ATI Announces 2015 Nurse Educator With The Nurse’s Touch Award Winners

Oct 12, 2015, 12:57 PM by ATI
We need great nurses today more than ever before. That's why we're recognizing 4 individuals that have the nurse's touch and model it for their students every day.

Great nurses aren’t born. They’re made.

And we need great nurses today more than ever before. They’re the linchpins in a complex and high tech healthcare system that requires them to be a skilled care provider, teacher, confidant, informatics expert, and patient confidant – all during the same twelve-hour shift.

Great nursing starts in nursing school, when nursing students are molded into new nurses by the skill and experience of nurse educators. If the students are lucky, they’ll learn more than the substantive knowledge they’ll need to recognize changes in patients’ conditions and how to respond.

If they’re lucky they’ll learn that how they deliver care can be just as important as their knowledge and technical skill. Understanding how to connect with patients and safeguard their dignity and peace of mind just as much as their physical health. Demonstrating leadership in their actions and words. Interacting with members of the healthcare team professionally and effectively. These are all essential parts to developing the nurse’s touch.

And that’s why we’re recognizing these four individuals. They have the nurse’s touch, and they model it to their students every day. They’re exceptional nurse educators, and we’re honored to introduce them to you.

Patty Beamer – Wichita State University
Ask students what Patty Beamer has taught them and they’ll talk to you about always preserving patient dignity, growing through honest assessments of personal style and traits, and addressing tough issues like death and dying head on. Perhaps this is the best summary of her nomination, “Watching her interact with patients provided a model for the type of nurse I want to be – professional, knowledgeable, approachable, and competent, with a relaxed and respectful confidence.”

Some thanks may be due to the United States Navy, with whom Ms. Beamer served for more than 20 years. During her service she traveled to four continents, 16 countries, and all 50 states. Her practice specialty was maternal/child with certifications in Lactation and Maternal/Child. In 1992, she was commissioned as an officer, the same day she graduated from Wichita State University with her Bachelor’s in Nursing.

After retiring from the military, Patty returned to Wichita State University to complete her Master’s in Nursing as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with a specialty in Psychiatric Mental Health, graduating in 2012. She began teaching at Wichita State in 2010 while obtaining her master’s and was hired as a full time educator in August of 2012.

Danielle Brownlee – Jones County Junior College 
A lifelong resident of Laurel, Mississippi, Ms. Brownlee received her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi. In 2004 she joined South Central Regional Medical Center where she served in the intensive care and medical-surgical units. For more than ten years she has served as a faculty member at Jones County Junior College, where her own career began.

Ms. Brownlee was selected for her commitment to helping students understand their responsibility for the care of the whole person. Says her nominator, “she models and reinforces the need for therapeutic touch as part of nursing care so the patient never feels as if they are alone, and she emulates what a professional nurse should be and ensures students understand that quality, compassionate care to patients and their families remains their top priority.”

Alene Homan - Clearfield County Career Technology Center
During her 30-year career as a nurse, Ms. Homan has served as a nurse clinician specializing in pediatrics, nursing instructor, school nurse, and instructor for patient care assistants. The recipient of multiple nominations, Ms. Homan clearly inculcated a sense of responsibility in her students to view patients almost as extensions of their own family. One student articulated a common theme, “she taught me to take the absolute best care of my patient to treat my patients the way I would want my family members to be treated.” Another remarked that Ms. Homan would teach students the difference between sympathy and empathy, and the latter is what patients deserve.

Ms Homan received her first nursing degree in 1985 from Central Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She received her Bachelor’s in 1997 from Old Dominion University and her Master’s in Education from Regent University is 2003.

Anne Stark – Santa Barbara City College
Anne Stark has been a nurse for 51 years and counting. She has worked at Santa Barbara City College as a nurse educator for 34 years and has been working at the college full-time for the last 15 years. Stark holds a number of titles and degrees including, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from California State University Dominguez Hills, a master’s degree in nursing education with an emphasis on leadership from Regis University, a California Community College Instructor Credential from UCLA, and a Director of Staff Development Certification.

Anne is responsible for creating a thriving learning center that serves over four hundred students yearly. Anne’s guidance in developing the learning lab as more than a “skills center” to a “student-centered learning” center has been recognized by many nursing schools in Southern California who have sent faculty to visit and copy many of the exemplary practices Anne has established.

Each of these four winners will receive a complimentary reservation, room and board, and a $500 travel voucher to attend the 2016 National Nurse Educator Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. The Summit is a four-day professional development conference featuring hundreds of nurse educators from across the country.

To honor their commitment to incorporating professionalism and interpersonal skills into their curriculum, each educator will also receive access to ATI’s Nurse’s Touch™ solution for one year. Nurse’s Touch uses computer simulations, case studies, tutorials, and assessments to help nursing students develop the communication and leadership skills that will help them thrive in the workplace and keep their focus on patient care.