Michele Zucconi, RN, MSN, CCRN, administrative director of cardiac care at Inspira Health Network in Vineland, N.J., was named to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses 2013 Circle of Excellence in a ceremony at the AACN National Teaching Institute in Boston.
Each year, the AACN selects 25 nurses to become members of their Circle of Excellence. Each fall, Circle of Excellence nominations are accepted from the organizations more than 100,000 members. Winners are chosen by a panel based on the nominees accomplishments in exceptional patient care outcomes, skilled communication, collaboration, advocacy, removal of barriers, mentoring, leadership ability and contributions to organizational success.
Zucconi has been a nurse in the Inspira Health Network — formerly South Jersey Healthcare — for more than 25 years, and has been a nursing leader in the organization for the past 15 years. Among the accomplishments recognized by the AACN, according to a news release, is Zucconis work with nursing research, including the canine-assisted ambulation research study published in 2011.
In the last two years, Zucconi worked closely with nursing leaders to institute a Therapeutic Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest program at Inspira. Most recently, Zucconi has been leading the organizations effort to expand the services of the cardiac catheterization lab to include emergency percutaneous coronary intervention for acute myocardial infarction.
“Michele is a driving force for change and continual improvement in the organization,” Elizabeth Sheridan, RN, BSN, MA, NEA-BC, FACHE, Inspira Health Network CNO and Inspira Medical Center Vineland COO, said in the release. “She is fully committed to both her patients and her staff. She accepts any challenge that will result in an improvement in patient care and is an exceptional mentor who supports her staff in their professional development pursuits,”
Zucconi has been a member of the AACN for more than 20 years. In addition to her work at Inspira, Zucconi volunteers with the American Heart Association, the Spirit of Women organization and has lectured locally and nationally on nursing research. She also was the 2012 national winner in the Nurse.com nursing excellence program in the Patient and Staff Management category.
“I am truly humbled,” Zucconi said in the release. “Nurses do what we do for our patients and for each other. To have what Ive done be recognized by the AACN is such an honor.”