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I am very pleased to nominate our amazing Director of Nursing, Angela Severson, for BrightStar Care Nurse of the Year. Angie started with our branch 3 years ago as Assistant Director of Nursing and quickly proved that she was able to take on the role of Director of Nursing, which she has held since December 2012.
We have a stand-up banner of the BrightStar Care Core Values in our reception area and also have them on every one of our desks and I see Angie demonstrate each and every one in her day to day interactions with clients, caregivers and our office team . We all know that the DON job is very challenging – balancing caregiver needs, client needs, owner needs and regulatory needs – yet Angie always remains Open and Positive in all her interactions. She is a tremendous clinical leader for our field staff and works very closely to mentor and teach the staff to help Bring Out the Best in them. Whether an individual staff member might be struggling with a certain element of their skills and need some one-on-one coaching or providing a CEU to the staff in a clinical area that she has observed has become a more prevalent need among our clients, Angie is always striving to make a difference for our staff and clients.
Last Fall, we had a major change in our state licensing requirements , which were already quite extensive, requiring an even higher standard of requirements for training, documentation and other requirements for our practice. At the same time, we were due for our first full Joint Commission re-survey. Angie spent countless weekends and evenings in the office with our new state requirements, the Joint Commission Standards, and the BrightStar standards all laid out side-by-side so she could go thru the incredibly detailed process of reading them all and making sure our procedures were updated to reflect the highest standard we would be held to – either by the state or Joint Commission- on each requirement which required a re-write of many of our procedures. The state was still developing and interpreting their own expectations of these new rules well into the summer, so there was very little time to implement them from the time we received the information from the state. Angie made all the necessary updates to our procedures to be ready for our office’s October 10th (based on license renewal date) implementation date. As a true test to all of Angie’s great work, the Joint Commission showed up just a few weeks later on November 4th. The re-survey went off without a hitch! The surveyor was very complimentary of our procedures and adherence to Joint Commission Standards and there were no survey findings identified nor were there any Requirements for Improvements! While everyone on our team certainly plays a part in such a great result, it is by far Angie’s superior leadership and hard work that lead the office staff and the field staff to this great result.
Angie is not only a great leader for our branch, but she is also a leader among the other Twin Cities BrightStar Directors of Nursing. It is not unusual for one of the other office’s to have a clinical question related to the appropriate implementation of standards of practice, and they will reach out to Angie for guidance.
Angie is always striving for ways to improve our already great care that we provide to our clients. She has very detailed data tracking and implements improvement plans whenever she sees quality slipping in specific areas of client care that she tracks and monitors (ie handwashing, catheter cares, caregiver documentation etc.) She also tracks employee performance issues such as late arrival to shifts, excessive call-offs of shifts and provides the necessary coaching to employees as she sees a pattern developing. She also tries to “catch” employees doing a good job and sends hand written thank you notes when she sees improvement in an area or sees something really great in an employee’s performance. Angie is always striving to Make it Great!
Angie treats each of our clients as if they were one of her own family members. She goes out of her way to take extra time with a client to make sure they are taken care of even if that means spending some extra time with family members when opening a hospice case to help them better understand what is happening with their loved one. Many times, we beat the hospice nurse to the family’s home and Angie makes sure they have the supplies they need and medications are set-up, if appropriate, and the patient and family are comfortable before she leaves.
There have been numerous times when we have a 24/7 client that absolutely cannot be without coverage and Angie has given up her own time with her family on weekends or at night (even overnight) when we had a last minute caregiver call-off. In one case in particular, knowing the client and family had very specific expectations about what caregivers we could send, Angie would interrupt her personal time to fill in – more times than I would have liked for her own sake – but she always puts our clients first to Make a Real Difference for them. Angie will often say, “I love my clients!”. And I hear the same comments back from our clients and their families on a regular basis.
I could list each and every one of our Core Values and give more examples of how Angie exemplifies each one. But the truly amazing thing about Angie is how she does such an incredible job as our Director of Nursing in a completely humble and understated manner. She leads thru her quiet competence and passionate yet humble manner. She Serves with Passion every day and in all her interactions. She is respected for her knowledge and passion for providing superior care for our clients and her personal need to Do the Right Thing and always strives to Make it Great. She holds herself to the highest of personal standards which she appropriately holds everyone around her to.
I highly recommend Angie for the BrightStar Nurse of the Year. There is no one I would rather have leading our clinical staff and providing care to our clients than Angie. Angie represents the BrightStar Higher Standard of Care in every way!