The Mentoring finalists for Nursing Spectrum’s 2010 Nursing Excellence Awards are as follows:
Patrice Carr, RN, MSN
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, Philadelphia
Nominated by: Richard Arbour, RN, MSN, FAAN
Staff nurses consider Patrice Carr a coach, teacher and mentor. Carr puts patients first and sets that example for everyone. She starts the day with clinical rounds, then treats and advocates for her patients.
She even uses critical evolving clinical situations as teachable moments for nursing students and less experienced staff. Carr is able to immediately tailor her teaching style to individual learning styles in realtime. She reassures less experienced personnel that being a bit nervous is normal.Catherine Hassinger, RN
In essence, Carr teaches, models, leads and mentors by example. She shares real-world experiences and not only inspires others by her example, but also nurtures, cares, teaches and helps growth occur. In one example, Carr dealt with multiple callouts using critical-thinking skills and mobilizing resources, including taking a patient assignment herself.
Carr is an accomplished speaker who inspires her staff to strive toward greatness and encourages them to be independent and responsible for their actions. Carr is also a critical care instructor at La Salle University, where she coaches her students.
She presents a strong learning environment and allows students to develop their understanding of the concepts. Carr believes it is important for students to construct their knowledge, take initiative and be active learners, rather than passive listeners.
Catherine Hassinger, RN, CGRN, AS, ADN
Staff Nurse, Gastroenterology
Cooper University Hospital, Mount Laurel, N.J.
Nominated by: Janine McNamara
Nursing is Catherine Hassingers second professional career. Today, the nursing she does on the GI specialty unit is her passion. Hassinger is a tremendous proponent of continuing education, professional membership and certification in her specialty.
She has been at the forefront of setting up educational opportunities and assisting peers in achieving certifications. Hassinger advocates for mentoring colleagues in the recommended standards of care and practice of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.
With Hassinger as the units educational leader, the unit boasts 100% participation in this important society. This year, she exhibited her passion for mentoring and education by petitioning the hospital board for an education library for physicians and staff. She won a $2,500 grant and provided the unit with books, CDs, videos and GI materials to assist staff in achieving certification.
Palaka C. Patel, RN, MSN
Senior Nurse Educator
Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia
Nominated by: Linda Celia
Palaka Patel began her nursing career on the progressive cardiac care unit. To make a difference in patient outcomes, she focused on patient satisfaction scores and instituted practices such as thinking of you cards for patients at discharge, unit-specific surveys and posters in patient rooms with the unit leadership teams contact information and the mission of striving for excellence.
Patel mentored other nurses on her unit to focus on patient satisfaction, and they collaboratively increased the units scores from 58 to 71.6 in a year. Patel later transitioned to senior educator in the staff education and development department. She undertook the role of facilitator of Hahnemanns grassroots RN residency program. She revamped the program to better meet the needs of new nurses and the organization as a whole.Theresa Paulson, RN
The original format consisted of two large groups of nurses meeting in one day, causing difficulty with commitment of speakers and staffing concerns. The large groups also did not foster a productive learning environment. She instead created four groups, allowing for more hands-on experience, in addition to other changes. As an essential complement to the group experience, Patel has each RN resident paired with a coach throughout the first year in clinical practice to provide mentorship and support. The nurses demonstrate commitment by structuring their achieved foundation of knowledge, critical thinking and professional development in evidence-based practice projects. Patel plans a graduation breakfast where the RN residents present their projects to administration, their directors and staff education. After the first year of the program, Patels dedication to restructuring the RN residency program has decreased turnover from 28% in 2007 to 5.3% in 2008. Furthermore, the year-to-date turnover rate for 2009 was 4.93, demonstrating the sustainability of the program.
Theresa Paulson, RN, BSN
Clinical Nurse, Level 4
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia
Nominated by: Martin Manno
Theresa Paulson is an assertive nursing advocate who is committed to bedside nurses. Paulson helps other clinical nurses deconstruct and understand issues, and design workable solutions. In 2008, there was a lack of organization and commitment from direct care nurses on the Magnet Champions Committee. Paulson was a member and was empowered to work with committee members to help them better understand Magnet and the unique contributions each person can bring to the committee.
Thanks to Paulsons mentoring, the nurses became energized and motivated about the Magnet journey. Paulson initiated a program known as Magnet Moments, meant to document moments of excellence according to the Forces of Magnet. Today, almost two years later, Magnet Moments transcend throughout the organization. Paulson collects the Magnet Moments, written on paper, and brings them to monthly Magnet champion meetings, reading some aloud. It would be impossible to read all of the Magnet Moments because there are sometimes more than 100 submitted each month. She also initiated the process of recognizing and educating others in the organization about Magnet. The Magnet Mondays events recognize outstanding service and educate others about Magnet. More than 400 staff and visitors attended Magnet Monday in November 2009.
Linda Wilson, RN, PhD, CPAN, CAPA, BC, CNE
Assistant Dean for Special Projects, Simulation and CNE Accreditation
Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions, Philadelphia
Nominated by: Dr. Mary Ellen Smith Glasgow
Her students note Linda Wilsons approachability, high level of professionalism, high standards and use of relevant examples in her teaching. Wilson has 109 publications and more than 200 national presentations. The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Service Administration and the Barra Foundation have provided $1.6 million in funding for Wilsons work in simulation. She holds several certifications and is on the American Nurses Credentialing Centers Commission on Accreditation. Wilson encourages students and junior faculty to conduct national presentations, assisting them with abstract and presentation development and public speaking, as well as providing support. One would think such a highly accomplished faculty member and scholar would not spend as much time mentoring students, but thats not the case with Wilson. She mentors masters of nursing and doctoral students every quarter and is sought out by students because of her kindness, knowledge, productivity and genuine interest in their success.