NANN honored and awarded over a dozen nurses for their achievements within the profession at the 34th Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. Below are NANN's 2018 award winners.
Carol Jaeger, DNP, RN, APRN, NNP-BC—Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr Carol Jaeger has dedicated more than 45 years to providing evidence-based care to neonates and their families as well as role modeling this important concept to staff, students, and other healthcare providers. Dr Jaeger served as vice president of clinical operations for the neonatal section at Nationwide Children's Hospital before retiring from the role. Under her leadership at Nationwide Children's Hospital, the neonatal services section grew from 1 to 3 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) on the main campus and 6 neonatal intensive care and special care units at the delivery hospitals caring for more than 3000 babies per year. Dr Jaeger continues to make important contributions to neonatal nursing through her role as a clinical assistant professor of practice for the neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) program at Ohio State University.
Dr Jaeger's work has not always taken place in the civilian world. She was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and Army Reserves, having served for over 38 years before retiring in 2010. In her military career, Dr Jaeger served as a staff nurse, nurse practitioner, chief of the ambulatory nursing section, mobilization officer, general officer in command, commander, and instructor within various divisions within the army.
As a member of NANN and NANNP, Dr Jaeger has worked tirelessly to promote the importance of belonging to our professional neonatal nursing organization. She also has been instrumental in reactivating NANN's Central Ohio chapter. As a past NANNP Council member, Dr Jaeger led the taskforce that created the NANN position paper Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Workforce and co-chaired the Neonatal APRN Scope of Practice Position Statement and Talking Points.
Erin L. Keels, DNP, APRN-CNP, NNP-BC—Leadership Award
Dr Erin Keels has been an incredible leader and visionary for the field of neonatal nursing. She displays incredible energy and a drive to advocate for patients, neonatal nurses, and NNPs. As the director of a large group of NNPs, Dr Keels is a strong advocate for those serving in the role. In addition, she has supported NANN and NANNP in various ways. Her energy, enthusiasm, and accomplishments are undeniably stellar.
With more than 350 NICU beds to cover, Dr Keels leads through her team by challenging and mentoring future leaders. She strives to instill the importance of the NNP role as a profession and not just a job. Dr Keels advocates for advanced practice nurses to become authors, speakers, and quality improvement experts.
Ann Gibbons Phalen, PhD, CRNP, NNP-BC—Distinguished Service Award
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. This year's recipient is Dr Ann Gibbons Phalen.
Dr Phalen's commitment to advancing NANN's research, membership, and clinical practice goals has been extraordinary at the regional and national levels. She has served as NANN's Research Committee chair since 2014, where she holds a wide range of responsibilities. Under her volunteer leadership, Dr Phalen has streamlined review processes, mentored new NANN members, grown the Annual Research Summit to new heights, and increased visibility and understanding of research in the neonatal nursing profession. Her other contributions to NANN include—but are certainly not limited to—leading the Delaware Valley chapter, serving as the content editor for NANN Central, contributing to Advances in Neonatal Care as an author and a peer reviewer, and being an exceptional presenter at NANN's Annual Conference.
Susan Meier, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC—Navigator Award
Dr Susan Meier has worked as an NNP for over 10 years and has dedicated herself to continuing education, clinical excellence, and mentoring. As adjunct faculty at Regis University, she is passionate about advancing the neonatal nursing profession and shaping the neonatal nursing leaders of tomorrow. Dr Meier recognizes the importance of mentoring and networking for NNPs to bringing successful outcomes to patients and families.
Dr Meier has lent her incredible knowledge and leadership skill set to NANN in multiple ways, including previously serving as the NANNP Council chair and as the current NANN secretary and treasurer. She also is a skilled, pragmatic, innovative, and dedicated teacher who has made a profound impact on her students and has been described as warm, welcoming, and encouraging of success in others.
Katherine Vincent, MSN, APRN, NNP-BC—NNP Rising Star Award
Katherine Vincent has been an NNP since 2014 and has been lauded by her peers and colleagues for her clinical excellence. She currently is serving as a coinvestigator in the institutional review board (IRB)–approved initiative to standardize the clinical practice guidelines of acute renal failure, including diagnosis, management, and follow-up. During her short career, Vincent has actively performed IRB-approved research and has released 3 publications, 1 platform presentation, and 3 poster presentations. She also was invited to speak at a national conference this year.
Vincent practices in a full-time clinical position at a Level 4 NICU with a busy delivery service. She now is precepting a new NNP and has been actively involved in numerous process improvement projects at her institution. Vincent is working toward her DNP to further her research and expertise to improve the outcome of sick babies.
Kamela Loo, MSN, APRN, NNP-BC, RNC-NIC, CFNP—Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Excellence Award
As an NNP, Kamela Loo has made outstanding contributions to the field of neonatal nursing through exemplary practice, leadership, service, and education. Loo started the NNP program at Valley Children's Hospital and was the hospital's very first NNP. She created policies and procedures, started a simulation laboratory for the new residence program, developed the NICU handbook for nurses and residents, and has served as the neonatal resuscitation program class instructor for the past 10 years.
Beyond her clinical excellence, Loo is a longtime local leader with the Central California chapter. She is the epitome of a volunteer leader—encouraging membership, bringing in respected presenters, and raising funds for the March of Dimes and other causes.
Loo also volunteers her time and talent to mentoring the future leaders of the profession. By role modeling, inspiring motivation in fellow practitioners, and fostering creative problem solving, she exemplifies passion for the important work that we do.
Ebru Temizsoy—Research Abstract Award Winner for “Effects of Non-Traumatic Nasopharyngeal Suction Technique in Infants During Non-invasive Ventilation”
Whitney Zachritz, MSN, RN—Clinical Abstract Award Winner for “A Bar Code Scanning Human Milk Management System Decreases RN Workload and Improves Satisfaction”
Marliese Nist, MS, RNC-NIC; Wanli Xu, PhD, RN; and Julie Vignato, PhD, RN, RNC-LRN, CNE—Small Grant Recipient Winners
Advances in Neonatal Care Article of the Year
Judith Carter, RN, CCRN, and the Boston Children's Hospital NICU Quality Improvement Team for “Systemic Changes to Help Parents of Medically Complex Infants Manage Medical Expenses”
The article showcases what nurses do best—identifying the problems and gaps in medical care that impact patients and families and implementing evidence-based solutions to alleviate those issues.
Congratulations to all of the award winners! Apply or nominate a nurse for this year's awards by visiting nann.org/awards. Nominations are due by the end of May 2019.