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American Nurse Journal 2020 All Pro Nursing Team Award Winners

Celebrating team excellence.

The world is celebrating nurses this year. In honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. And the ANA Enterprise has declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse. At American Nurse Journal, we recognize the impact nurses have on the health and well-being of their patients because we help them tell their stories in the pages of this journal. Nurses share their expertise in clinical areas ranging from cardiac health and diabetes care to infection control, pressure injury prevention, home health, and so much more. And they offer insights into quality improvement projects, leadership skills, and professional development.

In honor of the Year of the Nurse, this special section of American Nurse Journal celebrates the winners of this year’s All-Pro Nursing Team Awards. We received over 70 entries from around the world this year. We asked applicants to tell us in a written essay, video, or both:

  • How does your team measure the impact on outcomes?
  • What outcomes do your team hope to achieve in your practice of care?
  • What makes your team’s dynamic special?
  • What type of culture does your team cultivate and how does this culture add to your level of care?
  • What skills do you look for when recruiting new team members?
  • What skills do your team aim to foster, and what are the education tactics team leaders use to achieve these goals?

Their essays and videos were detailed, moving, and creative as they described the hard work, clinical skills, and comradery that goes into building and sustaining an all-pro team. The final decision (made by nurses and American Nurse editorial staff) was difficult, but in the end we declared Bon Secours Mercy Health Southside Regional Medical Center nursing department the overall 2020 winner. Read these nurses’ story, and those of the other winners, in the following pages.

Thank you to all of the excellent nursing teams out there. We celebrate your dedication, hard work, clinical expertise, and patient advocacy.

First-Place Winner: Bon Secours Mercy Health Southside Regional Medical Center Nursing Department

Lasting impact, quality outcomes.

This year’s overall winner of the American Nurse Journal All-Pro Nursing Team Award, Bon Secours Mercy Health Southside Regional Medical Center nursing department, caught the judges’ attention because of its focus on and achievement of so many patient safety outcomes. From reduced Clostridium difficile infections and central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLASBIs) to increased hand hygiene compliance, this nursing department clearly is making an impact. The team also caught our attention because they told their story through a video that underlines the team work required to achieve their goals.

Bon Secours Mercy Health Southside Regional Medical Center, located in Petersburg, VA, is a 300-bed community hospital that relies on its skilled staff to create exceptional care. Our nursing department strives to make a lasting impact and deliver quality outcomes. This focus has helped us achieve some significant results:

  • 33% increase in certified RNs since 2017
  • 78% decrease in infections caused by Clos­tridium difficile in 1 year
  • Hand hygiene compliance at 97%
  • Zero catheter-associated urinary tract infections for 1 year in all med-surg units
  • Zero ventilator-associated events (VAEs) since 2017
  • 50% reduction in CLASBIs in the medical oncology unit
  • Door to balloon time average less than 60 minutes
  • 75% reduction in adverse drug reactions related to I.V. hydromorphone
  • Zero CLASBIs, VAEs, and infections in the cardiovascular ICU in 2019
  • Zero elective deliveries in 2019

In addition, the American Nurses Credentialing Center accredited with distinction the hospital’s RNow new graduate residency as a practice transition program.

Second-Place Winner: Michigan Medicine Surgical Intensive Care Unit Team

Leading ICU patient mobility.

As nurses, we know that improved patient mobility results in better outcomes. However, in critical care units, patients frequently remain tethered to devices that monitor and deliver supportive therapy. The Michigan Medicine surgical intensive care unit culture stresses innovation and interprofessional collaboration, including seeking opportunities to advance nursing practice. Many ICUs have mobility protocols for stable patients, but we developed a structured process for all patients, including those on vasopressors, ventilators, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), or continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). Mobility starts on the day of admission with an assessment, and interventions include range of motion, dangling, sitting in a chair, and walking patients on ECMO, ventilators, or CRRT.

The mobility protocol outcomes include reduced ventilator days, ICU and hospital length of stay, restraint use, and pressure injuries; and we’ve had no increase in unplanned extubations or line pulls. Several nurses presented and published these results, and we’ve been recognized by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses with four Beacon Awards (most recently with Gold status).

Third-Place Winner: Boston Children’s Hospital Nursing Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity Forum

Making advances in cultural humility and inclusion.

The Nursing Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity Forum (NCSDF) is a nursing affinity group composed of multicultural nurses at a 404-bed tertiary care center. The NCSDF’s mission is to support the care of racially and ethnically diverse patients and families, while strengthening relationships across communities in the region. The forum provides a platform for professional development, advancement, education, application, and resolution of matters related to cultural competence for nurses, students, and staff. To achieve this work, the forum has formed four sub-committees that address care, research and innovation, professional development, and community.

NCSDF is led by the forum chair, co-chair, and sub-committee chairs, who collaborate to provide leadership and strategic direction to achieve its mission and annual goals. Additional leadership and organizational oversight is provided by the chief nursing officer, director of nursing diversity initiatives, and other nurse leaders.

