The stage was set June12 for a night of celebration and admiration for the 30 regional finalists of Nurse.com Nursing Spectrums 2012 Nursing Excellence program. The stellar event, held at the beautiful Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Md., culminated in the regional awards presentation in which six of the 30 were named regional winners.
The evening was hosted by Eileen Williamson, RN, MSN, senior vice president and CNE for Gannett Healthcare Group, publisher of Nurse.com, who expressed the companys continued commitment to honoring the many exceptional nurses who can be found in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area.
We consider it a true privilege to recognize nursing excellence in this beautiful way, Williamson said. We wait with great anticipation for this night all year; truly it is one of the highlights of the year for us at Nurse.com.
During the course of the evening, guest facilities that participated in the Honor Your Own program presented their staff honorees with certificates of appreciation. Each of the 30 Nursing Excellence regional finalists were garnished with a corsage and received a plaque bearing his or her name and regional achievement. Of those 30, six extraordinary nurses were chosen to represent DC/Maryland/Virginia in the national Nursing Excellence awards to be announced this fall. The six regional winners each received an elegant sail-shaped, metallic, etched glass award to commemorate the evening.
ADVANCING AND LEADING THE PROFESSION WINNERSherry Perkins, RN
Sherry Perkins, RN, PhD
Chief Operating Officer, CNO
Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, Md.
Perkins takes as many opportunities as possible to honor her nursing staff. But it was their turn to recognize her when she won in the Advancing and Leading the Profession category June 12.
Her love of her staff and patients makes her job easy, Perkins said.
“From my heart, I care most about the patients and the people who take care of patients,” she said. “Part of what I enjoy is connecting with staff directly.”
Perkins has made sure to take care of the hospitals nurses. She created several councils for nurses — professional nursing, quality, staffing/scheduling, evidence-based practice and senior nurses — and created the Compassion, Outreach, Peer Encouragement program to help employees struggling with difficult situations, her nominator wrote.
Perkins “completely changed the culture of nursing in our institution” since she joined the 324-bed AAMC in 2006. She isnt afraid to get in the trenches with the more than 830 medical staff members. She attends conferences with the hospitals nurses and has fed babies and changed their diapers in the neonatal ward, said the nominator, a neonatal nurse.
“If you ask anyone at AAMC, ‘What do you think of Sherry Perkins? the answers will range from amazing to awesome to zealous about nursing and everything in between,” the nominator wrote.
Along with caring about nurses, Perkins has made a point to invite patient comments. She has encouraged patients to join certain councils to share their feedback.
Outside of the hospital, Perkins works on a statewide effort to improve nurse transitions into practice as part of the Robert Wood Johnson/Institute of Medicine recommendations for nurse residency, serves on the Maryland Hospital Association Council on Clinical Quality and is the president-elect of the Maryland Organization of Nurse Executives, her nominator said.
The results of her work include a ranking of 65th out of 1,200 hospitals by the Leapfrog Group for Quality and Safety in 2011.
Outside of work, Perkins recently finished an Iron Girl Triathlon in Columbia, Md., and in doing so, raised money for the Lighthouse Shelter for homeless people in Annapolis. She has inspired a team from the hospital to compete in the next event.
Karen Long is a freelance writer.