NANN honored the amazing achievements of leading neonatal nurses at our 35th Annual Conference in Savannah, Georgia, last fall. Please join us in celebrating our 2019 award winners.
2019 NANN AWARD WINNERS
Mary Ellen Honeyfield, DNP, RN, NNP-BC—Lifetime Achievement Award
Mary Ellen Honeyfield has been called a pioneer of neonatal nursing. Participating in the first NNP Program at the Children's Hospital in Denver, she has been instrumental in teaching future NNPs and developing national certification examinations for NNPs, NICU nurses, and low-risk neonatal nurses. Mary Ellen has worked as a staff nurse, NNP, clinical nurse specialist, unit manager, and director of perinatal services. She started NNP Services of Colorado and Innovative Health Care, which provide NNP services to various hospitals, provide nursing education through conference, and consult for NICUs across the country. She has mentored countless NNPs, served on a multitude of committees, spoken at conferences, authored several articles and chapters, and helped co-edit the Physical Assessment of the Newborn, which is used by most NNP Programs and recently celebrated 25 years of publications.
Mary Ellen has always had a love for teaching and continues to teach in the Regis NNP program. Through her grand influence on the larger neonatal nursing world, we have all benefited from her in some way. Mary Ellen has worked tirelessly to make sure that every baby has the best possible care. It is without a doubt that Mary Ellen has made the world of neonatal nursing a better place.
Terry Johnson, APN, NNP-BC, MN, CLEC—Lifetime Achievement Award
With over 30 years of experience, Terry Johnson has been a neonatal nurse, transport nurse, clinical educator, family nurse specialist, faculty/coordinator of a national neonatal nurse practitioner certificate program, and a clinical neonatal nurse practitioner. She is founder of Lode Star Enterprise, which serves as a consultant to numerous healthcare systems, perinatal advocacy organizations, professional practice groups, as well as numerous healthcare industry partners. Terry has been honored with many awards throughout her career, some including the Laurie Edmunds Lectureship Award from the University of Massachusetts Nursing Division and the Branden E. Grifin M.D. Memorial Lectureship Award from the University of Massachusetts's School of Medicine.
Terry currently works part-time with Prolacta Bioscience as a consultant for Safety & Quality in human milk banking, product development, clinical education, clinical research monitor, and professional development. Terry continues to educate and inspire fellow nurses. We are proud to present her with this award.
Jennifer Hart, MSN, RNC-NIC, CBC, NEA-BC—Leadership Award
Jennifer Hart is a current nurse manager at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She formalized and now chairs the first retention committee in her NICU after realizing how low morale and how high turnover was for NICU nurses. She started the lifesaver program, which helps promote peer-to-peer positive feedback between nurses, hoping to boost morale and a sense of community within her unit.
On multiple occasions, Jennifer has led the event, Share our World, which showcases the role of NICU nurses and works to bridge the information gap between hospitals and home. As a nurse manager leader for mid-level managers in her hospital, Jennifer was instrumental in standardizing orientation, formalizing mentorship programs, making online resources available, and developing quarterly professional development summits. She continues as a nurse manager leader for the professional development work for Front Line Leaders, helping create robust online resources, tool kits, and communication platforms. Jennifer is not only a leader at her hospital, but also within the NANN Delaware Valley Chapter where she is a past Treasurer and currently the director of DVANN's Baby Buzz podcast.
Ksenia Zukowsky, PhD, CRNP, NNP-BC—Distinguished Service Award
Ksenia Zukowsky has been an active NANN member for over 30 years, where she has dedicated her time and talents most notably to NANN's Journal, Advances in Neonatal Care. Joining the editorial board in 2001, she has been committed to supporting the often-inexperienced author. Ksenia has dedicated countless hours to reviewing manuscripts, providing thoughtful comments, and acting as a mentor for the novice writer.
When not providing service to the NANN journal, Ksenia lends her talents to the March of Dimes Services Advisory Board New Jersey, NONPF, the Philadelphia Perinatal Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association. She is currently chair of the Graduate Program at Jefferson School of Nursing and a part-time NNP at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Kelly Gilhousen, MSN, RNC-NIC, RN-BC—Navigator Award
Kelly Gilhousen has worked for The MetroHealth System for 23 years. In this level III NICU, Kelly has thrived as a Neonatal Clinical Nurse and Education Coordinator. As part of MetroHealth's C.A.R.E. Program, Kelly has been instrumental in sharing her knowledge and expertise with newly hired RNs to ensure successful practice transition and incorporation into the NICU staff. She is developing and providing meaningful educational offering to enhance staff development opportunities and positively impact patient care delivery.
In her unit, Kelly has started a series of monthly, multidisciplinary education topics that are provided to the staff during work hours to promote ongoing education. Kelly's passion for education and precepting has led her to currently pilot a peer-to-peer mentorship program for preceptors with the goal of standardizing orientation, improving patient outcomes, and decreasing turnover. It is undeniable that she proves to be a strong mentor, leader, and educator.
