For more than a decade, Nursing Spectrums Nursing Excellence Awards program has recognized the extraordinary contributions Florida-area nurses make to their patients, each other and the profession. This year, nurses from the Florida region came forward to tell us about these heroes of nursing.
The grateful peers of these exceptional nursing professionals sent detailed nominations for Nursing Spectrums 2010 Nursing Excellence Awards. The nominees include staff nurses, specialists, nurse practitioners, vice presidents and nurse executives who work in settings as disparate as occupational health, education, intensive care, cardiology, med/surg and pediatrics. No matter what the role or setting, these nurses have found ways to raise the bar for their peers and the quality of life of their patients. Nursing Spectrum hopes their stories will inspire all of our readers to reach for excellence.
From the many tributes we received for this years program, we narrowed the competition to three nurses in each of six categories, for a total of 18 finalists.
The categories included:
ADVANCING AND LEADING THE PROFESSION:
RNs who have made contributions that advanced and strengthened the nursing profession or the delivery of patient care. These nurses have made broad-reaching contributions that affect the entire profession rather than a single organization.
RNs who demonstrate excellence in direct-care delivery in any clinical setting. This category celebrates nurses who work directly with patients and their families.
RNs who have made significant professional or voluntary contributions that improved patient care. These nurses have helped their community either as part of their jobs or as volunteers.
RNs who have demonstrated exceptional management of nursing or patient care services in any setting. This category honors managers who have a talent for developing successful employees and systems.
RNs who provide a positive professional influence, guidance, and support of other nurses in any setting. These nurses have cultivated relationships that foster the development of their nurse colleagues.
RNs who have made significant contributions in education, professional development and/or long-term learning of nursing professionals.
Here are the finalists in the Advancing and Leading the Profession and the Clinical Care categories:Kevin Metzing, RN
Advancing and Leading the Profession
Kevin Metzing, RN, BS, CNOR
Florida Hospital, Orlando
Nominated by: Patricia Lewis
Kevin Metzing was working in the for-profit business world when he realized he wanted more out of his professional life. He chose to become a nurse, and, in the last 18 years, has been an award-winning nurse leader at Florida Hospital. He also is committed to strengthening the perioperative nursing specialty. As a member of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, Metzing has held 21 national AORN volunteer positions. He has held many posts with the Florida Council of periOperative Registered Nurses, including vice chairman, and his current position as treasurer. Metzing has volunteered his time to serve as a delegate to the Florida State Convention and was a three-year member of the Florida Nurses Association Bylaws Committee. An important issue he spearheaded was to convince legislators to pass a law ensuring that a one-to-one, nurse-to-surgical patient ratio was a state standard of care. He presented on the future of nursing at AORNs 56th Annual Congress in Chicago in 2009. Metzing finds time to volunteer on medical mission trips to Mexico. He shows the same high level of commitment to the profession that he does to his job. Every day, Metzing manages a surgery schedule for 50 to 60 patients. He carefully considers surgeons needs and the staffs skill mix to formulate optimum staffing assignments. He affords his staff every opportunity to learn new techniques and technologies and to grow professionally.Debra Shelby, DNP
Debra Shelby, DNP, ARNP, RNFA, CNOR, DNC
Clinical Specialist/Director of USF DNP Dermatology Residency
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa
Nominated by: Tina Mason
Debra Shelby is known in perioperative services as a pioneer who sets high standards. Shelby coordinates and instructs the perioperative nurse intern program. She has developed a day-long intern surgical conference in which perioperative nurses from around Florida are invited to learn about the unique surgical interventions and patient care at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Shelby mentors nursing interns to become leaders and give back to the community. She teaches the interns how to organize and coordinate a one-day conference. Shelby started and chairs the hospitals tissue implant committee and has been invited to lecture at community hospitals on tissue-banking practices. This multidisciplinary committee oversees tissue implant practices, which have become the community standard. Shelby has enhanced the safety initiatives in perioperative services. Prior to her involvement with the task force, staff reviewed scenarios. Now, staff must demonstrate evacuations and proper use of extinguishers. In addition, strobe lights were installed, and the ORs became the first in the community to add water extinguishers. Shelby developed the perioperative professional practice committee, which supports shared governance in nursing practice. She was the first resident in the nation to complete the doctorate in nursing practice dermatology residency. Today, she is the first to bring doctorate level nurse practitioner students into the perioperative learning environment (in the first dermatology rotation in the U.S.).Janet Celli, RN
