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NANN Member Receives National Nursing Award

Section Editor(s): Brittingham, Lori A. BSN, RN; Guglielmo, Kimberly C. BSN, RNC-NIC;

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e318293b27d
NANN pages

Board Member of National Association of Neonatal Nurses

Correspondence: Katie Macaluso, BA, National Association of Neonatal Nurses, 4700 W Lake Ave, Glenview, IL 60025 (

Celebrating 25 years of caring for neonates and their families

No grant funding was involved in the production of this article.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Ann Coyle, BS, RNC-NIC, met CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper during a live awards show broadcast in December 2012

Ann Coyle, BS, RNC-NIC, met CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper during a live awards show broadcast in December 2012

The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future is a national initiative designed to enhance the image of the nursing profession, recruit new nurses and nursing faculty, and help retain nurses currently in the profession. Launched in February 2002, the campaign works in cooperation with professional nursing organizations, schools, hospitals, and other healthcare groups to promote opportunities in nursing and increase awareness of the value the nursing profession brings to our society and America's healthcare community.

Johnson & Johnson created the Amazing Nurses Contest to provide an opportunity for families, patients, and communities to celebrate the contributions of individual nurses, who are the backbone of medical care. This past year, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse and longtime NANN member received top honors. Ann Coyle, BS, RNC-NIC, a staff nurse and grief support group facilitator at Virtua Voorhees Hospital in Voorhees, New Jersey, was selected from a field of more than 700 nominees as the winner of the 2012 Amazing Nurses Contest. Ann was acknowledged for this honor during “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” a live awards show broadcast from Los Angeles, California, in December 2012.

For more than 30 years, Ann has cared for critically ill premature babies and their families in the NICU. “I have spent my entire career as a NICU nurse. I share in a parent's greatest joys and sometimes the most challenging heartbreak a family can experience. Being a NICU nurse is the best job in the world, most of the time,” shares Ann. “We are blessed as nurses working in the NICU because we encounter many miracles.”

During the more heartbreaking moments in the NICU, Ann is often the first person called to support parents if their babies do not survive. “The hardest thing I do is counsel and support parents who have lost a child,” says Ann. For 9 years, she has facilitated the HOPING Grief Support Group. “HOPING has been an amazing blessing in my life. Parents start out feeling like they're the only ones in the world to experience the grief of losing a baby. Within a few sessions, they're helping new members in the group. It's wonderful to watch the healing process.”

Several years ago, Ann had a vision. She proposed that an area be built at Virtua, where grieving parents could find solace. That's when the fundraising for Virtua's Angel Garden began. Ann arranged restaurant nights, cookbook sales, quilt raffles, and bake sales. With additional support from the Virtua Foundation, Ann raised more than $30,000. On September 23, 2012, the Angel Garden at Virtua Voorhees became a reality. Natural elements of stone, plants, and water make the outside garden a “tranquil oasis” in the setting of a busy hospital. An angel statue that overlooks the garden was chosen by parents who have lost children. The names of their children are inscribed on the nearby waterfall wall. During the dedication ceremony that marked the opening of the garden, butterflies were released in honor of “everyone's angels.” The Angel Garden is now a peaceful place where parents and families can remember their babies.

Ann supports her coworkers in addition to the many families whose lives she has touched. On her unit, Ann has been recognized by her peers as an excellent clinician, a caring nurturer, and a positive force. Coworkers consistently look to Ann to boost unit morale and keep stress to a minimum. Recently, Ann created a “red carpet” awards ceremony, recognizing each staff member in the NICU for things like keeping the neatest notes and giving the best patient reports. In addition, Ann started a kindness project on the unit to encourage staff to share positive thoughts with each other.

Ann has been a NANN member for 10 years. At the local level, she is an active member of the Delaware Valley Chapter (DVANN) of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses and was instrumental in DVANN's October 2011 Annual Conference, focused on bereavement. During this educational event, Ann facilitated a parent panel, featuring fathers who spoke about the loss of their infants in the NICU.

“Find a job that you love and you'll never work another day in your life. That's how I live,” she says. Ann Coyle is truly an “amazing nurse,” dedicated to providing outstanding care and support to patients, families, coworkers, and the community. On behalf of NANN, we thank you, Ann, for the inspiration you provide, and for the amazing way in which you represent neonatal nursing!

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NANN 30th Annual Educational Conference; September 10–13, 2014; Phoenix Convention Center & Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona

The NANN Program Planning Committee invites you to submit an abstract for possible presentation at the NANN 30th Annual Educational Conference. The committee encourages submissions that span general areas of neonatal care such as hot topics, developmental care, patient safety and quality care, healthcare reform, general staff nursing issues, and advances in research. Abstracts that are considered state of nursing, evidence-based, and sufficiently challenging for nurses and other healthcare professionals are highly encouraged.

Abstract submission opens: July 1, 2013

Abstract submission deadline: November 4, 2013

For more information, please visit

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Are you interested in participating in the 9th Annual NANN Research Summit? Submit your abstract for consideration to be a presenter at NANN's 2014 Research Summit.

Since 2006, the NANN Research Summit has provided a platform for individuals to present findings from their research and evidence-based practice projects. Supported by Mead Johnson Nutrition, the objective of the summit is to emphasize the fostering research effort of NANN's newest neonatal investigators as a means to grow and sustain the body of knowledge that helps guide nursing care for neonates and their families.

Abstract submission opens: July 9, 2013

Abstract submission deadline: October 15, 2013

For the first time, abstracts will be submitted online. All submissions will undergo a blind review process for quality, relevance, and merit by the NANN Research Committee. All submitters will be notified about the status of their submission in November 2013.

For more information or to submit your abstract, please visit

© 2013 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses