Nurses’ Week Series: Excellence awards affirm value of travel nurses to patient care

This article is part of our Nurses' Week Byline Series which will speak to the important theme of Nurse Safety.

Travel nurses are vital to quality patient care. For National Nurses Week 2016, AMN Healthcare and The Center for the Advancement of Healthcare Professionals are recognizing the importance of travel nurses through the inaugural Commitment to Excellence Awards. Four travel nurses received awards under the categories of innovation, passion, customer focus and overall commitment to excellence.

Travel nurses have become critically important due to the worsening nurse shortage and the growing need for workforce flexibility in this transformative era for healthcare.

Several research reports dating back more than a decade have clearly shown that temporary and travel nurses are equivalent to permanent staff nurses in terms of quality of care, cost and patient satisfaction. Hospitals, health systems and other healthcare facilities are now developing an effective staffing mix of core and temporary nurses in order to provide the best possible patient care.

As part of Nurses Week, May 6 through May 12 -- Florence Nightingale's birthday -- the Commitment to Excellence Awards honor clinicians for their exceptional service. The following four outstanding travel nurses were chosen from among a multitude of nominees whose overall excellence made it difficult to select the winners.

These nurses showed an unwavering commitment to excellence in the nursing profession that goes far beyond their job requirements. The nominations were a testament to the high quality of nurses that AMN Healthcare has on assignment. Included with each nomination was a testimony from a fellow team member about what makes this travel nurse so special.

Congratulations to Commitment to Excellence Awards recipients:

Innovation Award for ongoing pursuit of personal and professional excellence through innovation and the advancement of patient care.

Sean Wallace, RN, BSN, an Emergency Room nurse on assignment at Waterbury Hospital in Waterbury, CT

"Sean is an extraordinary nurse. He has knowledge, experience and truly cares for his patients. He is adaptable to change and is able to see the big picture... Management has been listening to his input about changes that need to be made to make it a better hospital."

Passion Award for exemplifying the highest standards of professional excellence through leadership and extraordinary commitment to service throughout their healthcare community.

Kenny Hancock, RN, BSN, a PCU nurse on assignment at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore

"Kenny embodies what it means to have a passion for nursing... In nursing school, he created a mentor program at our university so that new students would have an experienced graduate to help them along the way. Kenny is passionate about caring for others."

Customer Focus Award for demonstrating an unwavering dedication to the improvement of patient care across all specialties and embodying the core values of the nursing profession in actions and words.

Kimberleigh Harvey, RN, BSN, MSN, a MEDSURGE nurse on assignment at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, NY

"Kimberleigh is ALWAYS positive - no matter what the situation. She handles everything with control and poise. She consistently wins peer-nominated awards at the hospitals where her assignments are - not an easy feat for a traveler."

Overall Commitment to Excellence Award for all of these qualities, and continually striving to improve patient care through education and innovation, displaying an unmatched passion for the profession.

Brianne Carruthers, RN, BSN, a PICU nurse on assignment at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego

"Brianne is perhaps the most compassionate and giving RN I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Her respect for the profession as well as her passion for caring for others is not only inspiring, but humbling. She is a dedicated travel nurse while still juggling her PRN job back home in CO, and her mission work in Nicaragua. She is selfless and brilliant."

Honorable Mention

Jessica Tellier, PICU, RN, BSN. "Jessica navigates her contracts around numerous international medical missions. It seems as soon as she returns, she is already planning/booking her next mission trip. She is caring and selfless in giving so much of her time and medical skills to villages that are severely under developed and cared for! As a Peds CVICU RN, her talent is top notch... and it is wonderful that she gives her time to work with high acuity patients in limited resource areas.

The 2016 Commitment to Excellence Award winners each received a $500 scholarship towards continuing education, a professional conference or certifications; an AMN gift basket; and an engraved award.

Learn more:
Nurse's Week "Culture of Safety" Benefits All Healthcare – Including the Bottom Line
Patient Satisfaction Scores Boosted by Better Nurse Staffing
2015 Survey of Registered Nurses

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