November 24, 2020

November, 2020 DAISY Nurse Leader Award

DAISY-Nurse-LeaderNovember, 2020 DAISY Nurse Leader Award

Heather Alverson, MSN, RN, OCN, ACNP – Clinical Services Manager E7

Please join the Center for Nursing Excellence in congratulating Heather Alverson, MSN, RN, OCN, ACNP for being selected as November 2020 UAMS DAISY Nurse Leader Award recipient!  This award expresses gratitude for courageous leaders fostering an environment where compassion and courage can thrive.

Heather is the Clinical Services Manager on E7 for UAMS and was nominated by two different UAMS co-workers, Jan Stewart and Stacey Temple.   The comments below are taken from their nominations which speaks to each characteristic of an outstanding nurse leader.

Creates an environment where attributes of trust, compassion, mutual respect, continued professional development and ethical behavior are modeled and support.

Heather is a big advocate for the staff on E7.  Her door is always open and at many times during the day, there is a nurse in Heather’s office seeking guidance or taking a break and recharging.  She listens attentively and tries to help solve the issue by either seeing the situation through the other person’s perspective or just by giving advice on how best to handle things.  We are a family here on E7 and she is someone that I not only see as my boss but as my dearest friend.    She excels in empathy and compassion but also maintains a level of accountability to us and her leadership.  I have worked at five different facilities in different states and have never worked on a unit where the staff admires their CSM as much as we do Heather.  I’m grateful to work for such an amazing mentor and leader.

Motivates staff with a shared vision and enthusiasm to achieve better outcomes for themselves and for their patients and families.

I was an RN here on E7, left to do travel nursing, but then decided to come back to this same floor because E7 is family.  As oncology nurses, you have to possess a certain passion beyond nursing.  It requires a passion for understanding, learning, and wanting to improve and that describes Heather.  When E7 began doing allogenic stem cell transplants, we were the only place in Arkansas who offered that to adults.  Heather led the way with education, information, and enthusiasm. To this day, Heather stays involved and updated with our transplants.  She sets an example by rounding with the team every day.  She’s present in our CHAT meetings and she follows up with staff to check progress on issues we’ve mentioned.
When the unit expanded with a new oncology treatment of CAR-T cells, Heather was again at the front lines, especially while the APP was out on leave.  She developed the power points, taught the classes to all areas of the hospital, doing the research and familiarizing herself the information, all the while, leading us and being present for us.  This is something that really stands out to me and shows me who Heather really is.  She has a passion for knowledge and education and wants us to feel competent and knowledgeable.  Heather just makes us all want to be better nurses.  Staff meetings are always upbeat and she has a great way of making even the hardest changes seem not only possible but that the change will help us in the long run.  She wants the best of outcomes for each of our patients and she does what it takes to ensure that they are provided with the best care available.

Promotes and enhances the image of nursing within the organization, the community and the profession included engagement, recognition, and retention.

Heather went to nursing school here, at UAMS, for her BSN and masters.  She worked on our floor as an RN for 4 years until she received her masters and became for 10 years, served as our APP.  After our previous CSM retired, Heather applied for and became our CSM.  Heather’s drive and passion makes her truly special and a great leader.  Heather is quick to recognize staff when they have done something good.  She’s humble and makes sure to shine the spotlight on her staff with “good catches” and “shout outs” in staff meetings and emails.  I myself am a tribute to nursing retention on E7.  Heather was a huge part of that.

Heather is always looking for new things that we can all do as a group to build morale and cohesiveness as a unit.  There are so many days when what we do is emotionally draining and it can lead to burnout.  The emotional toll can become overwhelming.  There are have been times when I have thought about leaving, but it’s at those times that I remind myself of all the good we do here and what an amazing leader we have.  She believes in each of us and promotes each of our talents.  She doesn’t hesitate to let the doctors know how lucky they are that they have amazing nurses taking care of their special patients.  She doesn’t get enough recognition for all the hard work she does behind the scenes.  We all love and adore her and she definitely deserves the biggest Daisy award you can give.

Thank You, Heather Alverson for demonstrating the true values of a DAISY Nurse Leader!

To learn more about The DAISY Nurse Leader Award, please visit: http//nurses.uams.edu.