Hon­or­ing lead­er­ship, grass­roots work of health­care’s bedrock

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - —Mer­rill Goozner, Edi­tor

The na­tion’s 3 mil­lion-plus nurses face un­prece­dented chal­lenges in 2017.

They are on the front lines of a health­care sys­tem that is un­der tremen­dous pres­sure. They la­bor, of­ten un­der the most dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, to de­liver care that is higher qual­ity with bet­ter out­comes at more af­ford­able prices.

Last year, to close a glar­ing gap in our recog­ni­tion pro­grams, we launched our first Ex­cel­lence in Nurs­ing Awards. We forged a part­ner­ship with the Lil­lian Carter Cen­ter for Global Health & So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity at the Emory Univer­sity School of Nurs­ing in At­lanta. Our com­mon pur­pose was to cre­ate an awards pro­gram that rec­og­nizes the im­por­tance of both nurs­ing lead­er­ship and grass­roots ac­tiv­ity.

We also wanted to high­light ex­em­plary acts in nurs­ing, whether at home or abroad. This cap­stone award is not just a tribute to the mother of for­mer Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter, who served as a nurse be­fore join­ing the Peace Corps late in life, but our small ef­fort to of­fer psy­chic sup­port for those nurses who will­ingly ded­i­cate their lives to serv­ing dis­ad­van­taged pop­u­la­tions.

For our se­cond year, we’ve added cat­e­gories that rec­og­nize the chang­ing na­ture of nurs­ing. We cre­ated a Di­ver­sity in Nurs­ing Award to honor in­di­vid­u­als or in­sti­tu­tions that cre­ated pro­grams that go the ex­tra mile to build a nurs­ing work­force that re­flects the pop­u­la­tion it serves. For them, cul­tural com­pe­tence is more than a slo­gan.

We also added three Team Achieve­ment in Nurs­ing awards (gold, sil­ver and bronze). In the mod­ern health­care work­place, no doc­tor or nurse works alone. The high­est qual­ity care is pro­duced by teams work­ing with a com­mon pur­pose. Also new this year is recog­ni­tion of a half-dozen Ris­ing Stars in Nurs­ing, all age 35 or younger.

We were grat­i­fied to re­ceive more than 120 nom­i­na­tions for this year’s awards. The pro­files of the win­ners in the fol­low­ing pages are a re­minder that nurses and the nurs­ing pro­fes­sion re­main the foun­da­tion on which the en­tire health­care sys­tem rests.

Lil­lian Carter served as a Peace Corps nurse vol­un­teer in In­dia for nearly two years in the 1960s.

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