Each year, Nurse.com calls upon you, our nurse readers, to tell us about the exceptional nurses you work with who deserve to be part of our Nurse.com Nursing Excellence GEM (Giving Excellence Meaning) Awards program. You submit written nominations on Nurse.com/Nursing-Excellence and detail the extraordinary influence these nurses have on the profession and their patients. Our RN judges review and evaluate the nominations and narrow them down to 18 regional finalists.
The Nurse.com Nursing Excellence GEM Awards program is a nurse-led nomination, selection and award process. GEM Awards are presented to finalists across the nation, and regional winners are announced from among them. Regional winners go on to compete for our National Nurse of the Year Awards.
The finalists come from all specialties and practice settings and are nominated in six different categories: Advancing and Leading the Profession; Clinical Nursing, Inpatient; Education and Mentorship; Home, Community and Ambulatory Care; Patient and Staff Management and Volunteerism and Service.
This year, Nurse.com presents a new Rising Star Award to an RN who has been working in a professional nursing setting for five years or less. The winner will have demonstrated strong nursing knowledge and clinical leadership skills and exceeded role expectations in patient care and professional endeavors.
Meet our 2014 regional finalists and Rising Star from the New England area, and prepare to be inspired!
ADVANCING AND LEADING THE PROFESSION
Ann Barrett, RN, BSN, MBA, NE-BC
Director Nursing Resources Management
The Miriam Hospital
Barrett has more than 20 years of nursing leadership experience in an acute care setting, including nurse manager roles in medical/surgical, critical care, PACU, IV therapy and endoscopy, as well as roles in nursing professional development and quality.
She is described as a committed and dedicated professional whose enthusiasm and experience have positively shaped the facilitys practice environment. She willingly shares her expertise within and outside the organization and provides formal and informal mentoring and coaching to nurses at all levels.
Barretts contributions to the practice environment are innumerable, according to her nominator. Using her nursing, financial and management experience, she has coordinated a number of nursing department initiatives and proactively addressed strategies to minimize vacancy and turnover rates. She is credited with working with staff to create leadership performance development tools based on AONE Competencies and ANA Standards of Practice.
In 2009, Barrett initiated the nursing finance council and through her direction, the group created the charge nurse competency program. Assistant clinical managers, nurse managers and charge nurses were included in content development, which proved to be a successful strategy in sustainability and succession planning. The program was presented nationally at the 2012 ANCC conference. Through her active engagement, Barrett continues to provide clinical and management support to developing leaders, and created the charge nurse council as another way to offer ongoing guidance to them.
Barrett is well respected for her expertise and ability to solve complex problems. During the winter of 2012-2013, when the organization suffered from over-capacity volume secondary to influenza, Barrett worked closely with nursing leadership to develop a creative program, Commitment Plus, for nurses willing to work additional shifts. She is part of the leadership model of care steering committee that supported the development of a formal collaborative relationship among APNs, clinical managers and staff nurses.
Said to possess the ability to influence and support change and high performance. Barrett can be counted on to serve in interim leadership positions, demonstrating agility and transformational leadership while stabilizing areas in transition.
Barbara Blakeney, RN, MS, FNAP
Massachusetts General Hospital
Blakeney identifies, leads, mentors and evaluates the development of innovative practices throughout the hospital, working with the organizations more than 5,000 nurses and interdisciplinary team members.
She is a respected mentor and coach, particularly to emerging leaders and scholars, giving generously of her time, knowledge and experience while fostering their commitment to presentation, publication and innovation activities at a national level.
Her nominator said her commitment to nursing and sharing her knowledge and experience is at Blakeneys core. Another colleague said she has come to realize Blakeney is the quintessential nurse leader and mentor.
Blakeney serves as a mentor for the American Organization of Nurse Executives Care Innovation and Transformation project on a womens health and oncology unit. Through the program, nurses are empowered to impact bedside practice, and under her guidance, staff creates a healing patient environment through improvements that directly affect patients and staff. The results of this program have been disseminated in podium presentations and print and electronic publications on the local, regional and national level. As a result of Blakeneys leadership, the clinicians in the first cohort are serving as mentors to another area-based AONE-CIT cohort.
