2018 Award Winners
Authentic Leadership Award
Awardee Characteristics – Authentic Leadership
This award is given to a nurse leader of distinction who displays the following characteristics consistent with authentic leadership:
- Acts with the highest level of personal integrity.
- Is visibly open, authentic and straightforward with others.
- Is a creative and resilient risk taker – has actively moved his/her organization from “good enough” to better or excellent.
- Holds his/herself accountable to professional and behavioral standards.
- Is known for “making things happen”, and getting the job done.
Seattle Children's Hospital
"Debra Ridling always has time for her immediate team, as well as any front line staff."
"Debra Ridling is 100-plus % always respectful and thoughtful. When you are engaged in conversation with her she gives you her full attention, no matter the situation."
"Debra Ridling always ensures the literature is reviewed, asks what the national standards are, and takes the time that is needed to make sure any decisions made are the right ones. Debra Ridling is so consistent in this area and she’s modeled and mentored others through these steps so well that it truly is our culture at the hospital. At the same time, she is an advocate for nurses working at the highest scope of care. An example of this is supporting the Emergency Department to implement standing orders when laws changes to allow nurses to do this practice."
"In a recent project for breastmilk and formula management with barcode scanning she helped advocate for having a family representative on the project so we didn’t forget them as a stakeholder. She has also done this for other projects and has encouraged us to collaborate with Patient Family Relations or Marketing and Communications."
"I have learned a lot from Debra Ridling on healthy work environment over the years. She models how to have a work life balance by having a routine to not work or send emails from home except for 30-45 minutes in the evening after her children go to bed."
"If there are times difficult conversations or constructive criticism need to be given, Debra Ridling can do this."
"Debra Ridling led organizational initiatives for nursing in the field of ethics by supporting a year-long fellowship for two nurses, collaborating with a University to develop this program."
"One of Debra Ridling’s most recent and largest accomplishments was bringing an entirely new center for nursing research to our organization. Her passion and belief in nursing research has allowed her to partner with other institutes to develop a center specifically for nursing research as a part of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research."
"There is an annual event at the end of the year where each nurse get to formally present their EBP project. This gives such recognition to staff nurses across the hospital."
"I think one of the best authentic characteristics of Debra Ridling is that she never wavers to give credit where credit is due."
"Debra Ridling maintains this characteristic with everything - she always wants to hear the voice of others and always portrays others in the limelight rather than take the credit herself. During our team’s weekly huddles, she has even embedded a step for recognition and accomplishments allowing all of us to share our gratitude of others on the team."
"Debra Ridling definitely is an inspiring example to other nurse leaders and all clinical staff nurses whether these nurses are providing direct patient care or leading nursing research. One manager on an inpatient nurse shared with me that Debra Ridling's name exceeds her across our organization which includes hospital, research and foundations. Many employees, which includes over 1,600 nurses, may not have personally met Debra Ridling but if a program, practice, or hospital initiative includes her name, then it is easily recognized by all involved as something that was well researched and is grounded in quality. She almost has a magical way of helping you go down the right path while making you think it was all our idea."
Providence Holy Family Hospital
"Betty Bush came to our organization 3 years ago with several years of experience looking to fill a vacant Nurse Manager position on our Surgical Acute Nursing Unit.
This Nurse Manager was energized and she set out on a deliberate path to meet individually with caregivers, physicians and her Assistant Nurse Manager team to identify strengths and opportunities and set a plan of action to move this unit from where they were to a high functioning team, with high levels of trust, teamwork, engagement and the quality outcomes that naturally follow."
"Her Assistant Nurse Managers are high performers and caregivers trust them as evidenced by recent employee engagement survey results. This unit has a high functioning Unit Based Council. The chair of that unit council is active in our Magnet Steering committee and won the Nurse Excellence award in 2017."
"These are just a few examples of outcomes Betty Bush has helped this nursing unit achieve by being an authentic leader who promotes participative management."
"Her leadership influence does not stop at the unit level. Betty Bush is an active participant in driving the hospital's community partnership activities with our local elementary school. Betty Bush proposed that our hospital host a STEM day for the older classes to begin to expose them to health care careers in a fun way. The second annual event was held this past March and was highly successful."
