1. Curto, Christine BSN, MS, RN, IBCLC


The ANCC National Magnet Nurse of the Year(R) awards recognize 5 outstanding clinical nurses in Magnet(R) designated organizations who demonstrate outstanding contributions in nursing leadership, professional practice, innovation, and research. The awards represent the 5 components of the Magnet Model: transformational leadership; structural empowerment; exemplary professional practice; new knowledge, innovations, and improvements; and empirical outcomes.


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Each spring, the call for the Magnet Nurse of the Year(R) (MNOY) nominations is released on the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) MNOY Awards website (SDC 1, Nominations are submitted through the online submission website, which details nomination information and provides instruction to guide nominators through the process. The nomination must be assigned to 1 of the 5 Magnet Model components and consists of


1. the nominee's resume;


2. a signed narrative essay describing the contribution(s) the clinical nurse nominee has made in the context of the identified Magnet Model component, how the clinical nurse nominee's contribution(s) exemplifies excellence, and the resulting nursing impact in the organization, region, and/or nation or world; and


3. the chief nursing officer's letter of endorsement of the nominee's contribution(s) as well as comments to emphasize why the nominee should be chosen as the National MNOY.



This column spotlights the recipients of the 2021 ANCC Magnet Program(R) National MNOY awards who were recognized during the co-located ANCC National Magnet Conference(R) and ANCC Pathway to Excellence(R) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 11-13, 2021. The award recipients and their achievements are listed hereinafter.


Transformational Leadership: Tracy Morrison, MSQA, BSN, RN

Tracy Morrison is a neonatal ICU (NICU) staff nurse at Premier Health Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio. Tracy has influenced local, national, and international nurses who provide care in the NICU and adult ICU. As NICU quality coordinator, Tracy Morrison leads this interdisciplinary team's involvement with the Vermont Oxford Network. The team has driven quality outcomes in projects such as alarm safety, infant thermoregulation, breastfeeding, support of infants and mothers in neonatal abstinence syndrome, and reducing chronic lung disease with targeted oxygen saturation monitoring. Tracy is a recognized authority on the provision of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for the critically ill infant or adult. Tracy, one of the founding members of the international Extracorporeal Life Support Organization, teaches nurses, physicians, and perfusionists best practices in the provision of ECMO support in the United States and Europe (SDC 1, A true role model, she has mentored nurse colleagues in the care of critically ill infants for 22 years, providing training to ensure beginning and continuous competency. Tracy demonstrates there are no limits for bedside nursing and that the role has great power to make a critical difference for patients.

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Structural Empowerment: Denise Abdoo, PhD, CPNP, PNCB, SANE-A/P


Sponsored by PALL Corporation

Dr Denise Abdoo is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner on the interprofessional Children's Hospital of Colorado (CHCO) Child Protection Team. Dr Abdoo has dedicated her career toward comprehensive evidence-based practice, nursing research, and advocacy for strategies to combat child sexual assault, exploitation, and human trafficking (SDC 1, Dr Abdoo developed and leads the pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) program at CHCO to meet the needs of pediatric/adolescent survivors of sexual assault and exploitation. This program uses a novel approach with victim-centered care focused on pediatric development beyond forensic evidence, which includes follow-up with infectious disease specialists, the Child Protection Team, and behavioral health within 7 days of the patient visit. Dr Abdoo implements structural empowerment through professional growth opportunities and mentorship of SANE nurses. She developed Web-based education to optimize participation from nurses across the state and led the development of evidence-based guidelines to include postexposure prophylaxis and follow-up protocols for pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus, and sexually transmitted infections. Abdoo focuses on staff well-being by providing resiliency programs for clinicians working in this emotionally challenging role.

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Exemplary Professional Practice: Jennifer Moran, MS, RN, APRN-Rx, ACNP-BC, SCRN, CNR


Sponsored by EBSCO

Jennifer Moran is the lead advanced practice RN (APRN) for the neuroscience acute care nurse practitioner team and stroke coordinator at The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Because of her leadership, The Queen's Medical Center was recognized as the 1st comprehensive stroke center in Hawaii by The Joint Commission. In collaboration with intensivists, Jennifer initiated 24/7 neurocritical care nurse practitioner coverage, which directly reduced stroke patient door-to-needle time (DTNT) (SDC 1, Her outcome-driven initiatives include integration of virtual neuro consultation, a creative team engagement strategy, and a dedicated bed for stroke patients in the emergency department (ED). Whereas the national DTNT goal for acute ischemic stroke patients is 60 minutes, the time in Queen's ED with Jen's leadership is 18 minutes. The dedicated ED bed for stroke patients created the capacity to receive and readily treat any acute ischemic stroke patient. The change decreased the average door-to-stroke codes for patients arriving by a private vehicle from 19 to 6 minutes. In addition, noticing a delay in oral intake for stroke patients due to a backlog in swallow evaluations performed by speech therapists, Jennifer collaborated with the speech therapists to implement a Yale swallow screening tool and a nurse-driven protocol to safely assess and evaluate stroke patients, thus decreasing time to oral intake and length of stay while increasing patient satisfaction with this patient population.

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New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements: Christine Wetzel, DNP, RNC-NIC, IBCLC

Dr Chris Wetzel is a Level V clinical nurse and advanced expert in the 48-bed, Level III NICU at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. Her passion is evident through the outstanding care she delivers and her research on premature infants, human milk, and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and the microbiome, as well as the education she provides her patients, families, and coworkers. On the basis of her observations in practice and the need to find ways to improve outcomes for neonates at risk for NEC, she is focused on collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to develop strategies to prevent the onset of this disease. Dr Wetzel designed an evidence-based nursing risk awareness tool for NEC. This was a seminal work, as it was the 1st NEC/feeding tolerance tool to be developed and used by any NICU clinician.1 Dr Wetzel quickly discerned that the eNEC tool she designed could be used as an educational instrument for the mother. Her research on maternal, infant, and nutritional factors affecting the microbiome continues to be disseminated at national conferences and publications.

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Empirical Outcomes: Ellen Harvey, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, TCRN, FCCM

Dr Ellen Harvey is an APRN in the Department of Surgery, specializing in neurotrauma, at the Carilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial Hospital, in Roanoke, Virginia. In June 2020, the clinical nursing team in the neurotrauma ICU noted a persistent problem with external ventricular drain (EVD)-related ventriculitis. As a neuroscience expert, Dr Harvey identified an opportunity to improve EVD-related practice when she noted practices at Carilion Clinic varied from evidence-based neuroscience guidelines. Dr Harvey engaged and led a team of pediatric and adult nurses, neurosurgery medical staff, pharmacy, quality improvement, the technical services group, and infection control to establish an evidence-based EVD/intracranial pressure monitoring bundle of care. Practice changes included discontinuing routine EVD culturing, consistently using strict asepsis, minimizing line manipulations, standardizing equipment, developing a monthly EVD dashboard, conducting weekly multidisciplinary EVD rounds with nursing, integrating a formal EVD-related ventriculitis review process, and performing formal nursing EVD education and competency validation. The result was an immediate and sustained drop in monthly EVD-related ventriculitis rates from 24.7 per 1000 EVD device days to zero and, after practice changes, has been sustained at 0 for 15 consecutive months.

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1. Wetzel C, Naberhuis J. Nursing and partnerships in clinical research: validation of a scoring tool (eNEC) to identify infants with risk factors for feeding intolerance and necrotizing enterocolitis. Carle Selected Papers. 2016;59(2). [Context Link]