VA Maryland Health Care System
VA Maryland Health Care System Observes Nurses Week with Awards Ceremony
(BALTIMORE, MD) The Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System will observe National Nurses Week (May 6-12) with an awards ceremony on May 7, at 3 p.m. in the auditorium at the Baltimore VA Medical Center. Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, will deliver the keynote address on the future of nursing. During the ceremony, nurses will be honored with the VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and the 2012 DAISY Award.
"We consider our nurses—the largest of our workforce at more than 900 strong, of which 700 are RN’s and Nurse Practitioners—to be the compassionate backbone of our health care system,” said Dennis H. Smith, director of the VA Maryland Health Care System. “We are thrilled to honor the dedicated men and women who have mastered the art and science of caring for our nation’s heroes with compassion. No other health care professional is closer to the Veterans we serve than VA nurses. Our patients rely on them for their compassion, and the VA relies on them for setting the highest clinical care standards.”
The VA Maryland Health Care System’s nursing staff includes licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, health technicians and nursing assistants who serve Veterans at three inpatient facilities and six community based outpatient clinics throughout the state. During the ceremony, four nurses will be recognized as the VA Maryland Health Care System’s winners of the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing. Of the four winners, two will be recognized as the awardees for the VA Capitol Health Care Network, with the nurse that is named as the national VA Secretary Award recipient selected from the pool of Network winners.
The VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing consists of three major categories: Excellence in Nursing, Advancement of Nursing Programs by a Medical Center or Health Care System Director, and Advancement of Nursing Programs by a Medical Center or Health Care System Nurse Executive.
During the ceremony, one VA nurse will also be recognized as the DAISY Award recipient. Established by the DAISY Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to eliminate diseases attacking the immune system – in memory of J. Patrick Barnes – the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses recognizes the very special work nurses do every day.
The ceremony’s keynote speaker, Janet Allan, who has served as dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing since June 2002, has emerged as a leader in nursing education. She has collaborated with nurse educators and health care providers to develop the Nurse Support Program II, a 10-year grant program providing $10 annually to fund educational initiatives aimed at alleviating the state’s shortage of faculty and bedside nurses. Dean Allan is one of nine nurses in the nation honored by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health for contributions to the care of people with AIDS and HIV infection. Allan created a hospice for HIV/AIDS patients that serves as a national model. Many students from the University of Maryland School of Nursing rotate through the VA Maryland Health Care System as part of the VA’s commitment to the training of tomorrow’s clinicians.