"Other examples of the authentic leadership this Nurse Manager exhibits include her willingness to co-chair, then chair our local chapter of NWONE, helping to organize educational events or speakers to address hot topics. In addition, she participates on the Development Committee of NWONE and is a consistent and active participant. She also co-led the upstart of our Magnet Journey until we had a coordinator in place and continues to help advise and steer the Magnet efforts."
"Most recently, this Nurse Manager volunteered to take on organizing Nurse Week activities when the current lead asked to be relieved of this responsibility. This Nurse Manager has added new life and enthusiasm to this annual event. Rather than one recognition event on one day, there are multiple recognition events taking place through the entire Nurse Week, building toward the Nurse Excellence Award ceremony. She has worked with the WSNA chair in a collaborative manner to effectively bring change to the status quo and the two have an agenda that is sure to please just about everyone."
"I must admit, that at times, as I listen to the initial brain storm of ideas, even I feel overwhelmed as to whether it will be possible to make it all come true, but this Nurse Manager makes it look so easy. She has a passion that is contagious, involves others to make it happen. She is positive, affirming and others want to work with her to achieve success. This Nurse Manager truly exemplifies Authentic Leadership; she is deserving of this award and recognition."
Transformational Pioneer Award
Awardee Characteristics – Transformational Pioneer
This award is given to a highly respected leader with characteristics consisted with a professional trailblazer, such as:
- Demonstrates exceptional skill at synthesis. Is able to connect and bring together seemingly disconnected points of view into a cohesive whole
- Has skill in making the collective stronger than the individual
- Demonstrates creativity and innovation in thought and in accomplishments
- Is a creative, courageous, and resilient risk taker – has actively moved his/her organization/initiatives from “good enough” to better or excellent
St Charles Medical Center
"Tammy Wilson makes me proud of the nursing profession. When our critical access hospital (CAH) decided to close the Family Birthing Center (FBC) due to our inability to meet the department’s minimum staffing requirement, we aggressively recruited for the right nurse leader. We looked at the unique needs of our CAH and the characteristics of the patients that we serve – a diverse ethnic population. We knew it would take a special type of nursing leader who has the experience, positive attitude, compassion, connection to our community, and ability to rebuild a team. Our candidate has all of these traits. She demonstrates servant leadership by listening generously and observing quietly. However, she speaks up boldly when advocating for our patients and staff. She displays wisdom in making thoughtful decisions."
Within seven months, our candidate was able to recruit a solid FBC staff starting with a core of only three registered nurses to a fully-staffed department of 17 registered nurses. She collaborated with the healthcare system leaders and physicians to rebuild her team according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines and Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) requirements. Due to her astute operational skills, she was able to maintain staffing of two RN’s per shift these past two years. With a keen eye for continuing education and professional development, our candidate developed a clinical rotation schedule for our FBC nurses in the other acute hospitals within the system. She also partnered with our local OB physicians to provide monthly drills and simulation to maintain the competency of our FBC staff."
"In fact, our candidate’s department scored the highest in all areas of the TeamSTEPPS (Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety) survey evaluation throughout the health system. The caregivers have shared with me that one of the reasons why they love working at our hospital is because of nurse leaders like our candidate who truly cares for them. Most of her nurses live more than 30 miles from the hospital. However, they do not mind traveling because of the safe working condition and the excellent culture of the FBC department and the hospital in general."
"In the midst of developing the FBC department, our candidate accepted the interim management of the Medical-Surgical unit to cover for a nursing leader who was ill. During this time, our candidate was selected to be our champion in implementing tier huddles. After receiving basic training regarding safety tier huddles in Georgia, our candidate coached and mentored all the nursing and ancillary leaders at our hospital. Within a year, the safety tier huddles are consistently being held daily. The success of the project roll out was due to our candidate’s compassionate relationship with the leaders and a tenacious follow-through of the process."
