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News About St. Mary's

News About St. Mary's

News About St. Mary's

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For Your Information
2012 Nursing Excellence Award Winners

As part of the celebration of National Nurses Week (May 6th – 12th), St. Mary’s Health System recently honored our nursing staff and announced the 2012 Nursing Excellence Award winners. Because of the dedication and professionalism of our nurses, St. Mary’s was named a Magnet® recognized facility by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in 2011, an achievement only about 7% of all hospitals in the United States have reached.

The Award for Clinical Nursing Practice is given to the professional nurse who is an expert clinician, practicing autonomously and consistently with professional standards of care.  This nurse promotes the professional role of the nurse including technical and human skills, accountability, authority and responsibility for one’s own practice. This nurse provides continuity and coordination of care and incorporates evidence-based practice into daily holistic patient care, focusing on body, mind, and spirit. 

Melinda Michel, Clinical Practice Award WinnerThe recipient of the 2012 “Clinical Nursing Practice” Excellence Award is Melinda Michel.  Melinda’s nominators said, “Her calm, helpful manner enables her to provide a great 'St. Mary's Experience' for her patients and their family members. . . She is always kind, considerate, respectful, and non-judgmental. . . She is friendly and caring. . .She utilizes the nursing process and critical thinking skills to provide care and address problems. . .and serves as a resource for others. . .Colleagues state they would want her to take care of them or their family members. . .Melinda is a role model for St. Mary's values.”

Melinda has an associate's degree in nursing.  She has been a St. Mary’s nurse for 37 years and has spent the last 21 of those years as a staff nurse in Same Day Surgery.  Regarded as a team player in her unit and the hospital, Melinda is seen as a resource for other nurses.  She frequently serves as the relief charge nurse for her unit.  She represents Perioperative Services on the newly-formed Clinical Informatics Shared Governance Council.  Melinda belongs to the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses and this past year achieved certification as a Certified Ambulatory PeriAnesthesia Nurse.  She is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree through University of Southern Indiana's RN to BSN Program.  (See the video)

Ashley Kuester - Nurses as Teachers Award WinnerThe Award for Nurses as Teachers is given to the professional nurse involved in educational activities at the bedside, in the classroom or in the community. The nurse may serve in the preceptor program for educating and mentoring staff, students, new graduates and experienced nurses.  Patient and family education is an extremely important dimension in the role of the nurse and meeting the diverse needs of all patients, is the core to the care of all patients and families.

The recipient of the 2012 “Nurses as Teachers” Excellence Award is Ashley Kuester.  The “Nurses as Teachers” Excellence Award is given to a nurse involved in activities such as patient education, staff education, and community education.  Her nominators said, “Ashley treats all situations as a learning experience and is more than willing to share her knowledge. . . She is known to be a great support person for our unit. . .Her positive attitude and outlook are noticeably contagious on 3NW. . .Ashley makes sure to include St. Mary's Mission, Vision and Values in all she does. . . She is a true role model in providing the St. Mary's Experience.”

Ashley received her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Southern Indiana.  She serves as a preceptor and mentor to student nurses as well as new graduates.  A former preceptee had this to say about Ashley, “She was patient when I didn't understand, thorough with her explanations, and always allowed me the freedom to develop into an independent nurse while providing enough supervision to offer feedback.”  Ashley began her career at St. Mary's as a student nurse on 6 South where she worked from 2007 until 2010.  In 2010, she transferred to 3NW, which is where she currently works as a staff nurse.  She is also an adjunct USI clinical faculty member.  Ashley is a Certified Lactation Consultant and is pursuing her master's degree to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. (See the video.)

Amanda Parke, Nurses and the Community Award WinnerThe Award for Nurses and the Community is represented by the professional nurse who establishes relationships within and among all types of healthcare organizations and community organizations by developing strong partnerships that ultimately support and improve patient outcomes and the health of the community they serve. This nurse is involved in the community making essential and meaningful contributions in the achievement of a healthier future for the community.

The 2012 “Nurses in the Community” Excellence Award was given to Amanda Parke.  Her nominators stated, “Amanda has proven herself to be a leader and resource for her peers in the Emergency Department. . .She is the first to offer a helping hand to a co-worker or anyone she sees in need.  . . Amanda is the example for those around her to follow. .  .She emanates spirituality and warmth. . .Her kindness and soft-spoken ways are genuine and from the heart . . .She can make the day brighter just by being there.”

