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Mid atlantic region wocn nurse of the year

2011 Nurse of the Year ~

Cindy Walker, RN, BSN, CWOCN

Cindy WalkerCindy works as a WOCN in an acute care setting within the Department of Nursing Professional Development. The facility sees the role as dual, meaning half delegated as education and development and half delegated as clinical consultant. Cindy is able to find this balance and demonstrate competence in all aspects of the role.

In the past three years Cindy has worked at Bayview, she has served as an active mentor for our Skin/Wound Resource Team unit champions. She helps them to develop and implement evidenced based performance plans. In 2011, Cindy was named a regional finalist by the Nursing Spectrum for Excellence in the area of mentoring. She was nominated by her boss, Dr. Mary Ann Greene, who recognizes her exceptional qualities.

Cindy has organized our “Skin in September” multidisciplinary education sessions for the past two years. The events include a vendor fair, so that the staff can have access to the vendors of our wound and skin care products to ask questions and see demonstrations. Skin in September programs this year also include presentations by our legal team regarding the implications of hospital acquired pressure ulcers and a wheelchair seating educational session with a local expert for our Occupational and Physical Therapists. The Patient Care Technicians had a special session with a pressure ulcer prevention video and games. The Skin/Wound Resource Team presented the year’s evidenced based performance improvement projects at Nursing Grand Rounds, attended by staff nursing and leadership. Cindy coordinated and organized all of these programs, which have been well received by the staff.

In 2010, Cindy was named Johns Hopkins Bayview Nurse Educator of the Year for her endeavors. She is well respected in the facility for her hard work, organizational skills and ability to motivate those around her. Cindy serves as an expert wound and ostomy clinician and her opinion are well received by those with whom she coordinates care.

Cindy is very active with the Baltimore affiliate WOCN. In 2009 and 2010, Cindy served as co-chair of the committee that presented a community nursing workshop on ostomy care. The Ostomy Care Best Practices workshop had participants from all care settings. The workshop has sold out for the past two years and the participants have demonstrated increased knowledge as demonstrated by pre and post testing. Cindy had a key role in curriculum development and operational organization of the workshop. Cindy also presented at the Baltimore affiliate Pressure Ulcer Prevention, Assessment and Management Workshop in 2011.

Currently, Cindy is working with a small group within the Baltimore affiliate WOCN to improve the continuity of care regarding ostomy patients who are seen by WOCN’s in various settings. A survey was developed by the group to identify gaps in care. A form was then developed by this committee and presented to the group that has basic information that every ostomy care provider needs to know about the patient’s educational progress and necessary equipment. The form should be filled out and provided to the patient to present to the next care provider. For instance, the form will be filled out by the WOCN at the hospital where surgery was performed, and then the patient will present the form to the home care nurse. The home care RN will then fill out a form to present to the outpatient ostomy clinic RN. This will help to provide continuity of care for the patients, promoting patient and RN satisfaction.

Cindy developed and submitted a poster to University of Maryland EBP Conference April 2011 on pressure ulcer prevention through the use of a “skin bundle”. The poster was awarded the Dean Janet Allan Distinguished Poster Award for exceptional scholarly merit. The ABC’Skin Bundle was also presented by Cindy via a webinar presented by University HealthSystem Consortium with participants from throughout the nation. Cindy was able to present the information in a clear and concise manner within the one hour webinar scope. A poster is currently being developed by Cindy and peers to present at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference in November. Cindy avidly shares evidenced based information with peers and maintains a high level of professionalism.

Cindy is also a joy to work with. She possesses a quick wit and is a very kind and thoughtful person in general. She enjoys time with her family and pets. Her son recently graduated from college and her daughter is a sophomore in college in North Carolina. Cindy enjoys gardening and cooking. Cindy represents the best of Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing.

Dear MAR WOCN colleagues,

While picking up my nametag at the Rocky Gap registration table, I was presented with the ribbon indicating I had been nominated as WOCN of the year. At that moment, I was excited about the nomination but pretty much disregarded the advice given by the registration assistants to have a speech ready. All the Google searches about award recognition stress how important composure and confidence are in your ‘once and done ‘acceptance spotlight. If you were there, you know I was ill prepared for receiving the ‘WOCN Nurse of 2011 Award’. Speech no, tissues yes. Days later I am still having difficulty organizing my thoughts to adequately express the honor this award entails and what it means to me.

Recently, I was cleaning out some files at home and came across a 1999 DelMarVa Dimensions. In 1999, affiliate, regional and national WOC communication was via this printed newsletter. Can you imagine no emails, conference calls or smart phones? In this particular edition, Sue Currence was regional president and Diane Krasner was ET of the year. There is a great picture of Brenda Hensley, too. As editor of DelMarVa Dimensions, Lolly McCance asked me to submit my thoughts as a new 1999 WOCN. In this piece, I identified three “ET”s Sue Currence, CeCe Rund and Fay Lay who had significantly inspired my journey to WOCN-hood. These ladies were my heroes. They continued to inspire me over the years along with other WOCNs I would meet along the way. My fellow nursing colleagues, nursing leadership and the patients that I have encountered in home, outpatient and acute care added to my motivation and practice. My professional growth and development is an accumulation of all these exposures. As I accepted the ‘WOCN of the Year Award’ and looked out to audience between the tears, my single thought was I am blessed to be surrounded by excellence in my WOCN and nursing community. The award could be bestowed to anyone out there as I do the same things that all of you do – all in a day’s work. Despite all the technology at our fingertips, no mentorship or passion app exists. These timeless attributes were there when we communicated in print and are still there today. They cannot be engineered or integrated into a database. Passion will remain the fuel of our organization’s future. Passion with experienced mentorship will continue to raise the benchmark in all we do and can do for our patients regardless of what technological advances emerge. This is why what we do matters so much.

Please accept my gratefulness for this extraordinary award and know that it is a reflection of all those who have provided such positive professional influences. Thank you, Rachel and Joan for your kind nominations. Thank you, Chris, Cameron and Christiana for all your support. Thank you, God for all the opportunities and the passionate mentors you have placed in my path.

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Cindy Walker

2011 Nominee Profiles

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