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ANCC Announces 2016 National Magnet Nurse of the Year® Award Winners

SILVER SPRING, MD — The American Nurses Credentialing Center National Magnet Nurse of the Year® awards recognize the outstanding contributions of clinical nurses for innovation, consultation, leadership and professional risk-taking. Awards are presented in each of the five Magnet® Model components: Transformational Leadership; Structural Empowerment; Exemplary Professional Practice; New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements; and Empirical Outcomes. The 2016 award winners were recognized at the ANCC National Magnet Conference® in Orlando. ANCC thanks Silver Sponsors GE Healthcare and Mölnlycke Health Care for their generous support of the National Magnet Nurse of the Year awards. The winners are:

  • Transformational Leadership: Anne C. Boatright, MSN, RN, SANE, Nebraska Methodist Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska

Through dedication, advocacy and tenacity, Boatright transformed the way care is provided to victims of violence in her community. As the coordinator of the only forensic nurse examiner program in her region, she built a team that provides around-the-clock care to patients. In four years, she grew the Methodist Heidi Wilke Forensic Nurse Examiner Program from 15 nurses to a staff of 30. With specially trained forensic nurses, her organization realized a 230 percent increase in patient volume in three years. Boatright serves on county sexual assault and domestic violence response teams, and she provides education and training to police and fire departments, advocacy agencies, and area hospitals and schools. She serves on Nebraska's human trafficking task force, and works with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on active human trafficking sting operations.

  • Structural Empowerment: Barbara M. Richardson, MSN, RN-BC, CCRN, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Bennington, Vermont

Richardson, a champion for transitional care nursing, serves patients in a rural, medically underserved region that encompasses three states. She partners with local primary care providers to identify at-risk patients and helps patients navigate from one care setting to another. Richardson created a support network within the community, establishing partnerships with mental health services, Meals on Wheels, and the Support and Services at Home Program, which provides support to individuals who choose to live independently at home. She collaborates with a community care team that works on decreasing emergency department visits. These efforts have resulted in a 69 percent decrease in hospitalizations and a 26 percent decrease in ED visits for patients enrolled in the program. As a result of its work, the transitional care team was awarded a $200,000 innovation grant from the state of Vermont.

  • Exemplary Professional Practice: Sharon A. Vanairsdale, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, NP-C, CEN, Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia

As the program director for Emory's Serious Communicable Diseases Unit, Vanairsdale develops and maintains standard operating procedures to care for patients with a variety of highly infectious pathogens. In 2014, the SCDU cared for America's first patients diagnosed with Ebola. Since then, Vanairsdale has focused on the education and training of health care workers at Emory and hospitals across the nation. She assisted with developing courses on Ebola treatment and preparedness protocols, and successfully trained over 600 clinicians and public health professionals. The success of the training led to the development of the National Ebola Training and Education Center, a collaboration between Emory Medicine, Nebraska Medicine, and New York City Health and Hospitals. As a result, Vanairsdale directed the training of an additional 350 health care professionals. Vanairsdale creates curriculum for the center's free educational offerings for health care facilities throughout the world.

  • New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements: Christi D. DeLemos, MSN, CNRN, ACNP-BC, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California

DeLemos' contribution to new knowledge and innovation is exemplified by her development of a mobile application designed for nurses who care for patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury and other neurological impairments. The goals of the app are to enhance bedside care through instant access to neuroscience nursing information, and to increase nursing confidence when caring for neurological patients. The mobile app was developed over a one-year period, and was reviewed by an international committee of nurses. Launched in 2015, the free Neuroscience Nurse mobile app has been downloaded by more than 1,700 users in 19 countries. A committed educator, she also produced and directed a 30-minute professional teaching video that has been translated into 10 languages and distributed in eight countries worldwide.

  • Empirical Outcomes: Colleen K. McIlvennan, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colorado

McIlvennan cares for critically ill patients with advanced heart failure, heart transplants and mechanical heart pumps called left ventricular assist devices. She generated groundbreaking research encompassing patients' and caregivers' emotional, rational and fundamental beliefs when considering an LVAD. The resulting data was published in three high-impact, peer-reviewed journals targeted at nursing, cardiology and surgical colleagues who implant LVADs. This work led to the development of two innovative decision aids, an eight-page pamphlet and a 26-minute video that are being used by LVAD programs across the U.S. and Canada. These efforts led to a $2 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. McIlvennan's pilot work and testing of the decision aids has led to national recognition from the American Heart Association and the Heart Failure Society of America.

About the Magnet Recognition Program®
The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice. Consumers rely on the Magnet designation as the ultimate credential for high-quality nursing. Developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Magnet is the leading source of successful nursing practices and strategies worldwide. US News & World Report utilizes the Magnet designation as a primary competence indicator in its assessment of almost 5,000 hospitals to rank and report the best medical centers in 16 specialties.

About ANCC
The mission of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), is to promote excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs. ANCC's internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialty practice areas. It recognizes health care organizations that promote nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes, while providing safe, positive work environments. In addition, ANCC accredits health care organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education. It also offers educational materials to support nurses and organizations as they work toward their credentials.

ANCC is the only nurse credentialing organization to successfully achieve ISO 9001:2008 certification in the design, development, and delivery of global credentialing services for nurses and healthcare organizations. For more information, visit


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