Nurse.com Nursing Spectrum has chosen five finalists from the Philadelphia Tri-State region for the Clinical Care, Inpatient category in our 2012 Nursing Excellence Awards program.
The finalists will be recognized May 8 in a ceremony at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, where a winner in the category also will be selected.
Sister Helen Miller, RN, SSJ, OCN
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Philadelphia
Miller not only seeks to give a high quality of care for patients and their loved ones, but she also tries to improve the work environment of her co-workers. Last year, Miller took the lead on a group project that focused on reducing non-value added time on the nursing floor by moving the IV fluids into the medication room. Her past experiences include being on committees that focus on wound care and patient education. Millers impact is reflected in the many cards, letters and notes she receives from patients, caregivers and peers in praise of her work. Even after a patient dies, Miller often remains in close contact with the loved ones and helps them deal with their loss. Her nominator wrote: “Sr. Helen inspires both patients and caregivers to always be hopeful. Equally important, she empowers her colleagues to be the best nurses and people that they can be.”Jessica Kushner, RN
Jessica Kushner, RN, BSN, BA
Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia
Kushner has worked as a frontline clinician on the cardiac telemetry unit since 2008. She is a strong patient advocate who is dedicated to providing quality care. In her time on the unit, she has served as preceptor, charge nurse, resource clinician and shared governance practice model member. On one occasion, she worked to help a patient and his wife who were making their first trip to Philadelphia from suburban New Jersey. Kushner found a member of the security department who would walk the patients wife from the hospital two blocks to the hotel where she was staying late at night. Kushner frequently serves as the extra flow RN on the overnight shift, supporting the educational needs of nurses and assisting with clinically complicated presentations. Twice she helped patients who presented with stroke symptoms receive such good care that the neurology fellow presented the patients course in grand rounds.Dawn Namiotka, RN
Dawn Namiotka, RN, ASN
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Namiotka is a clinical nurse on the cardiac intermediate care unit who is a strong advocate for patients and their families. In one instance, she organized the department in adopting a family during the Christmas holidays to support a patient who was the sole caretaker of his four children, collecting money and finding out what the children wanted for Christmas. Patients who return to the CICU often ask for Namiotka as their primary nurse. She is a role model and preceptor, encouraging and supporting clinical nurses to advance their practice. She is a leader in peer review by providing colleagues with real-time feedback and empowering them to do the same. Namiotka is enrolled in nursing school, pursuing her BSN/MSN. Her nominator wrote: “She continually demonstrates superior clinical nursing knowledge and expert skills. She has an amazing ability to accept changing patient/family situations while integrating their cultural beliefs into care.”Marybeth Connors, RN
Marybeth Connors, RN, CNOR
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Del.
Connors is an OR nurse whose primary specialty is orthopedics. She frequently does extra research to ensure she knows all aspects of her patients diagnosis and the plan for her patients care. She has been a shared governance representative for the OR the past two years and has brought numerous ideas for improvement to staff and to the hospital administration. She recently passed the CNOR exam, setting an example for other staff members. Connors has made mission trips to Haiti to help children in need and assist with surgical procedures. She recently completed a yearlong research fellowship project, focusing on safe positioning of the patient during surgery. Her nominator wrote: “I know that I can always assign the most difficult and complex cases to Marybeth, and I know that the patient is getting the best care possible. She is the ultimate patient advocate and treats each child as if [he or she were] her own.”Anne Marie Gallagher, RN
Anne Marie Gallagher, RN, BSN, CPON
Oncology/BMT Unit Staff Nurse
St. Christophers Hospital for Children, Philadelphia
Gallagher has been a staff nurse in the oncology transplant unit for the past 36 years. She uses her vast knowledge of oncology pathology and its effects on pediatric patients to embrace and mentor new nursing staff as well as resident physicians. She ensures patients receive not only the best care but also all the comforts of home. She was instrumental in condensing lengthy protocols for bone marrow transplantation into a quick reference guide for the staff. Gallagher is a member of the department of nursings Education Council. When the council decided to implement traveling education throughout the hospital, Gallagher went to every med/surg unit to educate staff on the care of patients with fever and neutropenia. She is involved with many charity events. Her nominator wrote: “She is never too busy to spend time answering a familys questions or offering a shoulder to cry on.”