According to the American Nurses Association, National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
However, Children's Hospital Central California kicked off Nurses Week early with an event held May 2 to honor recipients of four Nurse of the Year awards and one Friend of Nursing award.
Beverly Hayden-Pugh, vice president and chief nursing officer at Children’s, opened the event by introducing Todd Suntrapak, the Hospital’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He expressed leadership’s commitment to nursing. “At the highest level of this organization the role of nursing has always been a priority and it will continue to be a priority,” he said. “The key to the continued success of this organization is the continued success and further development of our nurses.”
Other Nurses Week activities scheduled at Children’s include the annual basket auction to raise money for the Nursing Professional Development Fund, which provides nursing education scholarships to help nurses on their journey to nursing excellence.
Prior to honoring the individual award winners, Hayden-Pugh addressed all the nurses in attendance. “The work you do makes a lasting impression on the families we serve,” she said. “You need to remember that everyday you’re touching lives and you’re changing lives.”
The 2012 Nurse of the Year Awards were distributed as follows:
Nurse of the Year 2012 – Clinical Practice
Theresa Rose, BSN, RN, RNC-NIC
RNIII Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Theresa Rose was in the neonatal intensive care unit with the parents of a medically fragile newborn when Hayden-Pugh approached with news of the award. “How perfect that our Nurse of the Year in Clinical Practice was there with parents as they fed their baby,” said Hayden-Pugh. “When I told Theresa she’d won, the mom said, ‘Oh! You made the right choice. She’s the best nurse!’”
Nurse of the Year 2012 – Education
Stacie Licon, MSN, RN, CNS, CPN
Perioperative Coordinator, Perioperative Services
Described as a “policy guru” by her peers, Stacie Licon serves as chair of the Practice Council at Children’s. As her award was presented, Licon was commended for being dedicated, smart, fun and fair, at which point an audience member shouted, “And a great preceptor!” Hayden-Pugh nodded and considered the outburst further confirmation that Licon thoroughly deserved recognition as Nurse of the Year in Education.
Nurse of the Year 2012 – Administration/Leadership
Tonya Shaw, BSN, RN, CNOR
When Tonya Shaw came forward to receive her award, Hayden-Pugh noted the administrator’s demeanor immediately. “Do you see her calm presence?” Hayden-Pugh asked. “Tonya served as a key person between the clinical team and the construction team when the hallways were walled off, forcing parents to walk all the way around.” Hayden-Pugh called that service invaluable and thanked Shaw for her notable leadership role.
Nurse of the Year 2012 – Advanced Practice
Tracy Chin, MSN, RN, CPNP
Nurse Practitioner, Urology Practice
Tracy Chin was described by Hayden-Pugh as an invaluable asset to the Hospital’s physician partners during the transition from paper to computerized physician order entry. “I took an informal poll for other ways to describe her,” she said. “Tracy was called enthusiastic, caring for patients, someone with a very broad perspective and a life-long learner.” Hayden-Pugh concluded these characteristics made Chin well-deserving of her award.
The Nursing Leadership Coalition of the Central San Joaquin Valley agrees. At their annual banquet held May 3 at TorNino’s in Fresno, the Nursing Leadership Coalition also awarded Chin the Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year. As many as eight hospitals from our region enter the competition each year.
Friend of Nursing 2012
Kellie C. Dyer, MBA
Director, Materials Management
Kellie Dyer’s love for nursing almost led her to become a nurse, but she changed her major to healthcare administration. “Kellie wants to understand what happens at the point of care,” said Hayden-Pugh. “And she does that by ensuring clinicians have what they need to deliver care.” Dyer’s support of nurses in the provision of patient care makes her a true friend of nursing.