The finalists in Nursing Spectrums Nursing Excellence Awards event, which will take place May 6 in Schaumburg, Ill., in the Clinical Care category are as follows:
Helen Angelopoulos, RN, BS
Nurse Clinician 2
Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, Ill.
Nominated by: Kelly Albertsen
As a nurse on a progressive cardiac care unit, Helen Angelopoulos is known by colleagues for her devotion to staff, patients and their families. According to her nominator, she treats patients like family, which helps her make a deep connection with them. Angelopoulos responds promptly, addresses people with respect, listens to their needs and makes sure patients are happy and comfortable. Patients recognize these qualities, and it shows on patients thank-you notes and surveys on our unit. While in the process of discharging a patient recently, Angelopoulos took the patients vital signs and noticed a difference in blood pressure. She called the cardiologist, and an echocardiogram was ordered before discharge. The patient was found to have an aortic dissection and needed emergency surgery. Angelopoulos keen sense of observation and assessment skills helped save the patients life. She doesnt think twice about staying beyond a shift to help, whether it is during a rapid response, code blue or helping the secretary write the next shifts names on the board. There is no job that she is above.Kelly Malysa, RN
Kelly Malysa, RN, BSN
Assistant Clinical Manager
Advocate Christ Medical Center and Hope Children’s Hospital, Oak Lawn, Ill.
Nominated by: Rebecca Gierling
As assistant clinical manager of the pediatric ED, Kelly Malysa is calm and compassionate in stressful situations and respected by staff for her advice and guidance. Recently, Malysa was the clinical coach for a new employee when a trauma code was called in the adult ED. She responded with her orientee to find a patient with multiple gunshot wounds. Malysas clinical skills kicked in and she started working on the patient, all the while explaining each procedure. When she finally had time to look up, the patient was stabilized and heading to surgery and all the other nurses had responded to another trauma. The other nurses said they knew the patient was in capable hands and she had done such an excellent job teaching the new employee while caring for the patient. Since Jan. 1, 2010, her work on the patient satisfaction team has helped the pediatric ED scores improve from the 69th percentile to the 99th percentile.Cynthia P. Mata, RN
Cynthia P. Mata, RN, BSN, MS, CCRN, CVRN
Saint Francis Hospital, Evanston, Ill.
Nominated by: Aschamma Scaria
A nurse who is always ready to help, according to her nominator, Cynthia Mata is described as caring, smart, resourceful, assertive, mindful of her co-workers and a tireless worker for patients and their families. She is the team leader on a unit that is a combined SICU and CCU. Though she wears many hats, Mata always keeps her patient care at a high level. As a recent example, Mata gave a patient a Rosary. While having difficulty sleeping at night, the patients mind was eased by being able to pray the Rosary. While impressing co-workers with her energy and enthusiasm, Mata has been part of two recent success stories. Last year, the hospital achieved Magnet status and the SICU won a Beacon Award. Mata works as a supervisor on the evening and night shifts, and has acted as interim manager on the unit. She participates in numerous community services and is a board member for a charitable organization that helps send impoverished children to college.Kelli M. Wall, RN
Kelli M. Wall, RN, BSN, BA, MBA
Joliet (Ill.) Junior College
Nominated by: Kathleen Wolz
Using her background in business, computers, psychology and nursing, Kelli Wall has developed a user-friendly simulation program for faculty and students. Known for being calm and positive, Wall creates a peaceful learning environment for students and embodies the belief that we are here for the students, according to her nominator. Blending her knowledge of computers and nursing, she helped create a new role at the college. Wall, who also has taught computer and business courses at the school, encourages all individuals to use high-fidelity simulation. She single-handedly developed the procedures and all educational materials for students. Wall suggests creative learning strategies and assists faculty as needed. During the summer and without being paid, Wall created scenarios for use by faculty upon returning for the fall semester. She also has taken the simulation mannequin to different events so other nurses and members of the community can see how the technology works.Leslie Wilkans, RN
Leslie Wilkans, RN, BSN, CEN
Pediatric Quality Coordinator
Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, Barrington, Ill.
Nominated by: Roseanne Niese
Leslie Wilkans is a critical member of the ED team at her facility. In addition to working as a staff nurse, she has provided the organization with multiple processes to improve care to pediatric patients. Wilkans has the responsibility of keeping the ED and the hospital abreast of current practices as the Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics liaison. After the death of a child with Down syndrome, she played a crucial role in creating the EDs bereavement program. Her devotion to this program included contacting local churches to provide blankets from parishioners who pray over each stitch of the blanket. The blanket is then wrapped around the deceased while many of the post-death processes are completed. Families then can take the blanket home as a keepsake. She worked with the hospital chaplain and procured donations as part of the bereavement services as well. Her nominator said, Other RNs aspire to be her because of her clinical ability and her willingness to improve. She defines for us why we went into nursing.