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39-year nursing veteran earns Nassau-Suffolk Hospital County honor


Nurse leaders from Long Island’s hospitals and nursing education programs gathered May 21 at the Woodbury Country Club, Hauppauge, N.Y., to recognize nurse peers at the Nurse of Excellence Award Ceremony, hosted by the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council.
One nurse from each of the council’s member hospitals was nominated for the award, which recognizes outstanding leadership and clinical practice. Deans of local nursing schools also submitted nominations recognizing nursing excellence in education.
Renee Gilchrist, RN, BSN, a cardiothoracic intensive care nurse at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y., rose above a field of 26 nurse nominees from across Long Island.
A 39-year nursing veteran, Gilchrist works in a 23-bed open-heart surgery unit.
Gilchrist said many of these complex patients were experiencing skin breakdown on their heels. This motivated Gilchrist to partner with the hospital’s skin care team to trial a device to address the problem. The intervention ultimately resulted in a 50% decrease in skin breakdown in patients on the cardiothoracic ICU.
Gilchrist also initiated a research study to determine why some patients on her unit developed pressure ulcers. Her work revealed that some of the medications used in surgery, kidney disease in the postop period, and the length of the surgery may be related to the development of pressure ulcers.
Gilchrist has advanced to clinical ladder three at her facility. She is one of only 3% of North Shore nurses to have attained level three.


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