On the national level, Blakeney is one of 73 innovation advisors appointed by the CMS-Innovation Center. She works with the center to create partnerships and test new models of care delivery within her own organization and then shares what shes learned both regionally and across the U.S. In this capacity, she identified an innovative project, titled Door to Chemo Hang Time, resulting in a significant reduction in the time between admission and the initial administration of chemotherapy, a decrease in length of stay and a cost savings.
Blakeney has served as a member of both the U.S. and International Council of Nurses delegations to the World Health Assembly. She also has served as a member of the National Advisory Board for the Joint Commission and on the advisory group of the National Quality Forum.
Patrice Nicholas, RN, DNSc, MPH, ANP, FAAN
Director of Global Health and Academic Partnerships
Brigham and Womens Hospital
Along with her roles as director of Global Health and Academic Partnerships and senior nurse scientist at BWH, Nicholas is a professor at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing.
Nicholas goes above and beyond in all she does, is generous with her time and is known for her mentorship of nurses at all levels, according to her nominator. One nurse at the facility said that Nicholas changed her life because of Nicholas mentorship and guidance with her graduate work and her interest in global health.
Her work related to global health and HIV are shining examples of excellence in nursing practice and research, her nominator wrote.
Nicholas was a Fulbright senior scholar at the University of KwaZulu-Natalin in South Africa where she conducted research related to HIV-associated neuropathy. With colleagues in the U.S. and at UKZN, she conducted three research studies related to HIV adherence to medications, TB adherence to medications and cellular phone use as an adherence reminder.
She has developed a focused body of research related to HIV-associated neuropathy, and her work on quality of life and symptom management is widely cited in papers related to neuropathy and quality of life in HIV disease.
She has been an invited member of the J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar Review Panel in Washington, D.C., for three years and served on the review panel at the U.S. Consulate in Durban, South Africa. She has served on the review panel for the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
From 2009 through 2013, she served as a member of the board of directors of Sigma Theta Tau International and previously served as the Region 15 coordinator for STTI with responsibility for all chapters in northeastern U.S., eastern Canada, western Europe and Africa.
As a prolific writer and scholar, Nicholas is a member of the editorial review board and review panels of notable research and clinical journals.
CLINICAL NURSING, INPATIENT
Lisa Marie Doyle, RN, BSN, OCN
Massachusetts General Hospital
Doyles nominator describes her as a compassionate and caring clinician, a forward thinker and a superb role model. Dedicated to patient and family-centered care, she builds an open and trusting relationship with her patients and is always looking for ways to improve their care. She can be counted on to precept and mentor new staff members and guide them through their transition. According to her nominator, she is the epitome of an outstanding nurse.
Doyle is described as someone who is never satisfied with the status quo and is always seeking new and better ways to provide outstanding patient care. As a result, she and the innovations team have successfully implemented more than 25 unit initiatives.
She recently drafted a grant proposal to help the units cancer patients receive necessary resources and support. After completing an ethics residency program, she developed well-attended monthly ethics rounds and is the unit champion for a two-year research grant, Care Innovations and Transformation, through the American Organization of Nurse Executives. She also helped to spearhead a post-discharge phone call team, which ensures all patients receive a follow up phone call within 48 to 72 hours after discharge.
As a result of her pursuit for knowledge and her willingness to share it, Doyle has become a unit resource for chemotherapy-related protocols and postop and end of life care.
Inspired by her mothers death, Doyle is actively involved in the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, and climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in August 2011 on Teal Day in order to raise awareness for cancer patients. Doyle rallies the unit to participate in walks and fundraisers each year, and recently organized a group to walk in support of ovarian cancer for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
Doyle is said to touch each and every person she meets, whether they are patients, family members or colleagues.
She is pursuing her education to become an oncology family nurse practitioner.
