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Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2017 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine highlights the unsung heroes of the health care field: our Excellence in Nursing honorees, chosen by our panel of distinguished nursing professionals.



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For many who enter the profession, the appeal of nursing is the dynamic nature of the field. As evidence-based research yields new best practices, every nurse must be prepared to adapt. The days of doing what has always been done simply because it’s what has always been done are gone. With so much opportunity for improvement, nurses are known to push each other to learn more, do more and be more.

While that drive makes for better, more adept nurses, the downside is the frequent turnover the field often experiences. Unlike previous generations, today’s bedside nurses do not typically stay in one job for the duration of their careers. And as a flood of baby boomer nurses approach retirement age, demand continues to grow.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports nurse employment will grow by 20 percent over a decade by the year 2022. More than half a million nurses are expected to leave the labor force in that time, but growth in the field is expected to create a need for 1.13 million new nurses. With two of western Pennsylvania’s largest healthcare employers, UPMC and Allegheny Health Network, announcing significant expansion plans, that need is absolutely going to grow locally.

As the region faces these challenges, this year’s second annual Excellence in Nursing honorees are setting the example of how to make the future of the field as bright as possible in a wide variety of settings and disciplines.
 

   

Educator John O’Donnell of the University of Pittsburgh is shaping the future with a hands-on approach to simulation technology. Advanced Practitioner Francis Feld of UPMC Passavant has applied his skills in the hospital setting, in the classroom and in parts of the world ravaged by disaster. Clinician Jordan Sosko is helping her pediatric oncology patients explore holistic approaches to managing their symptoms. In her role as a home hospice nurse with Allegheny Health Network, Community Nurse Karen Ricci never hesitates to go out of her way for her patients and their families. Emerging Leader Amber McGeehan heads up the operating rooms at Heritage Valley Beaver and the Heritage Valley Surgery Center with each and every patient at the forefront of her mind. Leader Tami Minnier is making sure every person cared for in the UPMC system has the best experience possible in her role as chief quality officer.

Their above-and-beyond dedication to their field makes each an ideal example for future generations of nurses.  Read more about them in the pages that follow.
 

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