|The Nightingale Awards honor nursing professionals and their contributions while raising funds for student scholarships and other department needs.|
Oakland University’s School of Nursing (SON) hosted the 19th Annual Nightingale Awards for Nursing on Tuesday, May 8 at the San Marino Club in Troy. The program honored nine award recipients and nine runners up for their dedication to the field of nursing. Fox 2 Detroit Health Reporter Deena Centofanti served as the evening’s emcee.
The evening was hosted by the SON and the Board of Visitors with the help of presenting sponsor St. John Health; gold sponsors Henry Ford Health System and William Beaumont Hospitals; silver sponsors Oakwood Hospital and St. Joseph’s Healthcare; and bronze sponsors Kelly Services, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Detroit Medical Center, St. John Oakland Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital.
The ceremony honors nursing professionals and their contributions while raising funds for student scholarships and other department needs.
The awards are given in honor of Florence Nightingale, the Briton who in the mid-1800s created the nursing profession. The Nightingale awards are given for nurses in the areas of administration, advanced nurse practice, research and education, long-term care and rehabilitation, nursing in the community, staff practice and the OU distinguished alumni in nursing.
“On behalf of the selection committee, whose challenge it was to select only one award recipient from a group of outstanding nominees, I offer heartfelt congratulations to each winner and the runners-up. They truly represent the spirit, dedication and character of Florence Nightingale by demonstrating compassion, talent and professionalism in the nursing field,” said Linda Thompson Adams, dean of the School of Nursing.
Nightingale Award nominations are sent to health care agencies all over Michigan. All licensed registered nurses working in the state are eligible. The nominations and support letters are sent to a selection committee, which reviews candidates based on achievements, community service and professional organizations. Committee members independently score each of those criteria and the top scoring candidates comprise the winners and runners-up.
Selected from more than 150 nominations, the nine award winners each receive a check for $1,000 and a solid bronze statue of Florence Nightingale. Runners-up receive a plaque and Nightingale pin.
The Nightingale Awards for Nursing coincide with National Nurses Week and Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12, 1820. The awards promote nursing’s essential health care role and the various ways nurses care for America’s citizens.
2007 Nightingale Award Recipients
Vicki Ashker, RN, MSA, CCRN
Garden City Hospital
Vicki Ashker is the Director of Patient Care Services for all areas of nursing operations, including specialty Unit, Staff Development, Birthing Suites and the Short Stay Unit of Garden City Hospital. Ashker is admired for her strong leadership skills and communication and teamwork abilities, which have resulted in many clinical and financial rewards.
Ashker established a team comprised of members the finance department, quality management, infection prevention, critical care, respiratory therapy and outcomes management to improve patient hand-off and establish stronger methods of safety. With her intensive research skills, classroom instruction and visible participation, Ashker led the entire Michigan Hospital Association Keystone Center for Public Safety and Quality/John Hopkins University ICU project. She recognized the importance of improved ventilators for patients in the ICU and acute/progressive care units, and reduced the number of catheter related blood stream infections in the ICU to zero.
ADVANCED NURSE PRACTICE
Karen Peper, RN, MSN, CFNP
Karen Peper is a dedicated stroke nurse practitioner at Providence Hospital. She works diligently to provide the best possible care to those in need, and educates patients and the community about stroke prevention every day. She says her greatest inspiration is visiting stroke patients daily to put smiles on their faces. Her motivation comes from her heart, committing herself to each patient and his or her family. Peper has had other roles at Providence including staff nurse, nurse manager and nurse practitioner in a family practice setting.
In April of 2006, Peper led the hospital in the development of Stroke Clinical Care Outcomes, Stroke Pathway and achievement of Primary Stroke Center certification from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Providence Hospital is one of the first JCAHO-certified Primary Stroke Centers in Michigan. Co-workers said Peper worked hard to formulate clinical pathways for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients, resulting in the dissemination of unit guidelines and protocols.
With the development of extensive research, Peper has helped many stroke patients return to their daily lives more quickly. In the past year, Peper has provided more than 25 programs to educate the community about stroke, risk factors and warning signs. She is constantly educating new nurses and residents about the care of stroke patients.
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
Teresa Wehrwein, PhD, RN, CNAA
College of Nursing-Michigan State University
Teresa Wehrwein is the associate professor and assistant dean for Professional Partnerships and Faculty
Practice in the College of Nursing at Michigan State University. Wehrwein has the amazing ability of forming professional relationships with many in the health care profession, health care delivery systems and educational organizations to promote improvement in patient outcomes and to meet the needs of consumers. Wehrwein is dedicated to her job and is always striving for improvement in the nursing field and throughout the state of Michigan.