"Our candidate has a rich heritage in Central Oregon. After obtaining her Associate Degree in Nursing in Bend, she became a staff nurse in the medical-surgical and obstetrics departments. She progressed to become a maternal child health nurse with a special focus on case management and home visits for prenatal clients and children from birth to 18 years of age at our nearby tribal communities. Furthermore, she was promoted as the community health services manager overseeing six community health programs including Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Maternal Child Health (MCH), Community Health Representatives, Community Wellness Center, and Physical Therapy. She was instrumental in basic grant writing in collaboration with the Indian Health Services’ Diabetes Program. She also managed the design and development of the Tribal mobile medical clinic along with the implementation of a new Tribal Youth Center. At the same time, she served as the Interim Health and Human Services General Manager for approximately a year where she managed all of the Health and Social Programs for the Tribes in addition to the Community Health Departments."
"Our candidate returned to the hospital setting and became the house supervisor and manager of the Family Birth Suites which included oversight of the long term care section of the hospital. She further progressed into an acute care nursing leader managing several departments such as Medical-Surgical unit, Swing Bed, and Obstetrics. At the same time, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing while working full-time in management. Seeing her success in leadership, our candidate was promoted to the Chief Nursing Officer role and was instrumental in implementing Releasing Time to Care (RT2C) utilizing lean tools to improve the nursing process. During her tenure as a CNO, she assisted the development of the Emergency Room Diversion project for the hospital. She also collaborated with the county commissioner to fund a part-time community health worker to case manage high-risk patients presenting to the Emergency Room. Afterwards, she sought employment at the nearby confederated tribes to assist in developing programs for the tribal members."
"Our candidate is also involved in the local community and served as a board member of several councils such as the Area Health Education, Joint Health Commission, Mental Health and Addictions, and Relay for Life. She loves her caregivers and patients as much as she loves her family."
Award for Leadership Excellence in a Frontline Nurse Clinician
Awardee Characteristics – Leadership Excellence in a Frontline Nurse Clinician
This award is given to a nurse clinician who displays leadership excellence and is:
- Recognized by her/his peers, co-workers, patients, clients, and their families, as an excellent clinician, clinical educator, and clinical role model
- Is an exemplar of the understanding of, and advancement of evidence based practice
- Demonstrates creativity and innovation in thought and in accomplishments
- Has demonstrated clinical leadership through his/her role modeling, and through the leadership of quality or patient safety initiatives, or through his/her leadership of clinical innovation projects or clinical research
Leadership Excellence in a Frontline Nurse Clinician
St. Charles Medical Center
"Marian Morris-Ervin is a pillar of our critical access hospital and the local community. She elevates the atmosphere of our working environment by consistently wearing a warm smile, an enthusiastic personality, and a bold “can-do” attitude. She always puts patients at the center of every decision regardless as to who might get upset. She is a brave advocate and a warrior for our patients. As a case manager of a very challenging population, her job is very difficult. However, she makes the job easier than it looks."
"Marian Morris-Ervin is very seasoned and well-traveled. Her career of 40 years in the nursing profession has taught her about the evolution of nursing. At first, nursing was perceived as a vocation or a technical job. However, through the years nursing has evolved into a profession with its own scientific foundation.
During the early years of her career, she developed the first home visiting nursing services in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She was moved by the lack of public health nursing in that country. The hospital where she worked provided care to a 28-week old infant until she was 11 months old. Upon discharge, Marian Morris-Ervin led the healthcare team in establishing a safety plan while considering the local culture. In collaboration with the family and her co-workers, Marian Morris-Ervin obtained funding from the hospital to establish home visitation and continuity of care for this premature child. Marian Morris-Ervin’s proudest moment was when the father of the child invited her and the hospital’s driver to visit the home’s prayer room. The father gave her a special golden plate as a token of gratitude. She knew then that her opportunities as a nurse to make a difference is endless!"
"Marian Morris-Ervin immigrated to Oregon and sought employment at our critical access hospital. Once again, she saw the need for a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse coordinator. She took the initiative of writing a grant and obtained full funding from the county. Through Marian Morris-Ervin’s efforts, three of our nurses obtained specialty training. Our hospital also renovated a SANE room with an examination table, camera, and other equipment necessary for this program.
