Onancock, Va – Compassionate. Dedicated. Teacher. Leader. There are many ways to describe Cheryl Warren, BSN, RN, CCRN. Now you can add 2017 March of Dimes Critical Care Nurse of the Year.
Warren was among a select pool of 90 finalists from which a winner was chosen in each of 18 categories at a Virginia Chapter March of Dimes Gala in Richmond earlier this month. Warren was recognized for her achievements in Critical Care. According to the March of Dimes, the award is designed to “recognize and honor distinguished nurses for their outstanding contributions.”
A registered nurse for the past 32 years, Warren works in the ICU at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital (RSMH). She was nominated by Jeanine Freeze, nurse educator at Eastern Shore Community College and RSMH. In her nomination, Freeze noted not only Warren’s commitment to patient care, but also her passion for educating and mentoring nurses, and elevating the role of nursing in patient care.
Always the teacher, Warren enjoys her role as a diabetes resource nurse, which gives her the opportunity to work with patients to improve their health and, as a result, their lives.
“Teaching comes pretty naturally to me. I just love to learn, and I love sharing my knowledge with others,” she said. One of her of teaching tools for diabetes patient care was so successful, it was implemented at the four other acute care hospitals within the Riverside Health System.
Warren’s sharing doesn’t only apply to patient care. She also enjoys educating and coaching nursing students and fellow nurses. “I’ve been told I have a gift for taking difficult concepts and making them simple.” Through membership on numerous committees, Warren has helped create mentor programs and skills fairs, as well as implement changes to clinical policies that improve patients care and outcomes.
Warren also makes a great student. She recently went back to school after more than 20 years to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Old Dominion University in 2015. It’s an experience that Warren says makes her a more versatile nurse, especially when it comes to care outside of the hospital. “Care for patients does not end at discharge. They need help once they are home again, too.” Warren helps keep community members healthy by providing guidance on managing high blood pressure and diabetes through community events and health fairs.
And as the nursing staff at RSMH pursue their Pathways to Excellence designation in 2018, Warren’s role as Co-Coordinator will be vital to keeping the nursing staff as well as the entire hospital motivated and clear on why the designation is so important.
Pathways to Excellence recognizes health care facilities that have created work environments where nurses can flourish. Nurse satisfaction and retention benefits patient satisfaction and quality of care. “While it’s a nursing designation, it really allows everyone on staff to become a more active advocate for their patients,” said Warren. And providing support to those around her is what Warren is all about.