Nurse.com Nursing Spectrum has chosen five finalists from the Greater Chicago region for the Clinical Care, Inpatient category in our 2012 Nursing Excellence Awards program.
The finalists will be recognized May 15 in a ceremony at the Chicago Marriott — Schaumburg, where a winner in the category also will be selected.
Melissa Browning, APRN, DNP, CCNS
Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
Browning interacts with and mentors surgical ICU preceptors, new orientees and clinical graduate students. She gives impromptu in-services on unfamiliar procedures or infrequently used equipment. Browning has formed several unit-based committees, including the Beacon Award committee, and was the primary author of the SICUs Beacon Award application. She assisted the SICU in adopting open visiting hours, a practice that is encouraged and validated in the literature, and conducted a study on the perceptions of visiting, in which she surveyed nurses and patients families. The project and its results have been presented at several nursing conferences. Browning was instrumental in forming a hospitalwide, multidisciplinary hypoglycemia task force and in leading the revision of the intensive insulin protocol for the adult critical care department. Physician David Baldwin Jr., director of endocrinology, said of Browning: “Our SICU nurses and our SICU patients are all direct beneficiaries of the success of her efforts. I wish that we could clone her.”Kathleen Hogan, RN
Kathleen Hogan, RN, BSN, MA, APN, CWOCN, CIC
Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, Elgin, Ill.
Through Hogans efforts, the Provena Saint Josephs rate of hospital-acquired conditions from central-line infections has decreased significantly. She recently established protocols for patient decolonization to prevent central-line infections and protocols for patients admitted with multidrug-resistant organisms. After a change in the hospitals linen service three years ago, Hogan tracked an increase in dermatitis related to washcloths, and she assessed patients skin firsthand. As a result, disposable cloths were reintroduced this year. She advocated for the use of alcohol hand gel in patients rooms in 2000, two years before the CDC recommendation to do this. She serves as a subject matter expert on infectious processes to the news media. A colleague said of Hogan: “I have always been impressed by Kathys gentleness, kindness and work ethic. She is committed to her patients and advocates for them consistently.”Zudije Neziri, RN
Zudije Neziri, RN
Edward Hospital, Naperville, Ill.
Neziri is a staff nurse who works in the cardiac neuro ICU. She is responsible for educating other staff nurses on the care of neurological and neurosurgical patients. Neziri identified a gap in the care of complex neurological patients, conducted a literature review, pulled together a small group of colleagues, developed materials to educate unit nurses and compiled a resource manual. She developed and implemented a complex neurological flow sheet for critical care and was instrumental in the development of hemorrhagic stroke care plans and standing-order sets. Her investigation of a flaw in a computer documentation system used by Edward and other facilities was reported to MedSun, a subnetwork of the FDA, which recognized her for the discovery. She also earned the hospitals Good Catch Award for the finding and her willingness to speak up.Jennifer Perkins, RN
Jennifer Perkins, RN-NIC, MSN
Staff Nurse 4
Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove, Ill.
Perkins authored a handbook that informs parents about the NICUs processes. She also initiated a bedside binder, which is a journal and teaching tool for each family. The journal is used as a communication tool to keep parents informed and has streamlined the discharge process. The binder was presented at a national conference as a lead communication tool. Perkins is in charge of the units clinical excellence committee, reviewing multidisciplinary practices. She volunteers for the annual March of Dimes walk and for the Share Program at Good Samaritan. She also volunteers for cancer and Alzheimers causes. She attends the annual National Association of Neonatal Nurses conference and last year presented a poster at their conference in Las Vegas. Her nominator wrote of Perkins: “Jennifer gives of herself endlessly. She is a valuable member of our team and the neonatal nursing profession as a whole. She puts babies first.”Joanne Regan, RN
Joanne Regan, RN, CCRN
Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, Ill.
Regan is a critical-care nurse in the cardiovascular surgical ICU. She was a subinvestigator for the units progressive mobility research project. The protocol focused on optimizing mobility before and after surgery, with the idea that early ambulation would allow patients to return to their baseline mobility sooner and decrease their length of stay in the ICU. “Joannes enthusiasm and commitment to this project was phenomenal,” her nominator wrote. “Joanne has the ability to take her patients to a new level.” She was part of a team led by the governing council to improve nursing documentation in the unit. She assisted in the development of a tool for standardizing documentation, the educational rollout of this tool, and the development of a peer-to-peer audit that has been successful at standardizing documentation for the patient population. She also is a preceptor for new nurses and works with student nurses, as well as at the bedside.