In 2014, Nurse.com debuts a new honor as part of the GEM Awards. The Rising Star Award recognizes a nurse with fewer than five years of experience who is making a difference in the profession. This year’s New England winner is:
Thao (Tiffany) Costanza, RN, BSN
North Shore Medical Center
Costanza has practiced nursing for about three years on an orthopedic and neuro unit, and in that time she has emerged as a leader. According to her nominator, Costanza is not only knowledgeable and skilled in patient care but also strives each day to create a better environment for her patients and colleagues.
Costanza is described as someone who quickly mastered nursing and time management skills, unlike many others with the same experience level. Patients and staff consistently comment on her warmth and compassion and her ability to juggle multiple tasks with ease. In her short time as a nurse, she has demonstrated her awareness of the needs of the patients and the unit as well as the profession.
Costanza recognizes the changing world of healthcare in a way few other nurses with her experience level can understand, according to her nominator. She knows that in order to make a difference in patients lives, continuing education is invaluable, so she decided to enroll in a nurse practitioner program.
Caring for a patient with complex wounds, she partnered with the wound care nurse to ensure she provided the best patient care possible and carried out each step of the dressing change process precisely and appropriately. After meeting with the wound care nurse, Costanza created and shared a PowerPoint presentation with all of the nurses caring for the patient, in which she described and pictured each step of the process.
For two years, Costanza has been a member of the facilitys Joint Commission Champion committees, in which she reports on tracer activity. She has educated unit nurses about Joint Commission standards, creating and sharing computer-based presentations on infection control practices with them.
Costanza is well respected on the unit and other nurses and support staff know she will gladly help out whenever needed. Costanza is an asset to nursing already and will be for years to come, according to her nominator.