2021 AWARD WINNERS
Clinical Nurse II
Vascular Access Team
Duke University Hospital
DNP, NP-C, AACC, FAANP
Kiera is an outstanding role model who puts an extraordinary amount of effort into her work and education. Kiera is one of eight nurses who helped found a local chapter of the Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing, and has served as director of membership from its inception in 2018. She is the co-author of a published article, “A Case Study: Percutaneous Lung Biopsy and Symptomatic Arterial Air Embolus,” volunteers for multiple organizations, and much more!
You can learn a lot about a person when you work together, and I’ve learned that this is a nurse that prioritizes safety, teamwork, respect, integrity, and caring. Our department is a high flow area, with many patients on the schedule every day of the week. I’ve seen this nurse work tirelessly to ensure every patient receives safe and efficient care. She goes out of her way to facilitate the flow of care by helping other team members and our patients. It may be helping another team member start a peripheral IV, or sometimes it’s assisting the transfer of a patient. While this may not sound that significant on paper, I can assure you it is significant to our patients, and to our team. This is something she doesn’t have to do, but instead chooses to because she knows it’s the right thing. That’s integrity.
She is helping shape her care environment by serving as a charge nurse and by participating on the preceptor committee. She is actively working on meeting criteria for advancement on the clinical ladder. She is one of eight nurses who helped found a local chapter of ARIN (a professional organization representing nurses who practice in our field of work) and has served as director of membership from its inception in 2018. She has presented on issues affecting nurse resilience as part of her nurse residency project. She implemented “no phone zones” into unit break areas and created work events for her team. She is a community health volunteer, working with Raleigh Women’s Shelter, Pride celebrations and marches for the LGBTQ+ community, Urban Ministry, Women’s March, Book Harvest, Duke Heart Walk and Habitat for Humanity.
She works to ensure the healthiest outcomes possible using evidence-based practice. One example includes a rare situation in our department where a patient developed an arterial air embolus. She recognized that a plan of action was needed for events like this and outlined interventions to take in the future. Taken from an article she co-authored: “Given the potentially harmful nature of air emboli, it is important that a plan of action is formally developed to ensure early recognition and treatment. Patient positioning will differ between venous and arterial air embolism. With venous air emboli, the recommendation is left lateral decubitus or Trendelenburg position, and for arterial air emboli, it is supine or right side lateral decubitus with steep Trendelenburg positioning.” She is never afraid to question how we do things, prioritizing patient safety and quality care using evidence-based practice.
Her mentoring approach with others serves to help them think through critical processes in a supportive manner in order for them to attain their goals. Her help during an emergency and collaboration with her teammates led to the development of a case study outlining evidence-based practice. This case underscored the importance of bringing our best together from multiple DUH teams to ensure a safe outcome. I can say from personal experience, her mentoring approach is nothing short of excellent. She is supportive, respectful, caring, and helps others think critically to grow as a nurse. Every day, she collaborates with others to achieve patient care goals and facilitate safe and efficient care.
Working closely with her as a preceptee and a peer, I have seen her demonstrate the elements of Swanson’s Theory with our patients and team members. This includes:
- Knowing or striving to understand a specific event.
- Being with, or in other words she is emotionally present and empathetic with others.
- Doing for, as time after time I’ve seen her do for the patient as they would do for themselves if they were able.
- Enabling, such as facilitating the patient through life transitions which are unfamiliar to them (ex. going home with something new in their body).
- Lastly maintaining belief, as I believe she sustains faith for our patients and helps them get through the process.
She is the kind of nurse who is never afraid to question how we do things, prioritizing patient safety and quality care using evidence-based practice. This nurse is driven with passion to carry the heart and art of nursing into the future by carefully building herself and others on a foundation of compassionate care.