Mary Kate Eanniello, RN, MSN, OCN, CPHN
Hartford (Conn.) Hospital
Along with her clinical educator role, Eanniello is the co-chairwoman of the Nursing Clinical Practice Council, which influences the practice of more than 1,600 nurses.
Her nominator said she empowers bedside RNs to be active leaders in advancing patient care and the nursing profession. She is credited with a leadership style that influences practice and care behaviors and supports a culture of continuous improvement and patient care excellence.
Eanniello has led in the design and implementation of standardized, evidence-based best practices for oral care, aspiration precautions, delirium management and care protocols, alcohol withdrawal, pain management, medication safety and a wristband designation system for high-risk patients. She has supported the design and implementation of the graduate nurse residency program and has played a key role in the integration of a private practice physician team model into the center. Over the last several years, Eanniello has led the annual Bone Marrow Registry campaigns and also leads several cancer center caregiver initiatives.
She is admired for her ability to encourage self-directed work teams, motivate nurses to excel and direct all actions toward development of professional growth and the overall success of the organization. The cancer program transitioned to a fully computerized physician ordering process for chemotherapy in the inpatient and outpatient arenas, and Eanniello and the team have been recognized with Full Circle Awards.
Because of her supportive leadership and collaborative relationship with the oncology units nurse manager, the oncology floor continues to lead the way in achieving hand hygiene compliance organizationally. It has one of the lowest patient fall rates in the hospital and is well below national benchmark standards. The acquired pressure ulcer rate also is well below national benchmarks.
Eanniello is the president of the Central Connecticut Oncology Nursing Society and is a matriculated DNP student at the University of Bridgeport (Conn.),
Her nominator said her devotion to continuous quality improvement, patient advocacy, patient and staff safety and innovation is immeasurable, motivating and contagious.
Robin McLaughlin, RN, RRT
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
McLaughlin has a clinical knowledge base that is vast and deep, said her nominator. Along with supporting resource and unit nurses, McLaughlin is involved in compliance auditing, infection control and education for initiative rollouts, mandatory unit programs and facility-wide competency days. With all of that, she continues to work as a clinical nurse on the unit, one shift every week.
Relentless in her pursuit of best practice and best patient outcomes, McLaughlin seeks out and offers support to nurses caring for the sickest patients. Because of her respiratory therapy background, she is the first to review policies for care of patients with tracheotomies or chest tubes with others.
Her collaborative relationship with other disciplines enables her to connect with pharmacists, physicians, infection control nurses and others where needed, to clarify a clinical issue or discuss a patient problem. She is admired for her commitment to doing things the right way every time to ensure the best patient outcomes.
The intensity with which she performs her role, whether it is preparing for a Joint Commission visit or a policy change, is matched only by her compassion for and service to her peers, said her nominator. In 2012 she was awarded the peer-nominated Schwartz Award during National Nurses Week.
She consistently models kindness and professional courtesy and she makes it a priority, after getting positive feedback from others, to nominate at least one nurse and one patient care technician for a house-wide nursing award annually.
Her nominator describes McLaughlin as someone who has proven to be the consummate professional. Because she asks herself how she can do more, she has served as floor resource nurse and a member of the monthly Quality and Safety Council, where she then gave three more years of service as tri-chairwoman. She has served on a Medicine Quality Initiative Retreat, and has engaged and encouraged others to participate.
EDUCATION AND MENTORSHIP
Dorothy Bradley, RN, MS
Program director for nursing simulation
Brigham and Womens Hospital
Bradley is a generous and thoughtful educator and mentor who is a role model by example and goes above and beyond in every professional responsibility she undertakes, according to her nominator. She is said to be the go-to person for every hospitalwide educational initiative for professional staff.
Among her accomplishments are the development and redesign of nursing orientation, interdisciplinary orientations, simulation education embedded within a critical thinking perspective and overall process improvement for education and mentorship in the Center for Nursing Excellence and department of patient care services.
She has received superb evaluations as the institution-wide expert on Quadramed Acuity Plus, and her expertise in ensuring inter-rater reliability for each inpatient unit through staff education and role modeling is widely recognized and valued.