Additionally, as a nurse trained in midwifery from Ireland, Marian Morris-Ervin designed our nursery and helped remodel our Family Birthing Center (FBC). Moreover, she developed the original FBC policies and procedures. She utilized her expertise in mother and child services by helping the hospital choose the appropriate equipment necessary to operate our FBC in the rural area."
"Marian Morris-Ervin loves to network with our local community. She volunteered at our county’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and conscientiously devoted her time as its board member for ten years. She assisted the Fire Department personnel with their re-certification process by teaching Obstetrics-related classes. In return, she is able to call on them to help relocate under-privileged patients to assisted living or other disposition."
"Finally, Marian Morris-Ervin’s nature is to always find a solution. This is what makes her very successful as a case manager. Her mantra is to identify places of safety for her patients. She is highly respected as an expert and a nursing professional throughout the healthcare system. Her message to the nurses: 'Always remember that you are a professional. Your role is to advocate for your patients. Finally, be a lifelong learner in order for you to deliver care up to the standard.'"
Award for Excellence in Healthcare or Nursing Advocacy
Awardee Characteristics – Excellence in Healthcare or Nursing Advocacy
This award was specifically created to recognize those nurse leaders who have had a significant impact on health policy and courage in addressing difficult and political issues. They demonstrate characteristics which include:
- Ability to align others around a vision or cause and can be creative in his or her approaches
- Skill in coalition building, promoting open communication and inclusiveness
- Talent to connect and bring together seemingly disconnected points of view into a cohesive whole
- Aptitude in making the collective stronger than the individual
Excellence in Healthcare or Nursing Advocacy
Kitsap Public Health
"Inspirational nursing public health leader within Washington State and nationally."
"Promotes open communication and active systems of participative management in every aspect of her position, but most importantly through her leadership as part of the executive team for Kitsap public health. This team is a diverse group of health-related professionals. This candidate leverages her nursing skills to bring out the best of this interprofessional team by encouraging participation and to connect how the work these disparate individuals contributes to the greater goal. She is known as a consensus builder and endless learner."
"Generated enthusiasm for the creation of healthy work environments and for the achievement of excellence in professional practice and patient care by leading her staff in developing and implementing workplace policies for healthy eating and breastfeeding at work. These policies guide Kitsap Health and are used as templates to share with other local agencies."
"Is a creative and resilient risk taker in the name of public health, and has demonstrated this most recently through the development and implementation of two innovative programs to help Kitsap’s most vulnerable populations. First, she created the Kitsap Connect program by winning a local mental health sales tax grant. The program targets individuals plagued by mental health, homelessness, physical health, and poverty issues by using public health nurses to connect clients to available services, while also addressing their “whole being”. This candidate has also spearheaded a plan to create a pilot medical respite program with the local hospital and public housing agencies to help vulnerable individuals get the proper care after receiving medical treatment."
Emerging Nurse Leader Award
Awardee Characteristics – Excellence in an Emerging Nurse Leader
This award is given to a nurse with less than five years of experience as a formal leader who:
- Promotes open communication with those that s/he serves and is viewed as approachable and respectful of others
- Demonstrates current and contemporary understanding of the requirements and dynamics at the point of care
- Is able to generate enthusiasm for the creation of healthy work environments and for the achievement of excellence in professional practice and patient care
- Sets an inspiring example
Emerging Nurse Leader
Skagit Valley Hospital
"Seeks feedback and ideas from diverse sources, including those with different back-grounds, experiences and points of view. She speaks up, raises issues and reports concerns in the best interest of her staff, patients, families and our organization. She listens actively to ensure others are heard and supported when raising concerns, she communicates clearly and professionally in a respectful manner and she accepts responsibility for the impact of her own communication."
"Began her manager transition by working out on the unit with her Charge Nurses, the Pediatric nurses and the Medical nurses on all the shifts to include the weekends. She wanted to see for herself how the unit worked, to develop a relationship with her staff and to be present. She said that she would not ask staff to do anything that she was not willing to do herself and she proved that many times."
"In less than 8 months this candidate has developed a strong team that works together and has a shared mental model for patient experience, quality and outcomes."
