Clinical Center News
Summer 2022

Surgery nurses receive "TrueNorth" award

Recognized for lifelong learning; advocating for patient safety

Operating room nurses accept award
(left to right) Elizabeth Custis, RN, Dennis Washington, RN, Jessica Turner, RN, Dr. James Gilman, NIH Clinical Center Chief Executive Officer, Myra Henley, OR Nurse Manager, CCND Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Barbara Jordan, Acting Chief Nurse Officer, Karen Holcomb, RN, and Celeste Klutsey, RN
Not pictured: Amber Cleveland, RN, Merlyn Fritschle, RN, Phuong Nguyen, RN and Melissa Wheatley, RN

Presentation of the award to operating room nurses
Presentation of the 2022 TrueNorth Award by Elaine Geroski, president of the board of directors for the Competency and Credentialing Institute, to Myra Henley, Clinical Center OR Nurse Manager.

The NIH Clinical Center Perioperative Nursing staff were honored with a TrueNorth award by the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI), a non-profit credentialing body focused on improving patient outcomes.

The TrueNorth Award recognizes organizations that use certification as a "true north" to guide their perioperative nursing staff to be lifelong learners, models of competent practice and advocates for excellence and patient safety. The NIH Clinical Center was the only perioperative facility selected for the 2022 award.

Operating Room Nurse Manager Myra Henley led the credentialing effort and accepted the award on behalf of the OR nurses.

Acting Chief Nurse Officer Dr. Barbara Jordan emphasized that the Clinical Center's Nursing Department strongly supports specialty certification with financial support for certification exams and renewals as well as specialty certification preparation.

"We are very proud of clinical research nurses in perioperative services and their commitment to excellence in patient care and nursing practice with outstanding patient outcomes. They are most deserving of the TrueNorth Award," said Jordan.

Henley noted that in 2018, the unit set a goal to increase the certification rate for perioperative nursing staff to at least 50%. By 2021, 62.5% of the perioperative nurses were certified.

The nurses were very proud of their accomplishments and overjoyed and honored to be selected as the recipients of the award.

"Receiving this award is such an honor and is important to the NIH CC and CCND because it displays that we are committed to our nurses' lifelong learning, through the support of higher education and the seeking of certification, to enable this group to continue to provide quality and safe care supporting the mission and vision of the NIH," remarked Henley.

"What makes this group so special and well-deserving is our nurses not only prioritize their growth and development; they also display their leadership by becoming peer-champions and supporting fellow staff members in achieving their certification," added Henley.

Henley shared an African proverb at the end of her remarks that she felt reflected her feelings about this group, teamwork and their commitment to achieve the TrueNorth award: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

- Debbie Accame

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