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National Magnet Nurse of the Year Honor Comes to Nurse at The University of Kansas Hospital

Published: 11/19/2012

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Melanie H. Simpson, PhD, RN-BC, OCN, CHPN, coordinator of the Pain Management Resource Team 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.

Melanie Simpson, Magnet Nurse of the Year

The ANCC said Simpson is “described as an innovator and role model by her peers, Melanie Simpson has dedicated her nursing career to the prevention and alleviation of pain. She incorporates evidence-based pain management strategies into practice. Certified pain management nurses meet with patients, identify risk factors, and collaborate in order to provide individualized treatment plans. Simpson also founded the Coalition for Comprehensive Pain Management, in which hospital clinicians and representatives from the university and schools of medicine, nursing, and health professionals convene quarterly to discuss the latest evidence-based pain management research. She uses her breadth of clinical knowledge to educate others about evidence-based pain management.”

Leaders at The University of Kansas Hospital noted nurse-led pain management programs are rare, but so are nurses like Simpson.

“Melanie is someone who has put the comfort of the patient at the top of her priority list. She is not only an advocate for successful pain management for patients but a role model for nurses on how to use skill, knowledge and passion to make a difference at the bedside and beyond,” said Tammy Peterman, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at The University of Kansas Hospital.

As for Simpson, she noted the award is a thrill but so is the satisfaction she gets every day.

“It is certainly overwhelming to receive a national recognition for years of hard work. But, I am rewarded every day when I see patient’s pain eased or provide a resource to a caregiver on how to make a patient more comfortable. I get to see hundreds of nurses at the hospital every day who are working to make a difference in patient’s lives. I look at awards like these as belonging to the entire nursing staff who put patient care first,” said Simpson.

It is the second major national nursing honor to come to The University of Kansas Hospital this fall. The hospital is among the first three academic hospitals in the nation to receive a new honor bestowed by the National League for Nursing (NLN). A new award category created by NLN recognizes health care organizations by establishing a new category: Creating Workplace Environments that Promote Academic Progression of Nurses. This type of honor was previously only given to nursing schools. The University of Kansas Hospital received its award for its incentives, programs and policies that encourage nurses to get advanced degrees.

As an example, Peterman noted, Melanie Simpson has her PhD.

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