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Charles George VA Health Care System Receives 2019 ANCC Pathway Award®

Shannon McClendon, 301-628-5391

LaRia Land, 301-628-5174

SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has awarded Charles George VA  Medical Center (CGVAMC) the 2019 ANCC Pathway Award®, sponsored by Cerner. Located in Asheville, North Carolina, CGVAMC serves veterans living in Western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina and Georgia, and Eastern Tennessee.

The $25,000 ANCC Pathway Award® honors a project proposal in a Pathway to Excellence® designated organization that demonstrates innovation and technology to create a positive nurse practice environment. The monetary award — supported by Cerner, a global leader in health care technology — will be used to further implement and expand the project. This year's award was presented on April 25 at the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference® in Orlando, Florida.

“This award highlights innovation in nursing and the commitment to creating an environment to deliver better care for the patient,” said Eva Karp, DHA, MBA, RN-BC, FACHE, senior vice president and chief clinical and patient safety officer, Cerner. “Congratulations to CGVAMC, whose inventive use of virtual reality will help their nurses excel across the health system.”

CGVAMC’s winning proposal uses virtual reality (VR) immersion therapy as an alternative for alleviating pain and anxiety, improving the patient experience, and decreasing opioid usage in post-operative orthopedic patients. During a VR immersion therapy session, patients spend approximately 30 minutes in one of several three-dimensional, computer generated relaxation environments that offer interactive breathing exercises, muscle relaxation techniques, and a VR painting option. Envisioned by Caitlin Rawlins, a CGVAMC nurse during her first year of practice, the medical center currently plans to expand the program beyond orthopedics to benefit veterans on other units such as short-term rehabilitation, hospice and long-term care. CGVAMC is the first VA Medical Center to use VR in this capacity.

“Innovation like this, especially from a first-year RN, is characteristic of the idea generation that real shared governance can engender,” said David Przestrzelski, chief nurse executive,  CGVAMC.  “From Day One, nurses at CGVAMC understand that any idea to improve care for our Veterans could be a great one and they will be supported to explore existing evidence and create new evidence.  Ms. Rawlins optimized that opportunity.” 

“The fact that CGVAMC is serving an extremely deserving population, our nation’s service men and women, makes this achievement even more momentous. We look forward to seeing how lives are changed because of this program,” said Rebecca Graystone, MS, MBA, RN, NE-BC, vice president, ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® and the Pathway to Excellence® Program. “We are thrilled to work with nurses at our Pathway hospitals who are dedicated to transforming patient care and our health care system.”


About the Pathway to Excellence® Program: The Pathway to Excellence® Program recognizes health care and long term care organizations for positive practice environments where nurses excel. To qualify, organizations meet Pathway Standards essential to an ideal nursing practice environment. Nurses trust that Pathway-designated organizations respect their contributions, support professional development, and nurture optimal work settings.

About ANCC: The mission of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, is to promote excellence in nursing and healthcare globally through credentialing programs. ANCC's internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialty practice areas. ANCC recognizes healthcare organizations that promote nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes while providing safe, positive work environments. In addition, ANCC accredits healthcare organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education and accredits transition to practice programs and prepares nurses for new practice roles. For more information about ANCC, visit us at and follow us on Twitter. ANCC is the only nurse credentialing organization to successfully achieve ISO 9001: 2015 certification.

About Cerner: Cerner’s health technologies connect people and information systems at more than 27,500 contracted provider facilities worldwide dedicated to creating smarter and better care for individuals and communities. Recognized globally for innovation, Cerner assists clinicians in making care decisions and assists organizations in managing the health of their populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help manage day-to-day revenue functions, as well as a wide range of services to support clinical, financial and operational needs, focused on people. For more information, visit Cerner.comThe Cerner Blog or connect on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or The Cerner Podcast. Nasdaq: CERN. Smarter Care. Better Outcomes. Healthier You.

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