Janet Celli, RN, BSN, PCCN
Assistant Nurse Manager
Florida Hospital/CPR Associates of America, Orlando
Nominated by: Susan Jane Whitney
With 20 years nursing experience, Janet Celli shines in her ability to support staff allowing them to reach their highest potentials in the delivery of excellent patient care. Staff nurses feel confident knowing Celli will be there to assist them in any scenario. Hospital physicians recognize her strong clinical skills and are comfortable knowing their patients will be safe under her leadership throughout the nightshift. As founding member and co-owner of the CPR training site, Celli works tirelessly to fulfill the companys mission of educating the general public in lifesaving skills. To this end, 6,500 people have been trained to help save lives. Celli manages all business aspects, which include maintaining public access defibrillation programs throughout the state and country. She lectures on heart disease and stroke for the American Heart Association and is team leader for the units Heart Walk team, which raised $2,800 in 2009. Celli led the development of a safety video for infants and children, which has been a leading seller on Amazon. Celli was featured nationally on Heartbeat of America, a national TV show featuring William Shatner, and as a guest speaker for the National Nurses in Business Association. She has won local and state nursing hero awards for her extraordinary efforts to propel the profession.Lori Hadas, RN
Lori Hadas, RN, MSN, CCRN-CSC, CCNS
Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist
Florida Hospital, Orlando
Nominated by: Monica Niece-Dechau
Lori Hadas has advanced her education, achieving the level of clinical nurse specialist and holding several specialty certifications. Although this is a great achievement in and of itself, she has set the standard of leading by example that has led other nurses to pursue advanced education. Hadas has been able to transform the nursing culture on her units. Her passion for the nursing profession and encouragement of fellow nurses has fueled other nurses desires to become involved in practice changes. Nurses are embracing the concept that they can have a direct impact on their practices, as well as on patient outcomes. Hadas is encouraging staff nurses to seek out opportunities to conduct new research and implement new strategies to improve the patient experience and outcomes. When Hadas noted a large volume of bariatric patient admissions, she began researching obstructive sleep apnea looking at best practices in place at other facilities and in the literature. Nursing, with Hadas paving the way, joined a multidisciplinary team, which implemented a system-wide order set, encompassing interventions that would help to alleviate any potential problems resulting from OSA.Katie Franklin, RN
Katie Franklin, RN
Florida Hospital Orlando, Orlando
Nominated by: Cathy Downs-Phoenix
Katie Franklin works in the OR of a busy orthopedic/trauma unit. Referred to as an angel by the colleague who nominated her, Franklin focuses on whole-person care with grace and ability. Franklin was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, and, amazingly, she never faltered. She never missed one of her grueling 12- to 15-hour shifts, and she never complained.
Franklin continued to give 110% to everyone around her. She suffered in silence and with a smile on her face. She kept working, despite her own pain and nausea. She will stop what shes doing to hold a frightened patients hand, help an elderly woman in the hallway or give someone a hug. Everyone admires her giving, kind nature. Franklin is a thorough, compassionate teacher and caregiver.Carol Ann Terzigni, RN
Carol Ann Terzigni, RN, CCRN, AON
Edward White Hospital, St. Petersburg
Nominated by: Susan Finch
For Carol Ann Terzigni, clinical excellence goes beyond intellectual. Whenever the unit is unusually hectic and the nurses become frustrated, Terzigni is first to identify the need for relief. She pampers co-workers, offering support and kindness. Her influence on the morale of the unit is inspiring. For example, a young woman on the unit had a rare pulmonary disease. Despite her need for mechanical ventilation, the patients treatment plan included mobility exercises such as walking. Terzigni recognized the patients hesitation and spent time educating her. Terzigni told the patient about the benefits of maintaining her optimum physical status and how that would facilitate surgery and treatments to come. With patience and encouragement, Terzigni prepared the patient emotionally and initiated activities slowly. Although this approach to her care was time consuming, Terzigni continuously requested to be assigned to this patient. On another occasion, Terzigni received a patient from the ED who was difficult to intubate because of swelling of the trachea. The patient required sedation through most of his ICU stay. Terzigni tried to determine the reason for his anaphylaxis and she helped to discover that antibiotics, which he had purchased from Cuba, were causing the reaction. When his family would visit, Terzigni would bring in a stepstool, so the smaller children could see their dad. She patiently explained his care in appropriate terms to alleviate the familys fears and provided emotional support with every visit. After discharge, the patient and his family returned with trays of food to show their appreciation to the staff especially Terzigni.