2023 AWARD WINNERS
Nicole began her nursing career in 1999 as an LPN; became an RN in 2003, and has earned a master’s and a doctorate in nursing. As Clinical Operations Director at Duke Regional Hospital, her work is focused on nursing practice, quality and research, and she leads the hospital’s efforts to maintain designation as a Magnet organization. Nicole is also dedicated to community service, participating in numerous projects to support senior citizens, bring the arts to children, provide school supplies and feed the hungry. And after her sister’s untimely death at age 48, she began teaching about the types and dangers of hypertension, and goals for healthier lifestyles, in a variety of settings, including churches, schools, health fairs and family reunions. She speaks from the heart, and her impact is palpable.
Experiencing the loss of a loved one is difficult, but this nurse has used the sudden loss of a sibling at age 48 to pulmonary hypertension to spark a passion for educating others. This nurse educates in a variety of settings to include churches, schools, health fairs, and family reunions, about all of the types and dangers of hypertension. The sessions include explanation of health diseases and realistic goal-setting for a healthier lifestyle. Participants have expressed gratefulness for the focus on the hazards of hypertension in the African-American community. Even though it began from a heartache, this nurse’s ability to communicate honestly is paramount.
Along with educating the public, this nurse is dedicated to furthering nursing with research. For patients to receive the best care, research is needed. Patients are vulnerable as they become human subjects. Maintaining integrity and accountability is a priority for this nominee. Along with the candidate’s daily role, they also have served on the Duke Institutional Review Board. This group assures all research happening within Duke Health is sound. Research studies are examined for strong decision and suitable steps to guard the privileges and welfare of humans participating as subjects in the research. The nurse illustrates the definition of integrity and keeping an ethical tactic and lens at Duke Health.
The candidate not only shares the knowledge within the health system but also outside by being a Magnet appraiser for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The dedication to the profession is clear with presenting at local, state, and national conferences. Disseminating new knowledge to the profession is how health care can change and grow. This nurse has recently disseminated the following posters/presentations: ANCC Magnet Conference podium presenter (2021) – Fostering Transformational Leaders: A Comprehensive Approach; ANCC Magnet Conference poster presentation (2019) A Winning Approach: One Hospital’s Success in Recognizing Success; NCNA conference poster presenter (2019) – Retention: A Focus on Appreciation, Value and Development; AONE conference poster presenter (2018) – Increasing Bedside Nurse Certification; Overcoming the 3C’S.
This candidate is also devoted to supporting the profession of nursing. This candidate is passionate for providing mentorship for those students interested in any health care professions. This RN serves as mentor to many staff members. She assists staff members as they progress in their education or career: presenting school options, reviewing college applications, writing recommendation letters, attending workshops and conferences with mentees.
She took on the new role of Clinical Operations Director for Magnet, Nursing Practice, Research and Quality in 2019. Early on, she set up “speed dating” sessions to brainstorm ideas for the Magnet document. In an innovative approach, she mixed up groups of individuals and had them interview each other. The plan was to use the interview notes to write the stories. Nine months into the role, she was redeployed due to the pandemic, and had to re-imagine how to accomplish the work. Ultimately, she used the redeployment to gather information. While at Wheels for a vaccine clinic, she made notes about the hospital’s efforts in the community and support for Clinical Nurses to give back. While supporting the PPE Observer role, she investigated how supplies were being secured and helped infection prevention choose an appropriate isolation gown for clinical staff, based on their feedback. And, she explored how hand sanitizer was being made, and how N95 masks were being re-processed. This was a new and novel way to pull together evidence for the Magnet document. Writing the document while unable to meet in person proved challenging. She moved the effort to virtual platforms: ZOOM for constant communication; QR codes for sharing information and collaborating with teams across various practice areas and specialties; Teams for resources and information sharing.
This nurse has gotten many people to change their view of nursing. Nursing is a profession to be motivated. This candidate is constantly empowering nurses to engage in nursing research for positive change. While working with the Magnet writing team, this nominee was able to seek out the greatness that happens within the Duke University Health System and spotlight it through Magnet stories. Through this work, the collaboration was constant. The Magnet stories not only highlight the work of nurses, but of all those who help the health system continue succeeding. Many of the non-nursing areas were excited to be a part of the larger document and to share how all areas are needed to keep our patients and staff safe.
This nurse is committed to mentorship. Deciding on where to complete your education can be an exciting but difficult decision. This nominee has built relationships with many nurses. Through the encouraging words of the candidate, the nurses have enrolled in advanced degree programs, received promotions and launched health care businesses. This RN is overjoyed to hear the accomplishments of the next generation of nurses. This is a brief example of the many ways this candidate has mentored people into their dream jobs, roles and education.
This nurse takes pride in being actively involved in professional and community organizations. This candidate understands the importance of promoting the profession of nursing and serving as a resource for other nurses. This person currently is an active member of the following organizations: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society, American Nurses Association, North Carolina Nurses Association Triangle Region, and American Organization for Nursing Leadership. In the past, this nurse received scholarships during academic ventures and was named NCP College of Nursing Instructor of the Year in 2011.
This nurse is committed to the Duke Health team and wants to truly highlight the excellence that exists. What better way than to highlight this nurse’s great work.
DNP, RN, CNL
Clinical Operations Director – Magnet, Practice, Quality & Research
Duke Regional Hospital