As program director, she collaborates with nurse educators, interdisciplinary teams and staff nurses to coordinate orientations and trainings such as debriefing and feedback, burn certification, sexual assault nurse examiner and interdisciplinary education for regionalization of medicine and nursing programs.
Most recently, Bradley worked with central educators in the Center for Nursing Excellence to merge nursing and travel nurse orientations. She worked with educators and various stakeholders to review schedules, trainings and orientation needs to ensure the successful merger, and she worked with human resources and information systems to improve orientation offerings.
She is admired for her ability to bring a special energy to anything she is involved in, because she loves what she does and that love and enthusiasm are contagious, said her nominator.
Bradley serves on nursing and interprofessional committees and has peer-reviewed abstracts and presentations on simulation, technology-enhanced communication and quadramed activities. She has presented at prestigious conferences and offered her expertise regionally and nationally.
Bradley values each person on the team and takes the time to learn every individuals strengths, according to her nominator. She leads with grace, patience and dignity and she makes sure she understands the work of her colleagues completely before offering her support on redesigns or process improvements. Bradley is said to be the epitome of an excellent nurse and a wonderful leader.
Vanessa Gormley, RN, MS, CNRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Massachusetts General Hospital
Gormley has an unwavering positive attitude and tireless energy that sets her apart and enhances her many contributions to patient care, staff education and committee work, according to her nominator. She is respected for her extensive clinical knowledge, open communication and excellent interpersonal skills.
During the implementation of a yearlong project in which post-TPA patients who met specific criteria were admitted to the unit, rather than the ICU, Gormley trained and educated more than 100 staff members to safely care for this patient population, and she developed educational materials, which included a bedside reference sheet, educational binder and a Healthstream module for online learning. She also collaborated with the physician team lead to ensure that residents had the training and education they needed. Gormley is credited with much of the initiatives success and is said to inspire staff to feel proud of what they have accomplished.
Gormley inspires and leads through her love of patient care and quest for knowledge. Staff seek her out for her clinical skill and patient care expertise, and the feedback from physician peers and multidisciplinary colleagues about her contributions is overwhelmingly positive.
One physician colleague said Gormley single-handedly made the training of Holter placement happen on the inpatient neurology floors and the use of weekend Holter monitors would not have become a reality without her.
The unit is now an innovation unit, and Gormley is credited with working with staff to successfully implement more than 12 interventions. She also developed a Sharepoint site that incorporates all unit education and helped to create and implement the successful Take 5 campaign to improve patient communication and provide a healing presence in care.
Gormley has an innate kindness that transcends her work and life beyond the hospital. She is a dedicated volunteer for Tedys team for the Boston Marathon, the Brain Injury Foundation, American Stroke Association and Caring Canines. She provides leadership to the Brain Aneurysm support group and most recently, Vanessa became a volunteer for Caring Canines.
Mary Patricia Toye, RN, MS, ACRN, CCRP
Director of Nursing Research
Baystate Medical Center
Toyes leadership in clinical research and commitment to providing access to clinical trials for pregnant women, children and youth living with HIV/AIDS is exemplary. Her contributions to families living with HIV/AIDS have earned national and international recognition.
An AIDS certified RN and clinical nurse researcher. Toye recognizes all healthcare disciplines and community providers who ensure best practices for patients and families with HIV/AIDS. She has designed programs to coordinate their efforts in meeting the psychosocial, medical, nursing, developmental, school and community needs of this special group.
She established the clinic model, which includes a staff of 10 and embodies the medical home concept, developing nursing and medical policies and procedures in the care of pregnant women and their infants with HIV.
With her team, she initiated and coordinated family, advisory and support groups.
Through grants she has written and received, Toye organized a system for meals and nutritional support and received donations of games and prizes for children during the holidays. Toyes unwavering support and nonjudgmental understanding of adolescents decisions are second to none. Her personal relationships with patients give her the opportunity to hold sensitive and important conversations with them about sexuality and safety of others.
Since 2006, Toye has focused her attention on national and international clinical trials and training.
