Nursing Excellence

St. Mary’s has a rich nursing history rooted in a ministry dedicated to spiritually-centered, holistic care to sustain and improve the health of individuals and communities.

St. Mary’s Medical Center is a Magnet® designated hospital, an exclusive designation developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to recognize healthcare organizations that exemplify nursing excellence.

Our focus on creating a culture of excellence creates an atmosphere that encourages professional nursing practice in a caring, healing environment. We invite you to review our annual report and also use these pages and the information below to learn more about the benefits of being a nurse St. Mary’s.

Nursing Excellence Award Winners

Nursing Excellence Makes St. Mary's Medical Center a Great Hospital! Our 2016 Nursing Excellence Award Winners:

  • Darla Plahn

    Administrator of Nursing Excellence Award
    Darla Plahn DPA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
    Cardiac Cath Lab & Cath Lab Observation and Recover Unit
    Watch Video

  • Krystia Standifer

    Transformational Leadership Award
    Krystia Standifer, BSN, RN, PCCN
    5 Central Cardiac Telemetry Unit
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  • Jana Whitehead

    Structural Empowerment Award
    Jana Whitehead MSN, RN, CEN
    Emergency Department
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  • Sarah Greer

    Exemplary Professional Practice Award
    Sarah Greer BSN, RN, CCRN
    Intensive Care Unit
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  • Kathryn Reed

    New Knowledge Innovations and Improvement Award
    Kathryn Reed BSN, RN
    Intensive Care Unit
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  • Sara Young

    Rising Star Award
    Sara Young BSN, RN
    6 West Renal/Diabetic Medical-Surgical Unit
    Intensive Care Unit
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  • Empirical Outcomes Unit Award

    Empirical Outcomes Unit Award
    Labor & Delivery and Lactation
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  • MAGNET Recognized American Nurses Credentialling Center Logo

The Magnet Recognition Program®, ANCC Magnet Recognition®, Magnet® names and logos are registered trademarks of the American Nurses Credentialing Center. All rights reserved.

The Daisy Award

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses recognizes the very special work nurses do every day. It was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by the DAISY Foundation - an organization for the elimination of diseases attacking the immune system.


Definition of Nursing

St. Mary’s defines nursing as the art and science of promoting, restoring and maintaining health, and preventing illness and injury for individuals, families and communities. Nursing sustains and supports individuals and families from the beginning of life through the end of life through compassionate caring, collaboration, education and advocacy.

Commitment Statement

Nursing aspires to be regionally and nationally recognized for our evidence-based nursing practice, nurse work environment and our commitment to community. St. Mary’s nursing team serves as strong patient advocates, always putting the patient first. We strive daily to improve and make a difference.

Together we will accomplish our commitment through:

• Compassion for our patients/families and one another
• Ownership of high nursing standards and professional growth
• Dedication and accountability to the lives entrusted to us
• Passion and dignity in all we do

Philosophy of Nursing

St. Mary’s Nursing Philosophy’s foundational beliefs arise from Florence Nightingale and Virginia Henderson. Nightingale believed nursing was a call from God and that the sick deserved civilized care, regardless of their station in life. She knew that cleanliness, fresh air, sanitation, comfort and socialization were necessary to healing. Virginia Henderson is known as the modern-day mother of nursing. Her work focused on the patient centered care.

  • We believe the Patient is an individual, family, specific population or community with unique health needs, influenced by cultural, ethnic, social, economic, developmental, educational, linguistic and spiritual factors. The patient is entitled to respect, dignity, privacy and confidentiality in a caring and healing environment. The patient deserves to be fully informed, educated and involved in all healthcare decisions and is an empowered member of a support system.
  • We believe the Nurse is key to our call to action in achieving healthcare that is safe, healthcare that works and healthcare that leaves no one behind. The nurse establishes a trusting relationship with the patient/family/support system and uses the nursing process to achieve patient/family centered goals. The nurse is clinically competent and exhibits caring behaviors which are guided by ethical principles.
  • At St. Mary’s we believe Nursing Leadership is an integral part of every nurse’s practice. We believe every nurse is a leader - a leader at the bedside, a leader in the clinic, a leader in education, a leader in management, a leader in the community and a leader with those who matter most, our patients and families. Our nurse leaders act with clarity of vision and purpose. They have the ability to focus on what matters most, caring and healing relationships at the point of care.
  • We believe Nursing Education requires life-long learning which involves mentoring, continuing education and utilization of research findings. We promote personal responsibility for competence and professional growth and encourage and promote participation in professional organizations and specialty certifications.
  • We believe Nursing Research is a scientific process to define and develop new knowledge for nursing which is evidence-based. Nursing drives the development and clinical application of nursing knowledge. Nursing identifies best practices with physicians and multidisciplinary teams to provide the highest possible quality of care, patient safety and optimal patient outcomes.

Professional Practice Model

St. Mary’s Nursing Excellence Professional Practice Model is our driving force of nursing care.

Professional nursing practice embodies a well-defined clinical knowledge base, specialized proficiency in technical skills, knowledge-based caring and a deep respect and reverence for mankind.

Our shared governance decision-making structure addresses issues of

Nursing Excellence Professional Practice Model

• Nursing practice
• Nursing quality
• Evidence-based practice and research
• Education
• Professional development
• Recruitment
• Retention
• Recognition of our nurses

Through our Professional Practice Model, St. Mary’s nurses can provide the highest quality of care.

Shared Governance

Shared Governance was founded on the cornerstone principles of partnership, equity, accountability and ownership at the point of service. St. Mary’s has six Governance Councils that assume responsibility, accountability and function for defined elements of nursing practice.

These Councils are:

Nursing Shared Governance

• Advanced Practice Nurse Council
• Clinical Practice Council
• Clinical Services/Nursing Management Council
• Education and Professional Development
• Quality and Patient Safety
• Recruitment, Retention and Recognition
• Nursing Alliance Assembly
• Nursing – Clinical Informatics

Each area of Nursing has unit or service-area councils that report to the governing councils. The councils participate in defined decision making and coordination of nursing as well as provide input through the Shared Governance process in all areas where nursing care is delivered.

Each council establishes its own goals, purpose and deliverables within the framework established by the Bylaws and the Nursing Assembly Alliance and focuses on work plans that apply logically to that council.

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