The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has announced the recipients of its annual Circle of Excellence award, which include Denae Sims, director of Critical Care Services, Odessa Regional Medical Center. She is one of only three nurses from Texas to be honored this year.
The 16 nurses who receive the 2022 Circle of Excellence award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses are noted for their solution-oriented approaches to challenges, including reducing healthcare-associated infection rates, improving the work environment, and helping their organizations and communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Criteria used to evaluate Circle of Excellence award candidates include relentless promotion of patient-driven excellence; strong communication skills; true collaboration; effective decision-making; meaningful recognition of others; ability to transform thinking, structures and processes; and ability to address challenges and remove barriers to excellent patient care and achieve visible results through leadership.
“Denae was first promoted to Interim Director of Critical Care at ORMC as the second wave of the pandemic was starting. She tirelessly worked to open an additional 16-bed COVID critical care unit, then another 10-bed COVID stepdown unit, as well as manage the existing 10-bed critical care unit,” said Carol Cates, Chief Nursing Officer at ORMC. “Sims is a brand-new director, but you would not know it. She is a natural leader. Staff satisfaction is high, turnover is low, and despite the pandemic, she has kept the quality metrics in her department exceeding the national average. She mentors her staff in the art of nursing: being a patient advocate and a lifelong learner. Sims’s colleagues respect her for her compassion, leadership and skill.”
AACN’s Circle of Excellence award aligns with the association’s mission to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. They will be recognized during AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Houston, May 16-18.