She has served on the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS/Clinical Trials /Pediatrics Aids Clinical Trial Group international training team which includes East Asia, India, South America and Africa clinical trial sites. She serves on the NIH HIV/AIDS Cross Competency and Assessment working group and as clinical research protocol team RN member for IMPAACT studies, From 2008-2012 she traveled to Uganda, South Africa, Thailand, Botswana, Brazil and India to train medical teams on how to conduct clinical trials and set up clinics to care for women and children with HIV/AIDS. She has published and presented locally, nationally and internationally on topics related to her work and is said to be a tireless and energetic volunteer.
HOME, COMMUNITY AND AMBULATORY CARE
Stephanie K. Estrada, RN, MS, APRN, NP-C
Wentworth Douglass Hospital
As a nurse practitioner at the Wound Healing Institute, Estrada cares for residents in the communitys long-term, skilled and assisted-living facilities, evaluating wounds and ostomies and providing and recommending appropriate nursing intervention and treatment. She offers professional and staff education about skin care and measures to prevent skin breakdown. In addition to caring for patients in the community, she oversees the nursing care provided by the clinics six RN staff members and the hyperbaric oxygen therapy technician.
Within the first year of Estradas arrival at the institute, she quickly learned the key elements and nuances of wound and ostomy care and helped to create a successful and sustainable collaboration with community facilities. Because of her unwavering commitment and dedication, the clinic has improved its healing rates from 12 weeks to five weeks, significantly below the national trend of 16 weeks. She is recognized and admired for her ability to provide patient-focused and cost-efficient care.
Despite limited resources and varying levels of clinical experience at the facilities she visits, Estrada has earned trust and cooperation from patients and staff, resulting in the delivery of quality patient care, according to her nominator. Estrada is known as a caring and calm nurse leader, who has broken down communication barriers to achieve positive outcomes.
As a result of her leadership and care, the long-term care, skilled and assisted-living facilities have reduced their incidence of skin breakdown by 90%, which is measured in their quarterly skin care score cards. One of the facilities the institute serves has been without a state deficiency related to skin breakdown for the three years that Estrada and her team have seen patients there, and another one has scored the highest in quality outcomes as a direct result of their services.
Lynn Kobylenski-Kisner, RN, BSN, CWOCN
Visiting Nurse & Health Services of Connecticut
Described by her nominator as one of the most caring people she knows, Kisner has made a difference in the agencys outcomes by setting the standard for best practices. Highly respected by colleagues, staff and administration, she has developed unique ways to educate clinicians on complicated wound care.
For one patient, Kobylenski-Kisner took step-by-step photos of a dressing change to ensure consistency in wound care, placing them in a folder in the patients home for every nurse to use as a guide. Shes obtained anatomical dolls to teach wound care procedures, wound types, staging and identification to agency staff, orientees and students. Always coming up with ways to improve wound care and prevent wounds, Kisner developed a pink man system for consistent labeling and documentation of wounds, and she created a wound photo program that ensures all wounds are reviewed regularly for any changes by Kisner and her staff.
Her commitment to VNHSC, patients and the nursing profession is exemplary, according to her nominator. When she recognizes a problem she treats it as a challenge she and staff members will solve, and they are always willing to join her committees to work on those challenges.
When she noticed patients with foley catheters were showing an increase in urinary tract infections, she and the committee developed and implemented a plan that involved at least 35 RN case managers, and in the end, the infection rate dropped from three points above the national average to below the national average.
Well respected in the community for her expertise in managing complicated ostomies, surgeons recommend her to patients who have unusual ostomy placements, have difficulty finding suitable appliances or have complicated surgical wounds. Kisner also works closely with vendors to obtain the best possible products for her patients while at the same time keeping costs under control.
Said to go above and beyond on a daily basis, Kisner never hesitates to see patients on the weekend or in the evening if they need her, and she is ready at a moments notice to meet staff in the field if they have any problems.
Debbie A. Mitchell-Dozier, RN, BSN
Tufts Medical Center
Her nominator described Mitchell-Dozier as a dedicated and passionate individual who treats chronically ill patients at the clinic like they are members of her own family. She always listens and hears what their needs are and works incredibly hard to meet them.