Wehrwein's tireless efforts and strong leadership abilities have led the College of Nursing to develop collaborative relationships and partnerships with managed health care organizations resulting in new programs and models for undergraduate and graduate students. She was the primary investigator for a Medicaid Undergraduate Educational Grant received by the College of Nursing. This led to designing a new model for undergraduate nursing education in multicultural populations mostly in primary and secondary school settings. In 2006, the College of Nursing opened the Learning Assessment Center thanks to Wehrwein's efforts in designing and developing hands-on simulators for students.
With the high demand for nurses, Wehrwein co-authored a white paper in 2002 called “Nursing Workforce Requirements for the Needs of Michigan Citizens.” This paper addresses the nursing shortage on many levels, including public policy and education encouraging nurses who were previously in the profession to return to active practice.
LONG TERM CARE/REHABILITATION
Lutheran Homes - Monroe
Marge Tierney has been a charge nurse at Lutheran Homes - Monroe for the last 24 years. At nearly 83 years old, Tierney just might be the oldest working licensed registered nurse in the state of Michigan. Not only does this speak volumes to her character, dedication and unfaltering work ethic, it is equally impressive to note that she raised 13 children with those same traits as they have grown up to be accountants, psychologists, attorneys, nurses and teachers.
Tierney's colleagues, supervisors, patients and their families speak to her professionalism, compassion, selflessness and tireless attention to her patients. Until recently when she began to experience cardiac problems, she had a perfect attendance record at the Lutheran Home. She once even worked an entire evening shift feeling "light headed" but didn't want to inconvenience her children so she waited until morning to call her daughter. By the time they went to the hospital the next morning her pulse was only 37. But after a brief respite and a new pacemaker, she returned to work with her same zeal.
NURSING IN THE COMMUNITY
Kelly Brittain, BSN, MSN
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Kelly Brittain is the director of Community Education at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Taking a new approach to encourage young people to consider a career in nursing, Brittain created a program in partnership with Detroit Public Schools. Brittain developed the Oncology Nurse Mentorship Program which addresses the current and future need for oncology nurses. Funding from sponsors provides high school juniors and seniors a mentored nursing experience at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. As program coordinator, Brittain participates in selecting candidates, developing the program and outcome evaluations of students. Those who work closely with her describe her as a wonderful mentor and role model. Brittain also serves as a mentor for students who have completed the program.
Her dedication to increasing cancer education among minorities is evident in her work. Recognizing a gap in cancer awareness and education among Latinos, Brittain partnered with the Wayne County Breast Cancer Control Program and developed the Hispanic Advisory Council. With Brittain as chairperson, the
Council completed a community needs assessment and designed a culturally sensitive education and outreach program to meet the needs of the Latino population in Detroit. As project director for the Latino Breast Cancer Project, Brittain worked with the community to increase awareness of the importance of breast health. The new program held the first ever Breast Cancer Awareness event, in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month. Last year, the program reached more than 800 Latinos. The Latino Breast Cancer Project continues to reach the underserved in Detroit. With funding from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the program has plans to create breast cancer support groups as well as expanding support to downriver communities.
OU DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI
Sandra Parry, MSN, NP Certification
NP – Critical Care
St. John Oakland Hospital
Sandra Parry is a nurse practitioner in critical care at St. John Oakland Hospital (SJOH). She has held many roles at SJOH including staff nurse, manager and nurse practitioner. In each of these roles Parry has demonstrated leadership skills and a willingness to initiate change and drive improvements, as well as being a patient advocate. Her passion and dedication to her patients is not just limited to critical care. She is a valuable resource for St. John Health System physicians, nurses, medical students and nursing students Parry also introduced protocols for ventilated patients. She worked with the Critical Care Quality Improvement Committee to form a collaboration and between nursing, the intensivists, respiratory, dietary, spiritual care, case management and the Emergency Department to develop decision trees, standing orders and educational programs. As a result of standing orders and protocols, patient care improvements were made, resulting in more rapid weaning, improved nutrition to support healing and reduction of nosocomial infections. In addition, patients had more control over their environment.
She introduced the Fundamentals of Critical Care Support course at SJOH and is one of only a few non-physician site directors in the country. She researched and coordinated the introduction of this program to SJOH interns, residents and nurse practitioners. The program has been expanded to two other hospitals within the St. John Health System.
