Monday, October 27, 2014

KU Hospital nurse awarded National Magnet Nurse of the Year Honor

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – For the second time in three years, a nurse at The University of Kansas Hospital has been named one of five National Magnet Nurses of the Year by The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the same organization that awards Magnet status on hospitals.

Debbie Pennington, RN, BSN, clinical program coordinator for the nation’s first Neonatal Medical Home, received the honor today at the ANCC National Magnet Conference in Dallas.

While most neonatal ICUs provide follow-up care, those services usually target specific treatments, such as the child’s growth or lung health.  Pennington helped establish the Neonatal Medical Home to take a broader approach.

In addition to those specialties, neonatologists in the medical home provide primary care, such as immunizations, lab draws and other well-child services.

Pennington said the clinic sees about 700 patients through age 5, most of them ‘graduates’ from our NICU. The clinic's staff is a single point of contact for these medically complex children.  The clinic has achieved remarkably high levels of immunization rates and visit compliance rates.

Pennington said the impressive results reflect the relationships parents developed with physicians and others on the healthcare team during their babies’ first days in our NICU.

“It’s all about continuity,” she said. “As their children age, parents like knowing they can continue to see the same providers and specialists. Our goal always is to provide as much service as possible within one clinic visit.”

“Debbie’s work with the Neonatal Medical Home illustrates what nursing is all about,” Tammy Peterman, RN, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer of The University of Kansas Hospital said. “She and her team knew that parents of premature infants were having to shuttle between physician offices to keep their children healthy.  She and Dr. Prabhu Parimi formed a great partnership to solve the problem by creating a one-stop medical home.  It has been a tremendous aid to parents and their children.”

The Kansas City Royals have named the Neonatal Medical Home as the recipient of the clubs Royals Charities Diamond of Dreams for two years running.

In 2012, Melanie H. Simpson, PhD, RN-BC, OCN, CHPN, coordinator of the Pain Management Resource Team at The University of Kansas Hospital, was been named one of five National Magnet Nurses of the Year.