Mitchell-Dozier created a program to educate patients and families about kidney failure treatment options. She empowers them to advocate for their treatment plan of care. She is quick to comfort patients and spend extra time to support them, and many patients have commented on how reassured they feel after attending the sessions. She is a strong patient advocate who provides quality care to a diverse patient population, and her sessions and teaching tools reflect her sensitivity to culturally diverse populations.
This past summer, Mitchell-Dozier became a kidney donor to help a stranger in need. She wanted nothing in return, but hoped her story would raise awareness in the community and inspire and empower others who are thinking about being a kidney donor. She also hoped it would provide support and encouragement to patients on dialysis who are hesitant about soliciting help in finding a kidney donor. She believes that through her experience she also can provide quality and compassionate care and make a difference in patient care and outcomes.
Her nominator said everyone is proud to have a coworker who has gone so far above and beyond her professional responsibilities to make a tangible, long-lasting impact on others lives.
Mitchell-Dozier has served in the Army Nurse Corps for the past 25 years. She mentors junior Nurse Corps officers, trains combat medics and combat lifesavers, teaches classes for Army Corpsmen and participates in other health-related endeavors.
Described as a true leader of excellence in nursing practice both in her military capacity and civilian nursing responsibilities, Mitchell-Dozier orients new hires and is a coach and mentor to medical assistants and phlebotomists. She is admired for her ability to teach and be a role model of what excellence in nursing practice should be.
Mitchell-Dozier is actively involved in professional organizations, her community and her church.
PATIENT AND STAFF MANAGEMENT
Marianne Cummings, RN, MS
Nurse director, NICU
Brigham and Womans Hospital
With a team of more than 150 nurses and ancillary staff, Cummings’ leadership style is one of inclusivity, collaboration and open communication. Those around her feel heard, respected and empowered, according to her nominator.
Described as a dynamic leader who is always out in front of a new idea or improvement concept, she was instrumental in leading the NICU beyond a family-centered care model of practice to one of relationship-based care. As a result of Cummings’ leadership and team effort, the unit has had impressive results with the development of stronger interprofessional communication and trust, positive workplace changes and increased family involvement and support.
With Cummings at the helm, the unit formed a NICU parent advisory group, and its members are involved in organizing parent education opportunities, interviewing potential new hires and having a voice on NICU committees. Because of its success, nursing directors consult with Cummings on how to implement and sustain the program on their units. There are three salaried family support staff members who are previous NICU parents and who form relationships with and support networks for parents who have children in the NICU.
Cummings is described as an exceptional nurse leader who meets challenges with continuous enthusiasm and optimism, and her nominator said she is the type of leader others try to emulate.
She created the NICU nursing clinical practice council and developed a NICU conflict resolution and communication group, consisting of staff nurses, nurse educators, nurse leaders, the director of the ethics service and a hospital chaplain, which created a healthier work environment and enhanced communication. This program was so successful that its replication has extended across the maternal child division and to other units, and Cummings and others have presented its positive outcomes at international and national neonatal nursing conferences.
A member of the hospitals ethics committee, she has completed a residency in ethics for nurses, initiated NICU ethics rounds and facilitated numerous ethics consultations.
Kris Ferullo, RN, BSN, CDE
Nurse manager, diabetes services
Ferullos nominator said she has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues with her expertise and positive energy. Another colleague said Ferullos enthusiasm and passion for the field of diabetes is contagious and the facility is fortunate to have her.
She listens to patients concerns and frustrations calmly and offers patient-centered education, and even with the most challenging patients, she never wavers in her compassion and commitment to help them.
During her 22 years of service in the organization, Ferullo has successfully developed innovative programs that have helped patients and families, including different types of diabetes camps that engage, educate and empower children and their families, She gives lectures at local schools, educates provider offices on the guidelines for diabetes care and serves as a mentor and clinical preceptor for undergraduate and graduate students.
