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National Magnet Nurse of the Year® 2013 Award Winners


The National Magnet Nurse of the Year® awards from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) recognize the outstanding contributions of clinical nurses in each of the five Magnet Model components—transformational leadership; structural empowerment; exemplary professional practice; new knowledge, innovations, and improvements; and empirical outcomes. The 2013 award winners were recognized at ANCC’s National Magnet Conference® in Orlando.

Transformational Leadership
Lisa Hartkopf Smith, MS, RN, CNS, AOCN
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Hematology/Oncology Services
Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, OH

Lisa Hartkopf Smith, an advanced certified oncology nurse for more than 30 years, epitomizes the characteristics of a transformational leader through her role as clinical nurse specialist for hematology/oncology services at Riverside Methodist. As a devoted nursing and patient advocate, Lisa has driven the development of evidence-based clinical practice, clinical guidelines, patient education, and online oncology courses. She led the creation of a unique, interactive patient care chemotherapy kit. It includes a section for questions, so patients are better prepared for interventions and appointments, and a place for patients to journal their experiences. With a passion for mentoring, Lisa has guided hundreds of nurses in the holistic care of oncology patients. Her efforts to strengthen nursing certification in oncology resulted in a 27% increase within hematology/oncology services in two years. She is a nationally recognized speaker and editor, with a passion for writing, who has authored more than 20 significant publications in peer-reviewed journals, textbook chapters, and online educational programs. In addition, she serves on the editorial board of The Oncology Nursing Forum, and is a contributing author for Riverside’s nursing publication. Lisa is a member of Riverside’s Institutional Review Board and has participated in several research studies as either a principal investigator or co-investigator.

Structural Empowerment
Debra S. Holbrook, BSN, RN, SANE-A, FNE-A/P
Forensic SANE Nurse/SANE Program Coordinator
Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD

Debra S. Holbrook is a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) whose passion, dedication, and advocacy for victims of violence have endeared her to forensic nurses at the local, state, national, and international levels. A tireless trendsetter, she developed the Best in Practice Sexual Assault Nurse Examination Program, which has become the gold standard. In 2009, she initiated the Blind Reporting Project, which ensures federal requirements are met while allowing victims of sexual assault the same excellent forensic medical care and evidence collection without reporting to law enforcement. Evidence and reports are maintained in a forensic locker for 1 year, which allows victims time to regain their decision-making capability. Should they decide to prosecute, valuable evidence is preserved. In addition, Debra was the first forensic nurse in the nation to utilize an alternative light source as validated evidence in strangulation cases. A committed educator, she created a violence prevention and safety education program for teens that teaches them about safe dating, how to deal with potentially dangerous situations, and strategies to address abusive and controlling relationships. Involved in the forefront of combating human trafficking, Debra hosted the first interprofessional national conference on the topic, which resulted in the development of a tool that helps identify victims sooner. As a forensic nursing expert, she has presented at more than 150 seminars, published dozens of articles, treated 5,000+ victims, and provided expert testimony in hundreds of hearings.

Exemplary Professional Practice

Christopher Tod Brindle, MSN, RN, CWOCN
Nurse Clinician, Wound Care Team
Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond, VA

Described as an enthusiastic innovator by colleagues, Tod Brindle has a mission to ensure that no patient suffers a preventable pressure ulcer. His vibrant energy, unquenchable thirst for scientific knowledge, and clinical expertise are catalysts for his research, evidence-based practice, and innovation. The 2008 CMS regulations to withhold payment for nosocomial pressure ulcers spurred him to seek answers to skin challenges in high-risk patients. His spirit of inquiry led him to perform an IRB-approved study on the use of a prophylactic dressing for pressure ulcer prevention in the ICU. Positive results triggered a hospital-wide practice change, resulting in an overall reduction of hospital-acquired pressure ulcer rates from 8% to 2.4% between 2007 and 2013. Tod’s initial work was published in 2009 and was embraced on a national level as health systems sought evidence-based solutions to reduce pressure ulcers in the ICU. To date, more than 1,100 health systems have duplicated, adopted, or implemented his findings. He has presented his work in venues ranging from national conferences to academic medical centers, and achieved international recognition in countries including Portugal, China, Japan, Australia, and Denmark. Tod is a section editor for the Journal of Tissue Regeneration and Healing and serves on the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care Board of Directors. He is a board member for the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care and was recently appointed to an international panel of experts to create guidelines for the use of dressings in pressure ulcer prevention.

New Knowledge, Innovations & Improvements
Samantha L. Weimer, BSN, RN, CCRN
Permanent Charge Nurse, Burn/Trauma ICU
University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, CO

Samantha L. Weimer recognized an increase in digital amputations in frostbite patients and was determined to make improvements. After researching historic and current evidence, Samantha led an interprofessional quality improvement team to develop a standardized protocol and order set for the treatment of severe frostbite in her organization. Through standardization of care and inclusion of an evidence-based tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) protocol, the team’s goal was to minimize digit and/or limb loss due to frostbite. The protocol included indications and contraindications to therapy, nursing assessments, laboratory monitoring, and weight-based drug dosing. “Smart pump” infusion technology was used to ensure strict adherence to medication parameters. Samantha delivered staff education through journal clubs, a unit-based poster presentation, and one-to-one review. The incidence of digital amputation in patients with severe frostbite treated with the newly developed protocol and order set was 25% (n=10), compared to 38% (n=51) in those treated by conventional means. In other words, the team’s persistence and dedication saved 41 fingers and toes! Samantha’s passion for frostbite prevention extends to the local EMS/fire departments and surrounding rural communities. Healthcare providers who contact the hospital from the field or outlying facilities can start treatment hours before the patient reaches the burn center. In addition, Samantha helps drive an annual fund-raiser to purchase socks for the homeless and provides one-to-one education for frostbite prevention among high-risk populations at local shelters. She has published her work in American Nurse Today, presented a poster at the 24th Annual Rocky Mountain Interdisciplinary Research and Evidence-Based Practice Symposium, and was an invited plenary speaker at the American Burn Association’s 45th annual meeting.

Empirical Outcomes
Elizabeth Bradshaw-Mikula, MSN, RN, CPN

Clinical Program Manager/Clinical Program Coordinator, Cardiac Research,

Children’s National Medical Center, Heart Institute, Washington, DC

Driven by a spirit of inquiry, Elizabeth Bradshaw Mikula conceived and led groundbreaking research that demonstrates the feasibility of newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) in the community hospital setting prior to discharge. She developed the CCHD Screening Program Tool Kit, which contains healthcare provider implementation information and family education materials. The kit is available in three languages, is customizable, and has been distributed to 1,140 healthcare organizations worldwide. Elizabeth also created a website that includes educational materials, sample policies and protocols, secure reporting for outcomes, and chat forums. To date, the website has received more than 5,000 visits. In addition, she led the development of an educational, web-based Heart Smart video for healthcare providers and families and secured grant funds for translation of the video into five languages. These materials led Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to recommend universal CCHD screening, and to date, 32 states have passed legislation. Four countries are currently conducting CCHD screenings, and others are considering implementation. Elizabeth has presented her work at national and international conferences and has published findings in peer-reviewed journals. She is currently working with the Virginia Department of Health and the University of Virginia School of Medicine as a content expert and trainer for the CCHD screening program.

Christina Dobson is assistant director of program development for the Magnet Recognition Program® of the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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