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National Magnet Nurse of the Year® 2016 award winners


The National Magnet Nurse of the Year® awards from the American Nurses Credentialing Center recognize the outstanding contributions of clinical nurses from Magnet®-recognized organizations for innovation, consultation, leadership, and professional risk-taking. The awards are presented for each Magnet® Model component. (See Magnet® Model.) A road map for organizations on the Journey to Magnet Excellence®, the Model provides a framework for nursing practice and research. The award winners were recognized at the ANCC National Magnet Conference® on October 6, 2016.

Transformational Leadership

Anne C. Boatright, MSN, RN, SANE
Forensic Nurse Examiner Coordinator
Nebraska Methodist Hospital

Through dedication, advocacy, and tenacity, Anne transformed the way victims of violence in her community receive care. As the coordinator of the only forensic nurse-examiner program in her region, she built a team that provides around-theclock care to patients. In four years, she grew the Methodist Heidi Wilke Forensic Nurse Examiner Program from 15 nurses to a staff of 30 forensic nurse examiners. With specially trained forensic nurses, her organization realized a 230% increase in patient volume in 3 years. Besides serving on county sexual assault and domestic violence response teams, Anne provides education and training to police and fire departments, advocacy agencies, and area hospitals and schools. She also serves on Nebraska’s human trafficking task force and works with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on human trafficking sting operations.

Structural Empowerment

Barbara M. Richardson, MSN, RN-BC, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Transitional Care
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

A champion for transitional care nursing, Barbara serves patients in a rural medically underserved region that encompasses three states. She partners with local primary care providers to identify at-risk patients and helps patients navigate from one care setting to another. Barbara created a support network within the community, establishing partnerships with mental health services, Meals on Wheels, and the Support and Services at Home Program, which provides support to individuals who choose to live independently at home. She also collaborates with a community care team that works on decreasing emergency department (ED) visits. These efforts have led to a 69% decrease in hospitalizations and a 26% decrease in ED visits for patients enrolled in the program. As a result of its work, the transitional care team was awarded a $200,000 innovation grant from the state of Vermont.

Exemplary Professional Practice

Sharon A. Vanairsdale, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, NP-C, CEN
Program Director
Serious Communicable Diseases
Emory University Hospital
Atlanta, Georgia

As the program director for Emory’s Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU), Sharon develops and maintains standard operating procedures to care for patients with a variety of highly infectious pathogens. In 2014, the SCDU cared for America’s first patients diagnosed with Ebola. Since then, Sharon has focused on the education of healthcare workers at Emory and hospitals across the nation. She assisted with developing courses on Ebola treatment and preparedness protocols and successfully trained more than 600 clinicians and public health professionals. Success of the training led to development of the National Ebola Training and Education Center, a collaboration among Emory Medicine, Nebraska Medicine, and New York City Health and Hospitals. Sharon creates curricula for the center’s free educational offerings for healthcare facilities around the world.

New Knowledge, Innovations, & Improvements

Christi D. DeLemos, MSN, CNRN, ACNP-BC
Nurse Practitioner
Department of Neurological Surgery
University of California Davis Medical Center

Christi’s contribution to new knowledge and innovation is exemplified by her development of a mobile application, called Neuroscience Nurse, designed for nurses who care for patients with neurologic impairments. The goals of the app are to enhance bedside care through instant access to neuroscience nursing information and to increase nurses’ confidence in caring for neurologic patients. Developed over a 1-year period, the app was reviewed by an international committee of nurses. Launched in 2015, the free app has been downloaded by more than 1,700 users in 19 countries. A committed educator, Christi has created a wide range of multilingual educational resources. She currently serves as president of the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses, an international organization dedicated to promoting and developing neuroscience nursing worldwide.

Empirical Outcomes

Colleen K. McIlvennan, DNP, RN, ANP-BC
Lead Nurse Practitioner
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation
University of Colorado Hospital

Colleen cares for critically ill patients with advanced heart failure, heart transplants, and left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). She generated groundbreaking research encompassing patients’ and caregivers’ emotional, rational, and fundamental beliefs when considering an LVAD. The resulting data were published in three high-impact, peer-reviewed journals targeted at nursing, cardiology, and surgical colleagues who implant LVADs. This work led to development of two innovative decision aids, an eight-page pamphlet, and a 26- minute video now used by LVAD programs across the United States and Canada. These efforts led to a $2 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Colleen’s pilot work and testing of the decision aids have garnered recognition from the American Heart Association and the Heart Failure Society of America.

About the Magnet Recognition Program®

The Magnet Recognition Program accredits organizations worldwide for nursing excellence. Magnet recognition is the highest and most prestigious international distinction a healthcare organization can receive for nursing service and quality patient care. Magnet designation recognizes the development and use of evidence-based criteria to guide organizations to achieve nursing excellence. The rigorous application process demands organization-wide participation and requires applicants to confirm the presence of key evidence based standards of performance. Because Magnet recognition is a multiyear commitment, it offers a long-term framework for quality-improvement efforts and a means for engaging and motivating staff at all levels. Organizations with Magnet recognition embrace change and innovation and are strongly positioned to meet new healthcare challenges and improve the future of healthcare delivery.

Christina L. Dobson is director of special projects and program support for the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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