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ANCC honors Mercy Medical Center RN with Magnet Nurse of the Year award

Wednesday December 11, 2013
The ANCC honored Debra S. Holbrook, RN, as a National Magnet Nurse of the Year award recipient.
The ANCC honored Debra S. Holbrook, RN, as a National Magnet Nurse of the Year award recipient.
(Photo courtesy of Mercy Medical Center)
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Debra S. Holbrook, RN, BSN, SANE-A, FNE-A/P, coordinator of Sexual Assault Forensic Examination program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, was recognized in the Structural Empowerment Category at the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s National Magnet Nurse of the Year awards.

According to a news release, the awards recognize outstanding contributions of clinical nurses for innovation, consultation, leadership and professional risk taking. Awards are presented in each of the five Magnet Model components: Transformational Leadership; Structural Empowerment; Exemplary Professional Practice; New Knowledge, Innovations & Improvements; and Empirical Outcomes. The 2013 award winners were recognized at the ANCC National Magnet Conference in Orlando, Fla.

According to information released by the ANCC, “Debbie’s perseverance and passion on behalf of forensic nursing has changed the way victims of sexual violence are cared for in the United States and around the world. Her advocacy led the federal government to mandate forensic nursing programs across the country and her care delivery model now defines national policy. In addition, her efforts have changed evidence collection methods and screening tools for patients globally. Debbie led research showing that forensic nurses who use an alternative light source can identify signs of strangulation that might otherwise be missed. She is committed to developing forensic nurses and offers community courses to prepare RNs in this area.”

Holbrook founded a Forensic Nurse Examiner Program in Delaware. In 2002, she testified on Capitol Hill before a U.S. Senate Judicial Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs on behalf of the bill that was signed into law in 2005 as the DNA Justice Act. She is the recipient of numerous awards, such as the International Association of Forensic Nurses Pioneer Award.

Holbrook lectures nationally for the Office for Victims of Crime in Washington, D.C., founding Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner programs across the country. She is coordinator of forensic nursing at Mercy Medical Center, which coordinates care to victims of interpersonal violence for all hospitals in Baltimore. She also serves on a national review panel for the Department of Justice to review federal grant awards and is a frequent lecturer.

Under Holbrook’s direction, Mercy’s forensic nursing program now funds the new smartphone app, bMOREsafe, designed to provide victims of sexual assault and domestic violence with instant access to a variety of resources, including medical and police assistance and a crisis hotline.


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