On May 7, Karen Drenkard, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN, executive director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center, kicked off National Nurses Week celebrations at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., with an inspirational presentation on the transformative powers of nursing leadership.
“We need to unleash our collective power to make change, call for a new way of thinking, share our vision and sense of belonging with colleagues, and lead people where they need to be,” Drenkard said.
Transformational leadership means leaders work with others by providing inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and a connection to the “bigger picture,” Drenkard said.
As part of the opening ceremonies, 23 finalists were recognized and three winners were announced: Nyla Saoud, RN, BSN, CCRN, staff nurse, CSICU, as the Rising Star; Minerva Manalili, RN, BSN, CCRN-CSC, staff nurse, CSICU, as the Nurse of the Year; and Mary C. Collins, RN, MSN, ACNP-BC, nurse practitioner, Heart and Vascular Institute, as the Nursing Leadership Excellence recipient.
Ann Marie Leichman, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, vice president and CNO at Valley, thanked RNs for what they do every day, recognizing their caring, patient advocacy and leadership. “We have much to be proud of and our accomplishments are many, as indicated by the fact that we have 65% of our nurses with baccalaureates; by our 91% response rate on the NDNQI survey; and by our efforts to increase nurses time at the bedside,” Leichman said.
Bedside reporting not only improved patients and families understanding of their illnesses and treatments, but nurses also found that it gave them more time back at the bedside. They saw their patients earlier in the shift and they were able to review their care plan for the upcoming shift, Leichman said.
With the Nurses Week theme of “Advocating, Leading, Caring,” Valley nurses brought the “show on the road” by offering educational programs to colleagues on various units during meal breaks. Each “show” began with an inspirational video followed by a series of presentations on medical missions, holistic nursing, tips and tricks on test-taking, research projects and the “m” relaxing technique. Other events included the Blessing of the Hands, Pamper Nurse Day, a drumming circle and health fair certification celebration.
In the spirit of caring for others, Valley RNs sent 24 boxes with more than 500 pounds of supplies and goodies to the troops in Afghanistan and donated money that would have been spent on RN gifts to the Compassion Fund, a fund available to needy employees of the facility.
“Nurses Week is a special time to recognize Valley nurses who are committed to and passionate about their work and the profession,” said Susan Apple, RN, BSN, NE-BC, NICU, PICU, pediatrics nurse manager and chairwoman of the Nurses Week program. “I had the pleasure of working with dedicated nurses on the Nurses Week committee who put a lot of time and energy into making this week a great success.”