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ANCC Announces Recipients of the 2021 National Magnet Nurse of the Year® Awards

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 National Magnet Nurse of the Year® Awards. The awards, which were presented during the 2021 ANCC National Magnet Conference® and the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference® in Atlanta, recognize the outstanding contributions of clinical nurses in each of the five Magnet® Model components: Transformational Leadership; Structural Empowerment; Exemplary Professional Practice; New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements; and Empirical Outcomes.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2021 National Magnet Nurse of the Year® Awards:

Transformational Leadership: Tracy Morrison, MSQA, BSN, RN, FELSO
A clinical nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton OH, Tracy Morrison has spent the last 22 years transforming the depth and breadth of clinical bedside nursing. Through autonomous practice and consultation, she and her colleagues have developed, evaluated, and shared best practices that reduce newborn mortality and morbidity associated with early birth. Morrison has forged interdisciplinary relationships not only at the local level, but also nationally and internationally, to improve quality outcomes in NICUs everywhere. In addition, she provides high-quality simulation education to new and experienced NICU nurses to prepare them to care for the most challenging and complex cases. Morrison fosters a culture of excellence and inspires others to follow her example to elevate bedside nursing and make a difference.

Structural Empowerment*: Denise Abdoo, PhD, MSN, CPNP
Dr. Denise Abdoo is an international leader and mentor in the field of child abuse prevention. As a multilingual Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) on the Children’s Hospital of Colorado Child Protection Team, she has improved the identification and treatment of sexually exploited and assaulted children not only in Colorado but around the world. Her contributions to policy work and systems change are unprecedented. She built Colorado’s only pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program and recruited, educated, and mentored nurses for this specialized practice across the Mountain West region. Over five years, the program grew from treating 13 patients to treating 70.  In addition, Dr. Abdoo developed web-based education to optimize opportunities for and mentorship of SANE-credentialed nurses at CHCO, CU College of Nursing, and in the community. She and her research team also validated a tool used in the pediatric emergency department (ED) to better screen high-risk adolescents for sexual exploitation.
*Sponsored by PALL Corporation

Exemplary Professional Practice*: Jennifer Moran, MS, RN, APRN-Rx, ACNP-BC, SCRN, CNRN
Jennifer Moran is the lead advanced practice registered nurse for the neuroscience acute care NP team and a stroke coordinator at The Queens Medical Center in Honolulu, HI. In collaboration with the hospital’s intensivists, she initiated round-the-clock neurocritical acute care NP coverage, which has significantly reduced door-to-needle time (the time between arrival at the hospital and the start of treatment) for stroke patients. Her initiatives also include integration of a virtual neurological consultation in the West Oahu ED, with a charge nurse identified as Stroke Code Leader, and a dedicated bed for stroke patients in the Punchbowl ED. Through Moran’s leadership, The Queen’s Medical Center was the first and only hospital system in Hawai'i to achieve Comprehensive Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission, meeting rigorous standards for high-quality, lifesaving stroke care.   
*Sponsored by EBSCO Health

New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements: Christine Wetzel, DNP, MSN, RNC-NIC, IBCLC
A clinical nurse at the Carle Foundation Hospital NICU in Urbana, IL, Dr. Christine Wetzel designs and conducts research, evaluates nursing practices, and develops innovative tools that have improved the care of newborns in NICUs across the country. She led the creation of the NICU’s first evidence-based nursing risk awareness instrument for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a potentially deadly abdominal infection that can impact premature babies. The tool, later known as eNEC, increases early detection and fills a practice gap in neonatal nursing. Throughout her 28-year nursing career, Dr. Wetzel has been a passionate advocate of the importance of breast milk. She recently introduced the Evaluation of Mother’s Own Milk (eMOM) guide to help mothers and nurses assess breast milk production during the first month of a preterm infant’s life.

Empirical Outcomes: Ellen Harvey, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, TCRN, FCCM
Dr. Ellen Harvey is an advanced practice surgical nurse at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, VA, where she focuses on improving and advancing care for neurotrauma patients. When she noticed current EVD-related practice varied from evidence-based neuroscience guidelines could be contributing to higher infection rates among patients with external ventricular drains (EVD), Dr. Harvey assembled and led an interdisciplinary task force to create a new, evidence-based bundle of care. It includes use of strict asepsis, minimization of line manipulations, equipment standardization, and formal nursing education and competency validation. The result was an immediate and sustained drop in EVD infection rates from 24.7/1000 EVD device days to zero. In addition, this nurse-led, infection-free culture of safety is projected to save the hospital more than $700,000 in the first year alone.


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 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 ANCC, Magnet is the leading source of successful nursing practices and strategies worldwide.


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