"has conducted her staff meetings, charge nurse meetings to set team agreements with shared goals, focusing on opportunities to improve communication and process redesign. There were many opportunities to resolve conflicts as the threats to the changes were high, particularly among the medical staff orienting to pediatrics and taking step down patients. This candidate never once shied away from conflict, she handled issues and concerns immediately through consistent communication with team members."
"Very personable, she is approachable and fun, she is very transparent with people and does not have any hidden agendas, and her only agenda is high standards and excellence in patient care. She interacts well with patients and immediately manages any issues. She is authentic and great to watch as she matures and develops her leadership skills, she has made such positive transformational changes in her unit."
"Her tenacity, her passion for nursing, her ability to really care about each of her team members has been so refreshing to watch. She took many risks, particularly in challenging a medical pediatric department that had been practicing for many years without much change, to cross-train staff and integrate them into a functional unit. It was not for the faint of heart, frustration and even tears, but she continued to see the final vision and her vision is becoming a reality"
Emerging Nurse Leader
Legacy Emanuel Medical Center
"This candidate characterizes all the attributes of the emerging nurse leader that make it such an important part of what make NWONE special to us."
"As the Assistant Nurse Manager of a large and busy NTICU, This candidate relies on her ability to promote open communication with those that she serves; including patients and their families, nurses and other members of the multi-disciplinary team. She is viewed as approachable and respectful of others and demonstrates knowledge and skills in clinical practice, and the profession of nursing and uses that foundational knowledge to build effectiveness in decision making and collaboration."
"Recently, this candidate was acknowledged by the hospital president for ability to lead the NTICU team through a very critical clinical incident involving one the patients on her unit. Not only was the incident traumatic for the patient, but the staff. As the leader during the incident, this candidate ensured the patient was safe, the staff was safe and provided for appropriate quality and process debriefing afterwards. She also ensured that the emotional well-being of all the staff was addressed through offering immediate critical incident stress support and ongoing connection to counseling services, EAP, and HR resources. For this she was awarded the President’s coin, one of the highest honors in the Legacy system."
"During team meetings, this candidate’s style is open and authentic, and she brings out the best in her team. Discussions in the team are active and encourage all members to seek answers rather than blame.
“ 'I learned that the feeling of extreme helplessness, numbness, and emotional fatigue after a hard shift isn’t weakness, it’s a real thing called “cumulative toll. It’s the repeated exposure to truly traumatic situations that break our spirits, mentality, compassion, and strength down. What I didn’t realize is that it’s my response to these situations that makes the difference in how strongly I can come away from them. Instead of my age-old trick of becoming cynical, steeled, and hardened, I learned that it is ok to embrace these experiences and humanize them. It is okay to cry when it’s sad. It’s just fine to be mad when the situation is not fair (when is it ever fair?). We have been raised as nurses to believe that we are somehow weak for expressing or revealing any emotion in the setting of a horrible situation. We have been told that crying when a patient dies isn’t acceptable, that it is pathetic and somehow diminishes how much we care. We have been led to believe—and teach the next generation of nurses— that it is not allowable to laugh, cry, or even speak candidly with our patients, their families, or each other.' ”
"This candidate’s vulnerability in the face of adversity, and her ability to connect with patients and her staff make her a very special leader indeed. She is one of those rare finds in leadership; someone who takes caring to a higher level, who is capable of connecting with others in a meaningful way, of facilitating groups and motivating and mentoring them to get them to move together to accomplish great things."
Distinguished Career Award
Awardee Characteristics – Distinguished Career
This award was specifically created to honor those who chose to give of their time and talents to the profession through both their career path and through active volunteer service in professional organizations.
Frequently they are people who have influenced and mentored many, who have served in varied capacities across their profession and who have service beyond employment to the nursing community
Jane began her career as a servant leader and though retired, continues as a servant leader.
Jane’s philosophy, while unspoken, is helping others and making a difference in the world is what makes everything and everyone better. One person at a time, one day at a time, one project at a time. Through this philosophy she has made a difference that will leave a lasting impact.