Amanda is an active community volunteer.  Although she is a busy mother and wife, she takes time from her busy schedule to volunteer weekly at the VA.  Through her volunteer work, she helps veterans coordinate and connect with outpatient resources.  As a teenager, she was a mentor for the Hoosier Youth Challenge program outside of Indianapolis, Indiana.  Additionally, she has served in the United States Air Force Intelligence, Mission Planning for four years.  Through her volunteer work at the VA, she continues to serve our country and her fellow veterans long after her four-year term in the Air Force ended.

Before becoming a nurse, Amanda worked as an EMT.  She received her associate's degree in nursing from Vincennes University in 2010.  She came to St. Mary's Medical Center that same year as a Student Nurse Intern and after graduation, transitioned into her current role as staff nurse in the Emergency Department.  Amanda also serves as a preceptor for students, orientees, and new nurses in her department.  She is greatly loved by her patients and co-workers, as evidenced by the 40+ copies STAR recognition cards that were attached to her nomination.  Amanda plans to begin coursework this fall to attain a bachelor's degree in nursing. (See the video.)

Diana Emmick, Nurses as Leaders Award WinnerThe Award for Nurses as Leaders is given to the professional nurse who is a leader at the bedside, within the nursing unit and/or department promoting mutual respect for all members of the health care team. This nurse is viewed as a knowledgeable, strong patient and family advocate with the exceptional clinical and critical thinking skills. This nurse is leading and participating in departmental, hospital projects or professional nursing or community organizations.

The 2012 “Nurses as Leaders” Excellence Award was given to Diana Emmick.  The “Nurses as Leaders” Excellence Award honors a nurse who leads at the bedside and within the department, while promoting mutual respect for all members of the healthcare team.  According to her nominators, “Diana is an excellent communicator and strives to promote teamwork and staff harmony. . .She approaches everyone with a smile and helpful attitude. . .Staff always go to Diana for advice. . . She is encouraging to all in the department to grow and step outside the box when opportunities arise. . . She is honest, conscientious, and respectful of others. . .Diana's behaviors, actions and attitudes reflect St. Mary's Core values to the highest degree.”

Diana just received her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Indiana last month, and she received her bachelor's of science degree in nursing from Indiana University.  Diana began her career at St. Mary's in May of 2001.  She currently serves as the Certified Diabetes Educator and Education Coordinator for the Joslin Diabetes Center at St. Mary's.  As part of this role, she provides outpatient as well as inpatient diabetes education.  She is currently in the process of coordinating the second Diabetes Symposium and is a member of St. Mary's Clinical Practice Shared Governance Council.  Diana is a board member and the secretary of the local Tri-State Association of Diabetes Educators, which is an affiliate of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.  She was very involved with the recent American Diabetes Association recognition audit as well as St. Mary's Magnet Journey and Recognition.  Diana has submitted and received CAP recognition for four consecutive years.  She hopes to pursue a career as a Nurse Practitioner with the Master’s degree that she just received from USI. (See the video.)

Nancy McCleary, Administrator of Nursing ExcellenceThe Administrator of Nursing Excellence is an award designed to recognize nurses in leadership positions within the organization. This administrator fosters and supports a culture of Nursing Excellence. This nurse interacts with and contributes to the professional development of peers and colleagues. The nurse collaborates with all levels of nursing staff, interdisciplinary teams, executive leaders, and other stakeholders to improve the patient experience.  This nurse considers factors related to safety, effectiveness, cost, and impact on nursing practice in the planning and delivery of nursing services.

I am proud to award the Administrator of Nursing Excellence award to Nancy McCleary.  This award honors a nurse in a leadership role who fosters and supports a culture of Nursing Excellence.  Nancy's nominators commented, “She is a stellar example of leadership. . .Nancy commands respect. . .She is honest, yet caring and always fair. . .She empowers others to grow; she recognizes their strengths and talents and is never too busy to give them direction. . .She offers support both emotionally and spiritually to others in need, and her offers are sincere. . .Nancy does not just 'talk the talk' but she 'walks the walk'.”

Nancy has been a member of St. Mary’s nursing family since 1980.  She attended University of Evansville, graduating in 1980 with her undergraduate nursing degree and in 1998 with her master's degree in nursing.  As Executive Director of Emergency Services, Nancy has not only sustained the Emergency Department through multiple difficult changes, but she has amazingly improved outcomes for the department.  She leads for solutions to problems and issues not just in her own areas but hospital-wide as well.  Nancy leads the CAP Program, chairs the Suicide Prevention Committee, and more recently has led the Needlestick Prevention Committee.  She is a great example for her staff in that she maintains multiple professional certifications, including Certified Emergency Nurse, Certified Flight Registered Nurse, Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse, and Nurse Executive Advanced – Board Certified.  As stated by one of her peers, “Nancy is a blessing to St. Mary's.”  (See the video.)

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