Christin Claypool, RN, BSN
Children's Hospital of Michigan
Christin Claypool is a charge nurse at Children's Hospital of Michigan. With infectious enthusiasm and warmth, she has spent seven years at Children's Hospital ensuring that her young patients not only receive the best care, but that they are treated with dignity and respect. Parents appreciate this and are grateful for her commitment to keeping clear lines of communication. Patient families often write letters lauding the level of care she provides. Claypool humbly accepts this recognition and firmly believes in recognizing everyone whose performance is outstanding. Because of this, she coordinates employee recognition programs and venues to acknowledge staff members. She uses off-site outings to increase morale and a positive postings bulletin board where employees can post affirming and congratulatory post-it notes for staff achievements on and off the job.
Communication is Claypool's fundamental foundation, whether between colleagues or to families and patients. She works to improve communication between physicians and parents to help prevent families from getting mixed messages from different members of the child's care team. She also coordinates family-centered care meetings with the patient, their family, physicians and other care givers to assist in understanding their child's illness.
Sarah Rauner, BSN, MSN, CPNP
William Beaumont Hospital – Troy
Sarah Rauner, pediatric nurse practitioner at William Beaumont Hospital – Troy, exemplifies the professionalism and passion of a Nightingale Award winner. Her desire to make improvements that will help pediatric patients, their families and the nurses who care for them, along with her tireless energy to do so, is commendable by all who know her. Probably the most admirable is the fortitude she displayed going from senior nursing student to pediatric practitioner nurse in just five years. She knew what she wanted and whom she wanted to help and did not stop until she got there. She continues to display these same values in her job everyday.
Rauner works in the Emergency Center where she strives to meet the needs of sick or injured pediatric patients. Beaumont Hospital has implemented a Clinical Nurse III Program within the last six months. This program entails very stringent requirements in the areas of leadership, clinical and educational Initiatives. It’s not surprising that Rauner quickly rose to the challenge and was one of the first two nurses awarded Clinical Nurse III status.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
Carrie Weiland, BSN
Pathway Livingston Educational Service Agency
Under shimmering lights and glamorous décor, young men and women begin a night they will never forget. Corsages accent captivating dresses and handsome tuxedos paint a royal scene. For many young adults prom is a rite of passage, celebrating graduation and a step toward adulthood. One nurse made this dream a reality for her special needs students. Carrie Weiland has dedicated the last 11 years of her life to the students at the Pathway School. She works with children who are severely impaired, both physically and mentally.
"The kids are phenomenal, knowing what they go through every day is unbelievable," said Weiland. "It inspires me to see what they are capable of and how happy they can be."
Weiland is not the typical school nurse; she writes poetry, sings and prays for her students. Organizing a prom was an idea well within her capabilities. One of the school rooms was transformed for the prom. Lights were positioned, music was selected and special cakes were made for this majestic event. A mock prom boutique was created inside the school, providing donated gowns, ties and corsages. Weiland also invited volunteer make-up artists and hair stylists to make the girls feel like movie stars. A professional photographer was on hand to capture the emotional event. The first prom was such a success that it has now become an annual event and continues to be organized by Weiland.
Weiland is helping her students to beat the odds, just as she continues to do. As a child, Weiland spent a significant amount of her time in hospitals, undergoing complex surgeries to repair a serious congenital defect. She was born with bladder exstrophy and an open pelvic bone. Spending so much of her childhood in the medical world, Weiland had made up her mind by the age of eight that she wanted to provide care to the less fortunate. After graduating from Wayne State University, Weiland began her career in nursing at the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital. Her devotion to pediatric care has taken her across Michigan, even to the Upper Peninsula. A career which might not have been possible if it wasn't for Weiland's impassioned family who refused to give up on her when doctors recommended she be institutionalized because she would not live beyond 20 years of age.
Her devotion to the students of the Pathway School often has her skipping lunch breaks and working in pain, due to her chronic health issues. Weiland explains what makes her a successful nurse.
"No matter how much you give, you always get back more," she said.
Weiland is an everyday hero, who continues to sacrifice her own comfort for that of others. She is an inspiration to her colleagues and feels extremely honored to be recognized with such a prestigious award.
For more information on the awards and OU’s nursing program, visit the School of Nursing Web site, call (248) 370-4253 or e-mail email@example.com.