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South Central Nursing Excellence Winners Chosen

As nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale noted more than 140 years ago, “Nursing is an art.” That statement rang true when the myriad accomplishments of South Central nurses were recognized during the regional Nursing Excellence Award gala.

“It was wonderful to be surrounded by colleagues who practice excellence each and every day, said Theresa Gaffney, RN, MPA, NurseWeek’s vice president, nursing communications & initiatives. “Like Florence Nightingale, their courage, compassion, innovation and commitment to make change is inspiring.”

Nominations were blinded and ranked by a panel of regional nurse leaders. The regional winners will be judged against those across the country, with Nurse of the Year winners to be announced at the end of the year. Gaffney and other members of NurseWeek and Gannett Healthcare Group staff welcomed the finalists and winners, including two winners in the Teaching category, to the stage, to accept their awards. “In the words of Nightingale, ‘It is not what we say, what we do or what we appear that has influence on others, but what we are,’ ” Gaffney said.

The South Central Nursing Excellence Award winners include:

Carson Easley, RN

Advancing and Leading Profession
Carson Easley, RN, MSN
Director, Nursing
Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County, Houston

“I find it a great honor to have been nominated for the Nursing Excellence Awards, and then to have been selected as a regional finalist and finally as the regional winner in the Advancing and Leading the Profession category is one of the most exciting and awesome experiences of my professional nursing career.” — Carson Easley, RN

As the agency’s second nursing director in its 45-year history, Easley has helped to establish standards of nursing practice and infection control practices, and more. She also is a member of the Agency Disaster Response Committee, where she coordinated the implementation of a Federal Administration of Emergency Management Grant for crisis counseling after tropical storms Allison (2001) and Fay (2008). She was the administrator on duty for the agency’s mental health services provision during Houston’s response to survivors of Hurricane Katrina (2005).

Patricia Gagnon, RN

Clinical Care
Patricia Gagnon, RN, BSN, CMSRN
Registered Nurse
Seton Medical Center Williamson, Round Rock, Texas

“I am thrilled to have received this award. Everyone in this category was just as deserving, and I am grateful I was chosen. I love the nursing profession and all that it encompasses. I love to work with patients and families and love to see the joy in their faces when their hospital stay has been extraordinary. I am extremely glad that I chose nursing and will continue to grow and make my profession proud. ” — Patricia Gagnon, RN

Gagnon excels in leadership, teamwork and excellence in clinical practice. She quickly gained the night-shift staff’s respect by continuously supporting them and being the voice of their concerns and needs. Gagnon was able to improve communication of critical lab results scores from the 60s to 100 through daily auditing and coaching and improved pneumonia core measures data through vaccine process education.

Stacey Jantzen, RN

Community Service
Stacey Jantzen, RN, BSN
Cath Lab Nurse
Methodist Mansfield (Texas) Medical Center

“I am truly honored to have been chosen for this award. It is a pleasure to be among so many professionals that go above and beyond for others. I am proud to be part of the nursing profession that is dedicated to help those that are in need of the caring and compassion that we have to offer, whether it be during a time of sickness or promoting health and well-being.” — Stacey Jantzen, RN

Jantzen routinely volunteers in the community. She helped raise more than $5,000 in a single year for the American Heart Association, championed women’s awareness of heart disease by setting up educational programs in physician offices, volunteers with Jump Rope for Heart! and discusses healthy food choices with elementary school children. She participates in Manna House, helping to provide food, clothing and financial assistance to those who are less fortunate.

Carla Rider, RN

Carla Rider, RNC, BSN, MBA
Director, Women’s and Children’s Services, Lactation and Outpatient Clinic
Medical Center of McKinney (Texas)

“I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a small girl. My mother was a nurse, and I dreamed of the day I could wear ‘that cap’. To be nominated for this award by my staff validates that they, too, are believers in striving for excellence. It is an honor to receive this award because it confirms that I am fulfilling His purpose in my life, as I truly see nursing as my calling.” — Carla Rider, RNC

Rider excels in leading others toward personal development. She developed and implemented infant safety and CPR classes for new parents. She motivated staff to become neonatal resuscitation program instructors, as well as trainers in other areas. Rider’s initiative to partner with infection control to develop and implement an order set to decrease C-section surgical site infections resulted in a 73% reduction rate.

Heidi Danen, RN

Heidi Danen, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nurse Supervisor
Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas

“I felt very honored to be nominated because I was nominated by my manager, Keri Allen, and she works harder than anyone else I know. I feel very honored to work with such a great group of nurses. I really feel like the award is a tribute to all of us because we all worked together as a unit to achieve those outstanding outcomes.” — Heidi Danen, RN

Danen mentors new graduates. The ICU’s first-year turnover of new graduates in fiscal year 2009 was zero, with much of the credit going to Danen. Thanks to Danen’s commitment to quality, the unit enjoyed nine months with no ventilator-acquired pneumonia and five months without a central line-associated bloodstream infection. Danen was nominated to participate in an evidence-based practice fellowship. She reviewed skin care and reducing pressure ulcers in the ICU. As a result, she successfully changed the staff’s perspective to a preventive approach with skin breakdown.

Theresa Pape, RN

Theresa Pape, RN, PhD, CNOR
Associate Professor
Texas Woman’s University College of Nursing, Denton

“I want to thank NurseWeek for honoring me in such a wonderful way. There are so many talented nursing professors with whom I work that I consider myself a humble trustee on their behalf to hold this 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award. Every person is a part of all those who have helped to shape their knowledge, character and skills. Thus, this award also represents congratulations to all who have crossed paths with me on this journey.” — Theresa Pape, RN

Pape is nationally known for the success of her medication safety research, which uses a visible symbol to decrease nurses’ distractions and interruptions during medication administration. She was on the steering committee of the Urgent Matters Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant Project to improve throughput for patients being admitted through the emergency center. Her experience in OR nursing led to her appointment to the National AORN Recommended Practices Committee.

Lorene Payne, RN

Lorene Payne, RN, MSN, EdD, CNE
Senior Nursing Instructor
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

“I was humbled and honored to be nominated, chosen as a finalist and especially to be selected the winner of the teaching category. Selecting any nurse is really an acknowledgment of the value of all nurses as educators. Nurses teach in so many capacities. Teaching empowers, and it is an honor to be a nurse educator.” — Lorene Payne, RN

Payne has a gift of imparting knowledge to others in a way that they can understand. She builds their confidence and provides valuable suggestions for navigating from the novice level to proficient practitioner. Payne coordinates and teaches new nursing personnel for the first two weeks of nursing orientation. She helped develop the institution’s custom medication tests. She coached nurses on dosage calculations and provided them with resources, contributing to an increased first-time pass rate.

By | 2020-04-15T14:24:42-04:00 September 13th, 2010|Categories: Regional, South|0 Comments

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