UF Health celebrates award-winning nurses during National Nurses Week

Published: May 5th, 2014

Category: Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In honor of the patient-centered work of its 3,500-plus nursing staff, UF Health will recognize these dedicated caregivers and showcase their successes during National Nurses Week, May 4-10.

In 2013, the nursing staff at UF Health Shands earned its third consecutive Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. One of the health care industry’s highest honors, the designation acknowledges outstanding nursing excellence and quality care. UF Health Shands hospitals and programs are among only 104 Magnet organizations nationally to have earned at least three designations from the center.

“It is an honor to work with such dedicated, caring, expert nurses and support staff,” said Irene Alexaitis, UF Health Shands Hospital chief nursing officer and vice president, nursing and patient services. “Our nursing teams are here 24/7 assuring our patients receive quality care in a supportive, healing environment. I want to personally recognize each of them this month.”

Last year 136 registered UF Health Shands nurses earned specialty board certifications and 100 earned a nursing degree. Alexaitis credits their expert care for helping make UF Health a top-tier organization for nursing care.

UF Health will recognize its nurses during a special awards ceremony and reception celebrating unit and individual accomplishments at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, in the Health Professions, Nursing and Pharmacy auditorium on the University of Florida campus. Other events include a community project in which nursing staff will collect food to fill weekend backpacks for area schoolchildren.

UF Health Shands nursing by the numbers:

•           More than 3,500 nursing staff, including 2,794 registered nurses

•           624 nurses, have served at least 15 years with UF Health

•           1,412 nurses have earned at least a bachelor’s of science or higher degree in nursing

•           649 registered nurses have earned at least one specialty board certification

•           UF Health Shands nurses average at least nine years of experience

•           As of 2014, six UF Health Shands nursing teams earned a Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. They are:

            Gold level

          UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital 4 West Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit team

          UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital 5 West Trauma/Lung Transplant Unit team

            Silver level

          UF Health Shands Hospital Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit team

          UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital 4 East Surgical Intensive Care Unit team

          UF Health Shands Hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit team

            Bronze level

          UF Health Shands Hospital Post Anesthesia Care Unit team

•           20 percent of all Beacon Award winners in Florida work at UF Health.

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