She created the diabetes expo, which is held annually in the community for adults and children. Drawing hundreds of patients and families, it provides information on community programs and new technology as well as the latest on dental, eye and foot care.
She facilitates a monthly parent and child support group for children diagnosed with diabetes. As an outreach from the child group, Ferullo started a holiday caroling event last year for the hospitals inpatients.
Under her leadership, the diabetes services and programs have expanded and achieved ADA recognition, and the organization is in the process of applying for Joint Commission disease-specific care certification for diabetes.
Ferullo is chairwoman of the inpatient diabetes steering committee, a member of the pediatric diabetes committee and an active member of the Granite State Diabetes Educator group and the statewide Diabetes Today program.
She received the Presidents Award in 2011, the highest honor bestowed by the facility, for exemplifying the We Care spirit through leadership, excellence in practice and professionalism. Her CNO said Ferullo is an outstanding teacher and role model whose passion for nursing and education is palpable.
Amy Hildreth, RN
Associate nurse manager
Passionate and committed to the practice of nursing, Hildreth goes above and beyond to make sure staff members feel supported and have the resources they need to provide excellent care, said her nominator, who added that Hildreth is passionate about providing quality care and the best possible patient experience.
Admired for her ability to advocate for and collaborate with staff, she helps build a fully staffed and safe schedule, mentors new nurses in developing their practice and works with other departments to foster excellent bedside practice.
She is respected as a mentor and resource to nursing staff throughout the organization, and because of her strong knowledge base, she is called upon whenever a practice improvement is rolled out in the facility. She has been involved in countless committees and is usually at the grass roots level of almost every patient-centered initiative, according to her nominator.
Hildreth created and implemented a purposeful rounding tool that is unique to the institution and has improved patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. After the unit renovation, she led the team in improving the white boards and continues to make sure they help keep patients informed about their care.
A driving force for the LEAN discharge initiative, Hildreth worked with a multidisciplinary team to redesign the process and educate staff throughout the facility so every unit discharges patients effectively and efficiently. She has served as a mentor in the ONE Leadership Academy this spring and she has mentored nursing students and high school students.
Called the consummate nurse, Hildreth started her career at Emerson as an LPN, and then realizing she wanted to be able to affect change, Hildreth pursued her RN license, despite a busy home life and full-time job. What makes her a great leader is her thirst for knowledge and her eagerness to share it with those around her.
Hildreth was nominated by interprofessional colleagues and faculty and subsequently awarded with the Theresa Emerson Award for providing outstanding care to her patients and their families.
VOLUNTEERISM AND SERVICE
Cherlie Magny-Normilus, APRN-BC, MSN, FNP
Clinical research nurse practitioner and director of policy and advocacy, Regis College Haiti Project and nurse practitioner, Brigham and Womens Hospital
As a nurse practitioner, Magny-Normilus is seen as a key member of the diabetes team and expert in offering a multicultural perspective for patients who live with diabetes. Described as someone who always goes above and beyond to help others, she assists newly diagnosed patients and their families in lifestyle adjustments and medication management.
Magny-Normilus has volunteered in her birth country, Haiti, since the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country. The professional education of nursing faculty and the advancement of professional nurses throughout Haiti has been Magny-Normilus passion. It also is near and dear to her heart since many nurse educators and nursing students died in the earthquake.
Inspired by the courage and commitment of her Haitian nurse colleagues, she assisted in the launch and development of the Regis College/Haiti Education Program, which offers a masters degree to nurses in Haiti. Her vision, knowledge, leadership and critical thinking skills have moved this program from an idea to a reality, according to her nominator.
She recently attended the historic graduation of the first cohort who earned their masters degrees in nursing at the Haiti State University in Port au Prince, where Magny-Normilus and the team were recognized by former President Bill Clinton.
Magny-Normilus described it as a milestone as nursing education moved into the university system in Haiti, and said it was one of the best weeks of her life.
She also has brought Haitian nurse educators together to learn more about professional practice models in the U.S. and developed theory-based and evidence-based practice models for Haitian educators and practicing nurses.
