation to enhance coordination of care, patient satisfaction and inclusion of the patient and family in care planning. In her focus on patient safety, Janney sponsored organizationwide process improvement initiatives to reduce patient falls and the incidence of nosocomial pressure ulcers. These targeted efforts have resulted in 95% compliance with fall and pressure ulcer risk assessments and a decreased incidence of patient falls and pressure ulcers.
Thanks to Janneys leadership, the organization has made significant advances in hand hygiene compliance and reduction of central line-associated bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Janney also is focused on promoting a safe environment for nurses. She launched a safe patient handling program that included placement of lift equipment on all inpatient units and resulted in dramatic reductions in employees back and shoulder injuries after the first two years. She had equally impressive results in her effort to reduce needlestick injuries when she created an interdisciplinary safety forum and implemented needleless devices in all patient care areas. Her influence is far-reaching. She served as a champion for giving direct care nurses a voice in decision making, which resulted in a robust model for shared leadership through which more than 700 nurses participate in organizational decision making across 60 committees. Janney has forged creative partnerships with local schools of nursing by providing clinical rotations for more than 800 nursing students annually.
Lynn Hennessy, RN, MS, MBA
Vice President of Nursing Services
Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, Ill.
Nominated by: Karen A. Bogdan
Lynn Hennessy has been an inspirational leader since she began her career at Advocate Christ Medical Center more than 30 years ago. Even as a staff nurse at the beginning of her career, Hennessy demonstrated a patient-first commitment and a driven, inspirational nature. From manager to director and vice president, her passion and determination have inspired all who have worked with her. Hennessys impact has not been limited to nursing; she has changed the direction of the medical center.
She has developed and sustained many multidepartmental accomplishments, including restructuring the admission process from bed tracking to patient placement. The entire ED process flow was changed to facilitate smooth patient movement in and out of the level one trauma center. Her no-bed-available-is-not-an-option vision has ignited and inspired all to realize the ED is everyones department and patient care responsibility. Among her many other contributions, Hennessy oversaw the renovation of the centers STEPs Web site. Now, nurses throughout the system use the site for information and guidance, as well as recognition for the STEPs program. Under Hennessys leadership, the medical centers Press Gainey patient satisfaction results rose from the 21st percentile to the 88th. Despite her accomplishments, Hennessy may be best known for the fact that she has never forgotten what it means to be a nurse at the bedside. She never passes a call light during her frequent rounds. And she makes it a point to recognize her colleagues. One example of how she reaches out is when Hennessy sent more than 600 thank you notes to physicians and nurses last year acknowledging specific examples of jobs well done.