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Rush RN chosen as Clinical Nursing, Inpatient regional winner



Melissa Browning
Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
Rush University Medical Center, Chicago

Browning stood alone at the podium May 15 as the winner of the Clinical Nursing, Inpatient category in Greater Chicago.

She made it clear, however, that the journey to the Nursing Spectrum 2012 Nursing Excellence Award included plenty of company.

“I haven’t done this alone,” said Browning, a clinical nurse specialist in the surgical ICU. “I’m very humbled to have won this award. I think I’m stunned.”

Praised by nurse and physician colleagues for her kindness, caring, skill and leadership, Browning is equally thankful to those around her each day at Rush.

“I really enjoy working with the whole multidisciplinary team … and just making a difference with the care we provide to our patients,” she said. “I appreciate that (my colleagues) are all there because they want to make a difference in the lives of all our patients and the families. They’re always eager and enthusiastic to take on new practices if they know they’re evidence-based and also going to make a difference.”

Her nominator noted that Browning is key to nurses’ development on the unit. Browning regularly mentors SICU preceptors, new orientees and clinical grad students to help them acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in order to offer top-notch care to patients.

In addition, she conducts impromptu inservices on unfamiliar procedures and infrequently used equipment, such as lumbar drains and peritoneal dialysis, while also serving as an education resource when it comes to new technology at the medical center.

Browning has been instrumental in helping the unit achieve a national Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. She was the primary author for the SICU’s Beacon application and helped form several unit-based committees, including one dedicated to work on the Beacon process.

“The overall theme of the Beacon is using evidence-based practice and improving patient outcomes,” she said. “I think it shows the story of how we’ve achieved those, and it also highlights how the unit excels in improving patient outcomes and providing the best care possible.”

Barry Bottino is a regional editor.


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