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Meet the 2011 Nursing Image Award Winners

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   November 29, 2011

This year's search for nurse leaders and staff who have helped elevate the image of nursing is over, and two winners, representing exemplary leadership and clinical skill have been announced.

More about them in a moment, but first you should know that  HCPro's 2011 awards honor nurses whose leadership, teamwork, or clinical expertise embodies an image of nursing excellence and contributes to improving patient care, quality outcomes, nurse satisfaction, and the healthcare environment.

Nursing Leadership
Tracy Williams, RN, DNP, is responsible for the nursing care provided in 1,400 beds across the Norton Healthcare system in Louisville, KY, and she oversaw the transformation of this system to a patient- and family-centered care philosophy. The benefits to patients, families, and the system's culture have made Williams the winner of the 2011 HCPro Nursing Image Awards: Image of Nursing in Leadership.

As system chief nursing officer, Williams exemplifies positive leadership by creating a vision and sharing that vision with her colleagues. Her staff report that she inspires and ignites passion to attain goals by developing people as she guides and instructs them in new and innovative ways to care for patients.

"What struck us about Tracy was her action-oriented leadership," said Elizabeth Petersen, associate editorial director, HCPro, Inc., and member of the judging panel. "She's created real, measurable change in her organization and she seems to have found that wonderful balance between practical and visionary management."

The move to patient- and family-centered care increased accountability at all levels: personal, departmental, interdivision, and across the system. It also enhanced transparency, improved outcomes, and created a single standard and language across the system. Since the transformation, feedback from patients, families, and staff has been positive and embracing of the change in practice.

Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at

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