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Endowment created to remember Northern Westchester Hospital nurse

Monday June 25, 2012
From left, Lauraine Szekley, RN, CNO, joins Christine Hipolito, RN, staff nurse, PACU; Maureen Munson, RN, staff nurse, ED; and Cheryl Esson, RN, staff nurse, medical, who received the 2012 Janet Harrower Nurse Distinction awards at Northern Westchester Hospital.
From left, Lauraine Szekley, RN, CNO, joins Christine Hipolito, RN, staff nurse, PACU; Maureen Munson, RN, staff nurse, ED; and Cheryl Esson, RN, staff nurse, medical, who received the 2012 Janet Harrower Nurse Distinction awards at Northern Westchester Hospital.
(Photos by Janice Petrella Lynch, RN)
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From left, are Kathleen Melancon, RN, administrative supervisor, nursing administration/patient care services; Lauraine Szekely, RN, CNO, senior vice president, patient care services; and Pamela Werner, RN, staff nurse, ambulatory surgery, enjoying the celebrations after the awards ceremony. Melancon and Werner are members of the Nursing Credentialing Council.
Nurses at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., had many reasons to celebrate during National Nurses Week. Just four months ago, the hospital received Magnet designation, and in recognition of this accomplishment, Lauraine Szekely, RN, BSN, MBA, CNO, senior vice president of patient care services, visited each unit during National Nurses Week and presented an American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet pin to each nurse.

"Today we celebrate one another, our wonderful profession and our Magnet accreditation, which we certainly deserve," Szekely said to more than 100 nurses, administrators and family members at the May 12 nursing awards ceremony. "Nurses are there when life begins to help patients and families celebrate and when it ends, where their final gift is to help ease the pain of passing."

NWH is the only hospital in the U.S. to achieve the American Nurses Credentialing Centerís Magnet status and hold the Planetree hospital with distinction designation, Szekely said.

This year the nurse distinction awards held special meaning for NWH nurses. The awards were named the Janet Harrower Nurse Distinction awards in recognition of Janet M. Harrower, RN, BSN, administrative supervisor of patient care services, who died in the fall.

"Harrower was a role model who mentored nursing staff for more than 35 years during her employment at NWH," Szekely said. "She was respected for her caring and commitment and was loved by everyone. It is fitting that the Janet Harrower endowment fund supports nursing excellence and our annual nurse of distinction awards, and it will allow us to always remember Janet." Family members attended the ceremony, and her two sisters, Patricia McManus and Donna Tompkins, announced the new endowment fund.

The 2012 Nurse Distinction award winners were Christine Hipolito, RN, BSN, CCRN, CPAN, staff nurse, PACU, Experienced Nurse; Maureen Munson, RN, BSN, CEN, staff nurse, ED, Up-and-Coming Nurse; and Cheryl Esson, RN, staff nurse, medical, Physician-Nominated Award.

Jeanine Mitchell, RN, staff nurse, cardiopulmonary; Jennifer Brooks, RN, staff nurse, cardiopulmonary, and Merin Babu, RN, BSN, staff nurse, surgical, were awarded Joan Rizzo scholarships, given annually to nurses who plan to advance their studies.


Given to nurses who plan to advance their professional studies, the Joan Rizzo scholarships were awarded to, from left, Merin Babu, RN, staff nurse, surgical; Jeanine Mitchell, RN, staff nurse, cardiopulmonary; and Jennifer Brooks, RN, staff nurse, cardiopulmonary.
Posters from the shared governance council were displayed all week at various locations, and members of the Holistic Council offered therapeutic modalities to nursing staff during unit visits and at designated locations. During the Midnight Run, night staff received their Magnet pins from nursing administration, integrative modalities and snack breaks at the midnight hour.

"Nurses Week at NWH was particularly meaningful because of our achieving Magnet status and because our nurses have developed professionally in so many ways. Our nurses are lifelong learners, as shown by the increase in the number of RNs who have earned specialty certifications and BSN degrees," said Kathy McNee, RN, MPA, director of nursing education and research and Magnet coordinator at NWH.


Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is a regional reporter. Send letters to editorNJ@nurse.com or post a comment below.