Priscilla Meyers, MSN, APRN, NNP-BC—NNP Rising Star Award
While many are discouraged by chronic scheduling shortages, work stress, and constant turnover, Priscilla Meyers was moved to action, voluntarily helping to rectify the situation at her level IV NICU. She has helped build bridges with the NICU nursing staff so that her unit is working more cohesively than ever before. In 3 years since becoming the Manager for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, her unit has become fully staffed and a desired education program for NNP students.
Recognized as a highly evaluated preceptor for NNP students, Priscilla continues to try and ease the transition for young nurses and new hires. Priscilla has overheld the orientation processes for fellows and tailored a formal orientation to the specific experiences and needs of the nurse practitioner. With Priscilla's influence, individuals can now successfully transition from students to new graduates to confident care providers. As a leader in a growing NICU, Priscilla has scheduled quarterly meetings with NNPs to address accomplishments, encourage discussions on timely issues, give a voice to her fellow peers, and boost morale. Priscilla has been able to make great strides as a manager and we look forward to seeing what continued positive influence she can have on her NICU and beyond.
Susan Dell Almarode, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC—NNP Excellence Award
Susan Almarode successfully increased the amount of kangaroo care in her unit after recognizing the importance of the intervention, creating guidelines for transfer, and teaching and encouraging staff to carry out the intervention.
After identifying that there were gaps in the teaching and preparation for families of infants with multiple medical needs, Susan developed a team model in her NICU that improved collaboration among hospital teams, which led to more prepared families and safer discharges.
When not helping some of the tiniest patients, she supports the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner master's program at the University of Virginia and is an on-site coordinator for students who seek to do their clinical time at the UVA. It has been said by her peers that Susan has a true gift for precepting and teaching future nurses. Susan's passion for improving the outcomes for patients and her families also shines through in her Doctor of Nursing Practice final project. Titled “The NICU Reading Garden,” the project encourages mothers to read to their babies and shows promising results in treating postpartum depression. We are so proud of the work Susan has done, and continues to do, to better patients and their families.
Barbara O'Rourke, RN—Robyn Main Excellence Award
Barbara O'Rourke has been described as an excellent bedside nurse, leader, and mentor. Her passion for quality drives her research of best practices, evaluation of outcomes, and implementation of change to provide exemplary direct patient care.
Barbara has successfully implemented side-lying bottle feeding, supported oral feedings in fragile infants, and promoted the use of positioning devices to promote neurodevelopment. Barbara is willing to go above and beyond to make sure that her patients are receiving the best care and to conduct original research in order to find what is best for her patients. Barbara has gone on to produce videos, brochures, and help develop educational programs in order to share her findings and better inform fellow nurses and babies' families. Currently, a medical mission program is in the process of making her education resources on elevated side-lying bottle feeding available to a Jamaican NICU. We are thankful for the work that Barbara is doing to make sure that her patients, and babies everywhere, receive the best possible care.
2019 CONFERENCE ABSTRACT AWARD WINNERS
Christine Wetzel, CNP, RNC-NIC, IBCLC—Best Research Abstract Award Winner for “Maternal, Infant and Nutritional Factors Influencing the Developing Microbiome of the Premature Infant in the NICU Setting”
Ashley Weber, PhD, RN—Best Clinical Abstract Award Winner for “Organizational Resources for Family-Centered Care may Influence Clinicians' Attitudes towards Family Engagement”
Genesee Hornung, MSN, RN, CNS, CPNP-PC—Best EBP/QI Abstract Award Winner for “Boosting the Bundle: Implementing Practice Changes in a NICU to Reduce CLABSI”
Dorothy Vittner, PhD, RN, CHPE—Best Paper Award for “Skin-to-Skin Contact Activates Salivary Oxytocin Release and Influences Infant Neurobehavioral Functioning”
Leslie Parker, PhD, NNP-BC—Best Poster Award for “Effect of Aspiration and Evaluation of Gastric Residuals on Intestinal Inflammation, Gastrointestinal Bleeding, and Gastrointestinal Peptide Levels in Extremely Preterm Infants”
Alexandra Armstrong, RN; Kelly McGlothen-Bell, PhD, RN, IBCLC, NTMNC; Rebecca South, BSN, RN, RNC-NIC—Small Grant Recipient Winners
Samantha's article provided useful information on a common respiratory modality in a clear, concise scientific voice. Bedside nurses, respiratory care providers, and neonatal practitioners can identify with Samantha's commentary on the barriers and implications identifying common N-BCPAP challenges, making it especially noteworthy and deserving of the honor of manuscript of the year.
Congratulations to all the award winners! Apply or nominate a nurse for this year's awards by visiting nann.org/awards in March.
APRNs: TAKE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH NANNP!
Established in 2007 and governed by an elected body, the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NANNP) is the unified voice of neonatal nurse practitioners and neonatal clinical nurse specialists. The NANNP strives to address the unique workforce and professional practice issues of neonatal advanced practice nurses through its commitment to leadership, expertise, and community.
Learn more and join the NANNP today at nann.org/NANNP