She and her Regis colleagues were recognized at the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Biennial convention, and she is the recipient of regional awards for her volunteerism and service, as well as for her expertise as an APN and ICU nurse.
She is a PhD student in nursing at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she plans to study the advancement of nursing initiatives in a framework of social justice.
Maurice Melchiono, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, NE-BC, CPHQ
Family nurse practitioner, nursing director
Boston Children’s Hospital
Its been 30 years since Melchiono started volunteering at the Bridge Over Troubled Waters Inc., a van that offers free care to homeless teens and some adults in locations throughout Boston five days a week. In addition to basic medical care, the volunteers provide emergency counseling to troubled youth and runaways with limited survival options on the streets.
He sets himself apart with his ability to provide holistic care to disenfranchised teens, and as a result of his vision and enthusiasm, the program has been replicated in other states, said his nominator. A great collaborator and ultimate team player, Melchiono helped in program set up and vehicle design in programs in Washington, D.C., and in Seattle.
He is a nationally known speaker and a trainer on a variety of initiatives including support of HIV positive, youth, gay and lesbian teens and public policy campaigns around these issues.
Melchiono also served as a medical van coordinator and managed approximately 400 to 500 RNs, NPs, and physicians in staffing the van. At the same time, he continued his volunteer role and maintained absentee coverage for staff as needed.
Melchiono and a group of Bridge volunteers initiated a program of medical van support for the Walk for Hunger, providing foot care and basic emergency needs to walkers.
He maintains faculty positions at Harvard Medical School in pediatrics and Simmons College of Nursings NP program. He brings his NP students to the van, using the clinical experiences as teaching and recruitment opportunities.
At Children’s, he oversees all outpatient clinics, which includes a staff of approximately 180 MDs, RNs, NPs and CAs, as well as outposts for BCH in the community care setting. He also continues to practice a day a week in the Adolescent Medical Clinic.
One of his colleagues describes him as an inspirational, exceptionally well-organized, energetic and effective manager. Said to execute his responsibilities with finesse, confidence and an upbeat, can-do spirit, Melchiono holds himself and his colleagues to a high standard.
Nicholas Merry, RN, BSN, CCRN, CEN
Massachusetts General Hospital
Early in his career, Merry served aboard the U.S. hospital ship Mercy off the coast of Indonesia, providing medical care to critically ill patients directly impacted by a tsunami. Inspired by his work with Project Hope, Merry returned to MGH and joined the international medical surgical response team, a group of medical specialists who provide surgical and critical care during a disaster or public health emergency.
As a member of the IMSuRT team, Merry has served on numerous deployments at home and abroad. providing care and logistical support in crises, including hurricanes and earthquakes in Louisiana, New Jersey and Haiti.
When Merry was deployed to Haiti in response to the devastating earthquake, he was chosen to act as operations section chief for the Gheskio Field Hospital in Port au Prince. Based on his outstanding performance, Merry was promoted to IMSuRT deputy team commander in 2010.
As a result of his proven leadership and global disaster experience, Merry also was chosen as the hospitals nursing recruitment liaison for a proposed multi-agency trauma and surgical deployment unit. In this role, Merry will recruit critical care nurses and coordinate training for TSDU personnel.
As a volunteer with the International Medical Corp., in partnership with the hospitals Center for Global Health, Merry was deployed to Roxas City, Philippines, when Typhoon Haiyan swept the country.
Designated as team leader, Merry and his group treated approximately 150 to 300 patients per day during a three-week period, administering vaccines, dressing wounds, providing first aid, dispensing medicines and providing patients with available resources for food and emergency shelter.
He is recognized as an outstanding team player for his caring approach to patients and his communication and leadership skills, said his nominator who added that its clear theres no end to his capacity to volunteer and serve.
He provided volunteer support to the Boston Athletic Association for several years, including staffing a medical tent during the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Merry maintains American Nurse Credentialing Center certification in critical care and emergency nursing. After conducting a recent nationwide search, ANCC appointed Merry to a committee charged with developing a curriculum for national disaster nursing certification.