In collaboration with one of our satellite health centers, we organized a winter hat, glove, and scarf drive for local communities, and we provided toiletries and other essentials for victims of gas-line explosions in the area. The NCSDF has hosted guest speakers from area colleges and experts within our own organization to discuss mentorship, professional development, and equity and inclusion. In spring 2020, we will host a 4-hour workshop on professional presence, and we’re beginning to develop a journal club and professional social-media page.

Innovation Award: Trusted Health Nurse Advocate Team

Unconventional nursing, unconventional success.

Trusted Health is made up of a unique group of nurses from across the country and a variety of specialties who focus on nurses and their careers. Our goal is to disrupt and advance the nursing profession and reimagine how healthcare staffing works. We support, sustain, and invest in a nursing workforce that can help ensure everyone everywhere gets the care they deserve. We help nurses connect to opportunities, provide them with career growth resources, and empower them to more efficiently manage their nursing careers. The end goal is to decrease the time to hire and onboard and ultimately help fix the nursing shortage.

Because we nurse unconventionally, we measure our success unconventionally. It depends on nurse satisfaction, which we gauge using a combination of a net promoter score (NPS) and Good Vibes. The NPS is similar to a patient satisfaction score; we’ve maintained an NPS of 90 (out of 100) or higher. Good Vibes are daily communications and feedback we receive from nurses. We internalize this information, act on it, and celebrate success.

International Award: Kampala International University Teaching Hospital Nursing Department

Values in action.

Kampala International University Teaching Hospital (KIU-TH) is the first and largest private teaching hospital in Uganda. Established in 2007, KIU-TH strives to enhance the quality of healthcare professional education while also reinforcing the provision of quality, equitable, and accessible preventive and therapeutic care to the population of Uganda.

The 124-member KIU-TH nursing and midwife team measures its impact using feedback from clients. The result in 2018-2019 was scoring fourth place in Uganda’s health systems rating.

KIU-TH leadership encourages teamwork and open and honest communication, and all staff are valued and supported irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, or color. Because we place a high value on communication and interpersonal skills, we recruit nursing team members who can communicate effectively with both clients and coworkers. The organization sets clear goals and standards for each department, which encourages friendly competition. In an effort to create a positive work environment, we hold regular celebrations to acknowledge nurses and midwives who have gone above and beyond to provide excellent patient care.

Our values encompass integrity, excellence, humility, professionalism, care and compassion, team work, respect, accountability and stewardship, communication, and vision and mission implementation. In a nutshell, KIU-TH is positioned to excel in nursing care within the district, the country, and the world at large.

Runners Up

First Runner-Up Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital Nursing Department

Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital (HMTW) opened its doors on June 26, 2017. In its second full year of operation, our team grew to over 550 nurses and we achieved zero central line–associated bloodstream infections and better than national average catheter-associated urinary tract infection and pressure injury rates. In addition, we received the Texas Hospital Association 2019 Bill Aston Quality Award for our surgical site infection prevention program, three nurses won the Good Samaritan Foundation Nursing Award, and we gave six poster and two podium presentations at local and national conferences. But our biggest achievement was receiving Pathway to Excellence® Designation. The nurses at HMTW collaborated to cultivate a hospital-wide work environment where positivity, engagement, and empowerment flourish so we can achieve unparalleled safety, service, quality, and innovation.

Second Runner-Up University of California San Diego Health RN ECMO Specialist Team

Since UC San Diego Health (UCSDH) transitioned to an RN ECMO Specialist Team (REST) in 2018, we increased the number of patients served annually by 71%, improved survival to discharge by 20%, and saved the organization $738,777 in 2018-2019. As the only regional center that can bridge ECMO patients to VAD and heart/lung transplant, our team has a strong commitment to the community. UCSDH streamlined ECMO referrals/transfers, and is striving to become an Extra Corporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Center of Excellence. UCSDH’s dynamic is special because the nurses are eager to learn, strive to be the best, and are open to change and creativity. The team’s culture is shaped by an extraordinary commitment to excellence, with true interprofessional collaboration, and a positive attitude.

Third Runner-Up Southern Ocean Medical Center Emergency Department

Southern Ocean Medical Center emergency department is a high-stress, fast-paced, unpredictable environment where quick thinking and teamwork are key to successful patient outcomes. As a tight-knit team we excel at patient satisfaction, ED throughput, and patient outcomes. The leadership and frontline teams have developed relationships that make work fun; we celebrate our successes and learn from each other without worry of judgment or retaliation. We promote and practice transformational leadership by giving the team autonomy in their work, which has proven to create better outcomes for our patients. Everyone’s voice is important, everyone’s ideas are promoted and developed, and successes are shared throughout the system.

Fourth Runner-Up Arizona Safe Medication Collaborative Team

The Arizona Safe Medication Collaborative Team (which is affiliated with Banner Health, Chandler Gilbert Community College, and Central Arizona College) recently received Special Recognition from the Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) for the work we do to improve patient safety by shining a light on the barriers to implementing ISMP’s Best Practice Guidelines for I.V. push medication administration in healthcare facilities and nursing curriculum. Our team of four nurses donates it time to improve nurses’ skills so they don’t unnecessarily dilute I.V. push medications. Our education tactics for 2020 include submitting an abstract for the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses Conference and publishing an article that highlights the work we’ve done in Arizona so that other states can duplicate our strategies.

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