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ANCC Announces 2021 Pathway Nurse of the Year Award Winners

Keziah Proctor, 301.628.5197

Shannon McClendon, 301.628.5391

SILVER SPRING, MD—The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) today announced the recipients of the 2021 Pathway Nurse of the Year™ Awards.

The awards recognize the outstanding contributions of one direct care nurse and one nurse leader from all Pathway to Excellence®-designated organizations around the world. Winners have made a positive impact on their practice environment and demonstrated remarkable skills while working collaboratively with team members and integrating clinical expertise with compassionate patient interactions. The awards were presented at the 2021 ANCC National Magnet Conference® and the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference® in Atlanta.

Pathway Nurse of the Year, Nurse Leader: Jaclyn Carr, MSN, RN, PCCN, Chief Nursing Officer & Vice President Patient Care Services, OhioHealth

Jaclyn Carr is a compassionate and patient-focused nurse leader, recognized for her ability to solve large-scale, complex problems with effective solutions. She was nominated by Laurel Janning, BSN, RN, Manager of Nursing Excellence at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital and endorsed by OhioHealth Doctors Hospital Chief Nursing Officer & Vice President of Patient Care Services, Lindsay Osting, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC. At the time of her nomination, Carr was Director of Inpatient Nursing.  She has since been promoted to Chief Nursing Officer & Vice President of Patient Care Services.

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated in 2020, Carr led the creation of a surge hospital at the Greater Columbus Convention Center that connected workers from central Ohio’s three major health care systems and provided 1,200 beds to COVID-19 patients. She also played a key role in quickly establishing 10 COVID-19 vaccine clinics at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, where thousands of community members and hospital associates have received their vaccinations.   

Carr worked with an interdisciplinary team to establish the Doctors Hospital Short Stay Unit, which allows patients requiring long-term IV antibiotics to remain outpatients. This innovative care model is now being considered for implementation across the OhioHealth system. Her leadership of a system-wide inpatient fall reduction initiative resulted in a 41% drop in falls within one year. She implemented a Universal Bed protocol at Doctors Hospital, which has reduced length of stay, improved care continuity, and increased patient and nurse satisfaction.

Carr is a dynamic force in her community, too. She created a nursing clinic for homeless men in central Ohio, served as a certified instructor for Stop the Bleed, and collaborates with Columbus City Schools to teach elementary students fundamental life skills. 

“Jaclyn is a collaborative, active, engaged, and compassionate nurse leader who embodies the Pathway Standards,” Osting said. “She does excellent work, always seeks to improve the work she does while she does it and makes sure to engage key stakeholders each step of the way, so that our patients receive the best care and our nurses provide it in the best environment.”

Pathway Nurse of the Year, Direct Care Nurse: Joell Tadlock, BSN, RN, CCRN

A clinical nurse leader at the four-time Pathway-designated Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Stephenville, TX, Joell Tadlock consistently demonstrates competency, leadership, and desire for professional advancement – all factors embedded in the Pathway Standards. She integrates clinical expertise and compassion, “nursing out loud” so her patients always know what is happening to them and why.

Through her extensive council and committee work, Tadlock collaborates with colleagues in the hospital, the community, and the country to improve patient care. As a delegate to Nursing Congress, she was instrumental in developing the diabetes ketoacidosis protocol in use throughout the Texas Health system, which standardizes treatment for diabetes patients with this serious complication. Likewise, she is diligent about making sure nurses’ voices are heard. She relays information from Nursing Congress to the hospital’s nursing councils and gathers feedback from clinical nurses to share at delegate meetings.

Tadlock chairs the hospital’s Professional Practice Council, which focuses on shared decision-making, relationship building, and consensus development. She is a passionate advocate for continuous learning, collaborating with the Nursing Career Advancement Program chair to promote career development among her peers. She is equally committed to certification, both for herself and other nurses. As a Fellow in the Texas Health Research Fellowship Program, she is principal investigator on a project to address barriers to certification in rural communities.

Tadlock was nominated by Kerry Parkinson, MHA, BSN, JD, RN, and endorsed by Cynthia McCarthy, DNP, MBA, MHA, RN, NEA-BC, CEN, Chief Nursing Officer at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital. “Joelle is a consummate nurse who lives the Pathway to Excellence Standards in every way,” McCarthy said. “She is a dedicated, well-respected, and thoughtful resource at our hospital and throughout our community.” 


About the American Nurses Credentialing Center
The mission of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, 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. ANCC 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 and accredits transition-to-practice programs that prepare 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 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.


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