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NANN Announces 2012 Award Winners, New Product

Section Editor(s): Damato, Elizabeth

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e3182760f7f
NANN pages
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Robyn Main Excellence in Clinical Practice Award: Abigail E. Lonergan, BSN, RNC-NIC

The Robyn Main Excellence in Clinical Practice Award honors someone who recognizes and encourages excellence in neonatal nurses who provide direct patient care. The 2012 recipient is Abigail E. Lonergan, BSN, RNC-NIC. Abigail has served her unit in the roles of bedside nurse, clinical preceptor, transport nurse, Neonatal Resuscitation Program instructor, and parent support group facilitator. With more than 3 decades of caring for critically ill neonates, she educates her staff on changes in suctioning practices through literature, poster presentations, and policy and procedure updates as information evolves. Abigail supports developmental care in her unit by always encouraging her parents to participate in kangaroo care, helping the parents understand the importance of skin-to-skin holding with weight gain, and assisting with earlier discharge.

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Navigator Award: Nancy Burke, MSN, ARNP, RNC-NIC

The recipient of the Navigator Award is someone who demonstrates outstanding teaching and motivational skills, is clinically and technically skilled in his or her profession, and is able to share his or her experiences and viewpoints willingly. This person is also supportive, guiding, and reassuring, and demonstrates and practices the goals and ambitions of the professional nurse as a role model for others. The recipient of the 2012 Navigator Award is Nancy Burke, MSN, ARNP, RNC-NIC. Nancy's dedication and devotion to the field of neonatal nursing can be seen through her publications, mentored preceptorship, and education innovation. With more than 37 years of experience in neonatal nursing, she encourages critical thinking through the process of educating by evidence-based practice. In the words of her nominator, “Nancy has an overwhelming impact on her students, colleagues and leaders at South Miami Hospital. She is a role model of role models for neonatal nursing.”

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Distinguished Service Award: Debra A. Sansoucie, EdD, ARNP, NNP-BC

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding and dedicated service to NANN by honoring an individual who has advanced the mission of the association in a significant and lasting way. The 2012 recipient, Dr Debra A. Sansoucie, is Vice President of the Advanced Practitioner Program at Pediatrix Medical Group. Deb has made remarkable contributions to both NANN and NANNP. She is a founding member of NANNP and is the current chair of the NANNP Council. She currently serves on the NANN Board of Directors, has authored countless publications on behalf of NANN and NANNP, and is also a driving force behind NANN's policy and advocacy efforts. In the words of her nominator, “Deb brings a level-headed point-of-view and such a wealth of experience and knowledge that I highly respect. Her contributions are both tireless and extremely valuable.”

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Leadership Award: Catherine L. Witt, PhD(c), NNP-BC

The Leadership Award recognizes a neonatal nurse who exhibits superior leadership skills and demonstrates consistent excellence in practice. The 2012 Leadership Award recipient is Catherine L. Witt, PhDc, NNP-BC. As the current director of the NNP Graduate Program at Regis University, Cathy has a history of strong clinical leadership and continued involvement in the clinical arena, with an emphasis on mentoring younger staff and neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs). And her leadership skills extend beyond her clinical practice—Cathy currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Advances in Neonatal Care and is a past NANN board member, secretary, and president. She is also currently pursuing her PhD in nursing education.

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Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Excellence Award: Terri Russell, DNP, APN, NNP-BC

The NNP Excellence Award honors outstanding contributions by an NNP to the field of neonatal nursing through exemplary practice, leadership, service, and education. The 2012 NNP Excellence Award recipient is Dr Terri Russell. Terri has worked in many different roles in her career as a neonatal nurse from staff nurse to nurse manager, and currently as an NNP nursing coordinator at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She strives to keep her NICU staff educated and updated on the latest practice recommendations for the neonatal population, including being a regional trainer for the Neonatal Resuscitation Program. In the words of one of Terri's nominators, “one of the secrets of her success is that she loves being a nurse and continues to make significant contributions to her profession.” Terri continues to practice as an NNP in addition to her mentorship of students within her NNP program.

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Research Abstract Award: Rosemary White-Traut, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr Rosemary White-Traut is the recipient of the 2012 Research Abstract Award for her poster, “Relationship Between Mother-Infant Responsiveness and Infant Motor Development at 6 Weeks Corrected Age Among Infants Born Preterm.” Dr Traut's publications have made important contributions toward an evidence-based approach to clinical practice for at-risk premature infants. Her research has focused on the behavioral, developmental, and neurohormonal responses of at-risk infants to a multisensory intervention named ATVV (Auditory, Tactile, Visual, and Vestibular Intervention).

