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Nursing Excellence finalists: Management

Finalists for Nursing Spectrum’s 2010 Nursing Excellence Awards in Management are as follows:

Susan Cooke, RN, BSN
Nurse Manager, ICU
Kennedy University Hospitals, Stratford, N.J.
Nominated by: Helene Burns, RN, MSN

Nursing staff praise Susan Cooke for her ability to listen, her zest for encouraging education and certification, and her willingness to help with direct patient care when needed. Cooke serves as a mentor and role model to newer nurse managers. She quickly takes them under her wing and guides them with ease. Cooke developed a new outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program to complement a growing cardiology service line.

The program included not only an exercise portion, but also single and group education components for risk reduction. As nurse manager, she developed a progressive care unit with many new graduates and excelled with patient satisfaction scores in the 90s. She also has taken the concepts of shared governance and imbedded them into practice with outstanding results in staff satisfaction and clinical outcomes. Cooke’s results have been outstanding, including zero bloodstream infections for five months, zero hospital-acquired pressure ulcer rate for 10 months, zero ventilator-associated pneumonia rate for 15 months and 100 referrals to the Gift of Life for the past 12 months.

Julie Donnelly, RN

She championed the restraint reduction initiative, which resulted in an impressive reduction of restraint use in the ICU. This year, she organized the first ICU-specific skills fair for all three of the hospitals in the system. The Stroke Program and Bariatric Center of Excellence designations this year were especially possible through her efforts and leadership.

Julie Donnelly, RN, MSN
Nurse Manager
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia
Nominated by: Eleanor Gates, RN, MSN

Julie Donnelly is a capable and experienced med/surg nurse who has assumed additional leadership responsibilities in her 10 years at the hospital. She has advanced from nurse extern to staff nurse, charge nurse, acting manager and now, nurse manager.

Relatively new to management, Donnelly demonstrates a high level of confidence that usually develops with more experience. She is a high performer who is comfortable with her abilities and assessments, along with being accountable and professional. Donnelly communicates effectively with her staff and senior nursing leadership. She collaborates well with peers and the entire interdisciplinary healthcare team with whom she works.

Rosemary Dunn, CRNP

Donnelly is enthusiastic and energetic and participates without hesitation in projects and challenges. As a member of the hospital’s Six Sigma workout team to improve patient safety scores, she served as the process owner for the nurse manager rounding project.

Nurse managers meet during daily rounds with every patient on the unit to identify problems and concerns and to implement corrective action with staff. One of the issues Donnelly addressed was pain management, and she facilitated the development of a tool for nurses to use when discussing pain concerns with patients. She created badge cards for nurses with a list of questions to ask patients twice a day. This provided an efficient way to regularly assess, manage and document pain control issues. Donnelly inspires colleagues in many ways. The staff was struggling to care for a long-term, non-compliant trauma patient when Donnelly stepped in to help. She treated the patient kindly and compassionately and encouraged her staff to do the same, despite the circumstances. When the patient was relocated, she provided a thank-you breakfast for the unit’s nurses and staff who cared for the patient. This rewarded the nurses and reinforced the core value of high quality and compassionate patient care.

Rosemary Dunn, CRNP, MSN, MBA
Senior Director of Nursing Services
Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia
Nominated by: Palaka Patel

With her ingenuity and compassion, Rosemary Dunn drives a culture of professionalism. She excels at assessing and diagnosing any situation and is quick to design a plan for implementation — all while delivering the right message the right way, in any circumstance.

Pamela J. Ertel, RN

Dunn’s support of the kidney transplant program resulted in it becoming the second largest such program in the region. She helped increase licensed beds within the facility to support continued year-to-year growth and supported clinical operations that maintained a reduction in RN vacancy and turnover rates within one year. Dunn continually rounds on nursing units, showing administrative support, and she has promoted a culture of shared governance for nursing. Dunn collaborated with a multidisciplinary team to drive patient satisfaction results to the 80th percentile, resulting in a 4-Star status. This year, she managed the organization’s pursuit of Magnet status. Dunn directed the writing of the hospital’s Magnet manual, spending endless days and nights with her writing team to portray the integrity and dedicated care provided by our staff, and the hospital has since received Magnet designation. Dunn stands out from the crowd because she demonstrates a personal commitment to goals, encourages the expression of ideas, and fosters autonomy, providing the resources needed to carry out a plan.

Pamela J. Ertel, RN, BSN, CNOR, RNFA, FABC, CASC
Administrative Director
Reading Hospital and Medical Center, West Reading, Pa.
Nominated by: Judy Bowman

Pamela J. Ertel, past president of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, is a manager who is quite capable of working at the bedside. As manager of a freestanding ambulatory surgical center, she often can be found in the operating room, because by watching her staff, she has a greater appreciation for what tools they need to perform their jobs.

Susan Kristiniak, RN

Ertel has no problem going to bat for her staff. When her unit was excluded from participating in the Career Advancement Program, she won approval for participation and, as a result, many of the unit’s nurses achieved levels 3 and 4 (out of five levels). Ertel wants her staff to succeed. She encourages nurses to attend conferences and professional organizational meetings and hosts numerous guest speakers for contact hours. Ertel supports nurses’ involvement in local, regional and national professional organizations. Ninety-five percent of the unit’s nurses are members of at least one professional organization. The department has a strong shared governance council, and Ertel appointed the chair and co-chair from each Shared Governance Council to her unit’s Steering Council. As a result, the unit has one of the strongest shared governance councils in the organization. Ertel is a driving force behind the medical center’s education budget. She made provisions for her staff to be reimbursed for specialty certification testing because she knew it was a barrier for some.

Susan Kristiniak, RN, MSN, BC, IAC
Nurse Manager of Palliative and Pastoral Care Services
Abington (Pa.) Memorial Hospital
Nominated by: Barbara A. Schmock, RN, MSN, AHN-BC

Susan Kristiniak’s strong communication and leadership skills help her excel as a manager. She has been fearless in advocating for a therapeutic approach to patient care and has directly affected the delivery of patient care through the use of complementary modalities. Kristiniak has taught and developed a program for all nursing staff as the chair of the Integrative Nursing Council. She is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, and serves as coordinator of the No One Dies Alone program. As a certified aromatherapist, Kristiniak has taught nurses and other healthcare professionals about the therapeutic use of lavender and peppermint to reduce patient stress and nausea and improve patient satisfaction. By teaching nurses complementary modalities, Kristiniak has changed the culture of the institution and reignited nurses’ passion for their work. Kristiniak recognized the nurses she managed lacked knowledge about pain medication, so she instituted a pilot research study, with IRB approval, that offered a pain medication training program. As a manager, Kristiniak offers her ability to educate, inspire and mentor nurses.

By | 2020-04-15T14:38:06-04:00 April 19th, 2010|Categories: Philadelphia/Tri-State, Regional|0 Comments

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