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UTSW surgical specialty nurse honored as Nurse of the Year

UT Southwestern Medical Center Surgical Specialty Nurse Dawn Brown has been named Nurse of the Year for her innovative solutions and effective management of patients. The national award by Press Ganey recognizes one outstanding direct care nurse who has gone above and beyond in their role and demonstrated innovation, transformation, and collaboration that supports an exceptional patient experience.

Brown, clinical manager of the Surgical Specialty Unit at UT Southwestern’s flagship William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, received the award Wednesday at Press Ganey’s National Client Conference in Orlando, Florida. Press Ganey is a national consulting firm specializing in health care performance.

“It absolutely couldn’t have been done without the team I’m with,” stated Brown, M.S.-M.A.S., B.S.N., RN, NE-BC, in a press release. “That’s the truth. What won the award is the sustained patient satisfaction results in the area of pain management. We’ve had really good pain management results for eight quarters now. That’s very hard to sustain without teamwork – from nurses, PCTs, our secretaries – everyone.”

The recognition involved crafting successful pain management strategies for patients, said Service Coordination Director Renee Bailey, MS-MAS, MS, B.S.N., RN, CNOR, who nominated her. “She took the crucial first step of listening to feedback from patients.”

UT Southwestern Chief Nursing Executive Susan Hernandez, M.B.A., B.S.N., RN, said the improvements were important contributors to delivering patient-centric care at the hospital, which is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Dallas-Fort Worth, second in Texas, and included among the top 50 programs nationally in six clinical specialty areas, according to U.S. News & World Report. UT Southwestern University Hospitals also recently ranked among the nation’s safest hospitals based on composite safety scores including risk of infection, risk of falls, and patient satisfaction with hospital staff with an A grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national hospital safety consulting firm.

“Dawn is a voice for the patients and fiercely advocates for their needs. She has a proven record of inspiring staff and driving culture to improve the experience of our patients,” Hernandez stated. “As a Magnet organization, it is our commitment to improve lives through excellent patient care, and Dawn Brown exemplifies this commitment.”

UT Southwestern nursing holds the Magnet designation, the highest honor awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The designation means nurses are nationally recognized for providing excellent, evidence-based patient care, are advancing their practice through research and professional development, and are respected by their colleagues for the important role they play on the patient care team.

“Dawn’s thoughtful attention to her patients, her proven leadership skills, and her ability to successfully collaborate with other care team members resulted in this success.  We are very proud of Dawn, and her commitment to the consistent delivery of exceptional, patient-focused care sets a great example for us all,” stated Dr. John Warner, vice president and CEO for University Hospitals.

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