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Small Grant Award: Ruth Lucas, PhD

Ruth Lucas, PhD, of Duke University School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina, has been awarded the Small Grant Award for her research study, “Maternal Descriptions of Late Preterm Infant Breastfeeding Behavior Types.” Dr Lucas's research focuses on the health and development of at-risk full-term and preterm infants with an overall goal of improving their short- and long-term outcomes as well as their families. This study examines maternal descriptions of their infants' breastfeeding behavior and asks mothers to categorize their infants' breastfeeding behavior using a maternal report instrument of infant breastfeeding behavior types. Dr Lucas aims to identify infant breastfeeding behaviors that may contribute to early breastfeeding cessation and thereby assist mothers to seek timely professional assistance.

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Small Grant Award: Joan Renard Smith, MSN, NNP-BC

Joan Renard Smith, MSN, NNP-BC, of St. Louis Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded the Small Grant Award for her research project, “Impact of a Novel Relaxation Method of Touch on Neonatal Neurobehavioral Development Among Very Preterm Infants.” The study will focus on the cumulative effect of the M Technique on infant neurodevelopment in hospitalized very preterm infants. Findings will provide the framework to achieve the long-term goal of examining the effectiveness of a parent-delivered M Technique intervention that would have infant, parent, and in-parent dyad implications. Ms Smith hopes that the study data will help researchers identify an early cost-effective intervention that will maximize neurodevelopment outcomes of children who suffer neurologic disabilities associated with emotional and financial burdens.

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Chapter of the Year Award: Southeastern Michigan Association of Neonatal Nurses

The Southeastern Michigan Association of Neonatal Nurses (SMANN) represents 17 hospitals in the greater Detroit area and is NANN's 2012 Chapter of Year. In 2011, SMANN focused on staying involved in the community. The SMANN membership committee recruited new members, using award incentives and encouraging students' participation by waiving their membership fee. A provider of CE education for SMANN members, SMANN went “green” for its March 2012 conference and included all presentations on flash drives. SMANN demonstrates a strong commitment to community service and fundraising. The chapter is involved with annual community baby showers, garage sales, and a 3-day Texas Hold 'em event. Proceeds from the various events benefit local charities, shelters, their local nursing scholarship fund, and Foundation for Neonatal Research and Education.

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Chapter Community Service, Educational Offerings, Fundraising Efforts, and Membership Recruitment and Retention Award: Central California Association of Neonatal Nurses

The Central California Association of Neonatal Nurses (CCANN) has been awarded the 2012 Chapter Community Service, Educational Offerings, Fundraising Efforts, and Membership Recruitment and Retention Awards. CCANN believes in having fun, while providing education to its members through a variety of community projects. CCANN is involved in the Ronald McDonald House, March of Dimes, Toys for Tots, and the Diabetes Organization. The chapter meets 4 times a year to receive educational offerings at conferences and workshops. Attendance at these educational events has improved their ability to provide the best possible care to their neonatal patients. In 2011, CCANN raised around $19,000 from vendor support, car washes, raffle prizes, donations, and participation in the Children's Hospital of Central California's annual craft fair. Through social networking and recruiting efforts at nearby hospitals, CCANN strives to increase its membership by 10% each quarter.

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Chapter Communications Award: Delaware Valley Association of Neonatal Nurses

The 2012 Chapter Communication Award goes to the Delaware Valley Association of Neonatal Nurses. DVANN actively communicates with its members using several methods. After receiving member feedback, DVANN has been able to connect better with its members with user-friendly features, such as Facebook, and direct links to the NANN Web site. Facebook “has enhanced our ability to communicate and provide visibility for our chapter,” DVANN President Thomasine Farrell says. DVANN has also established a quarterly newsletter, Preemie Press, which is sent to all members via e-mail and posted on their Web pages.

For more information regarding NANN's 2012 award winners, visit

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The Resource Guide for Neonatal Cardiac Care (2010) has been updated and re-released as a set to include the original guide along with 14 full-color labeled illustrations to show heart defects in an easy-to-open ring packet. Both pieces are printed on ultra synthetic, UV gloss paper that is highly durable and water resistant so you can carry them with you in the NICU and clean them anytime. The guide can be used with parents when discussing their neonate's care to explain defects through the use of illustrations. This 2-piece set provides an orderly, evidence-based approach to assist you in identifying and treating neonates with heart disease.

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Visit to purchase your copy.

© 2012 National Association of Neonatal Nurses