There were many reasons for more than 600 nurses, family members and friends to gather May 12 at the Sheraton Society Hill in Philadelphia.
It was an evening of celebration in honor of 142 regional nurses during Nursing Spectrums 2010 Nursing Excellence Awards gala. Among that group were 30 finalists.
Acknowledging the International Year of the Nurse and the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingales death, Robert G. Hess, RN, PhD, FAAN, Executive Vice President, Global Programming, Gannett Education, treated the audience to an audio tape of Nightingale speaking in 1890. Donna Novak, RN, MSN, CRNP, Director, Nursing Communications & Initiatives, joined Hess in introducing the finalists and the six winners.
Nursing Spectrum thanks the sponsors who made the awards dinner possible, including Platinum Plus Sponsor Penn Medicine.
Gold Sponsors were Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Silver Sponsors were Abington Memorial Hospital, Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, Bryn Mawr Hospital-Main Line Health, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital-Main Line Health, The Chester County Hospital, Cooper University Hospital, CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center, Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions, Hahnemann University Hospital, Kennedy Health System, Lankenau Hospital, Mercy Health System, Paoli Hospital-Main Line Health, Princeton HealthCare System, Riddle Memorial Hospital-Main Line Health, South Jersey Healthcare, St. Christophers Hospital for Children and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Advancing and Leading the ProfessionPatricia Gerrity, RN
Patricia Gerrity, RN, PhD, FAAN
Associate Dean for Community Programs
Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions
Committed to community and service to improve health outcomes for people living in urban areas, Gerrity has developed one of the most innovative nurse-led centers in the country.
The team at the 11th Street Family Health Services doesnt accept what is, but rather matches needs of individuals and families in that community with improved practices and services, Gerrity says. We use our outcome data to change healthcare policy.
Providing a full range of primary care, health promotion and disease prevention services, this nurse-managed center offers care to inner-city, public housing residents, some of whom are uninsured. But no one is turned away.
Clinical CareLisa Barker, RN
Lisa Barker, RN, CMSRN
Staff Nurse, Med/Surg
South Jersey Healthcare Elmer Hospital
As leader of the hospitals Unit-Based Practice Council, Barker put her passions into action and developed a wound care cart for nurses, a day/night work redistribution project, post-discharge phone calls and unit-based falls prevention guidelines, all of which have boosted patient outcomes and improved staff satisfaction.
Barker also laid the groundwork for a nursing research study on a reinfusion system in total knee arthroplasty, and after receiving a grant to fund this research from the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, the institutional review board-approved study is under way.
I love all that I do, and I will always remember the nurse who helped me when I was a little girl, Barker says. I always said I wanted to be a nurse like her.
Community ServiceChristina Felder, RN
Christina Felder, RN, BSN, CEN, RT, EMT
Staff Nurse, ED
Inspired to help those in need, Felder spearheaded a project that provides supplies to the military in Iraq and another that acquired school materials for a shelter for mothers and children.
With more than 10 years of service as a Newtown Square Fire Company volunteer, Felder takes a special interest in her patients. Acting as an EMT during ambulance calls, she met a cloistered Catholic nun, a quadriplegic living with other disabled nuns. Realizing they needed some basic necessities, she reached out to Hill-Roms president, and it wasnt long before a tractor trailer filled with beds, tables and chairs was delivered to the convent.
Moved to tears when she received the award, Felder says, I feel so good when I can help others. I am just an ordinary person, and I am not alone, because there are so many other people who join me.
ManagementPamela J. Ertel, RN
Pamela J. Ertel, RN, BSN, CNOR, RNFA, FABC, CASC
Reading Hospital and Medical Center
As manager of a freestanding ambulatory surgical center at Reading Hospital and Medical Center, Ertel enables staff to succeed. After she received approval for her unit to participate in the Career Advancement Program, many RNs achieved some of the highest levels of advancement. Ertel supports nurses involvement in local, regional and national professional organizations, and hosts guest speakers so RNs can obtain CEUs.
Because she appointed the chair and co-chair from each Shared Governance Council to her units Steering Council, the unit has one of the strongest councils.
Every day I work with dedicated nurses, and I experience many moments when I say ahhhh because they impress me with what they do, Ertel says.
MentoringPalaka Patel, RN
Palaka Patel, RN, MSN
Senior Nurse Educator
Hahnemann University Hospital
Patel transformed Hahnemann University Hospitals RN residency program to one that fosters hands-on learning and mentorship relationships. I feel like a proud parent, because we are able to give our residents opportunities and tools to grow and develop in their jobs and in the profession, Patel says.
Residents participate in small-group cohorts, and each is assigned a coach, an experienced RN who mentors and supports the new nurse throughout the first year.
All participants develop their own evidence-based practice projects, which they present at graduation. Because of Patels dedication, the turnover rate has dropped significantly in recent years.
TeachingAnne M. Delengowski, RN
Anne M. Delengowski, RN, MSN, AOCN
Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Delengowski has dedicated her life to providing compassionate care and comfort to patients with cancer during diagnosis, discharge and end-of-life.
My patients inspire me every single day with the way that they live with a strong sense of hopefulness and perseverance, she says. Because of my patients and people who have mentored me, I feel as though I owe much more to nursing than I gave.
Integrating evidence-based practice and a vast knowledge base, Delengowski educates nursing staff throughout the hospital on the latest research, trends, protocols and treatments. A preceptor for nursing students, Delengowski also serves as a faculty member for the Advanced Practice Nursing Oncology program at the Jefferson School of Nursing.
Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is a regional reporter for Nursing Spectrum.