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#GEMawards


Excellence in Education and Mentorship


An RN who contributes to nursing’s body of knowledge through formal nursing education, skills training or continuing education, or who guides, supports or infl uences nurses’ career development in meaningful, measurable ways through the art of professional nursing.


Kathleen Atwell, MSN, RN-BC


Education Coordinator, Education Department


Texas Health Huguley Hospital-Fort Worth South Burleson


Excellence in


Executive Leadership


An RN who is well-known and respected as a visionary, innovative leader and change agent; who moves the profession forward through work in patient care administration, education or research; or strengthens the profession through other professional activities, endeavors or contributions.


Pamela Dotson, MBA, RN, NEA-BC


Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services/ CNO


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


Memphis, Tenn.


The new six-story tower that Atwell enters each day reminds her of a recent, signifi cant professional accomplishment.


Atwell worked with education, clinical informatics and inpatient units’ staff , assessing needs and assisted in creating a six-week-long training period before they moved to a new tower within the facility, which opened in August.


“The cohesiveness of the groups involved in working together to accomplish this despite hiccups, at times, was awesome,” Atwell said.


Her path to her education started when she was a clinical nurse specialist in cardiovascular and critical care. “Functioning in that role for several years had the most direct impact on my professional journey,” she said. “The opportunities to lead, mentor, practice and educate were endless. To me it was an exhilarating experience and a springboard for advancing my own knowledge and skill base.”


Atwell added serving as adjunct faculty in local universities to provide guidance and direction for other aspiring nurses in graduate school also has helped her grow professionally. “If one searches for them, opportunities in the profession are endless,” she said.


14 Visit us at NURSE.com • 2016


Dotson, who said she was “speechless” when she heard she was a GEM winner, considers her role to promote and support staff nurses.


“In healthcare, there are plenty of barriers to practicing nursing the way we know it should be done,” she said. “But tackling barriers and solving problems are what nurses do best.” This underscores what Dotson sees as one of her most notable contributions to nursing: the recognition her staff received last year when achieving Magnet status.


Dotson also takes great pride in witnessing her nurses’ eff orts to advance their practice. “Seeing nurses seeking evidence to improve outcomes for their patients is so rewarding to me as a leader,” she said.


To aspiring leaders, she advised, “Focus on what makes you passionate about nursing and don’t lose sight of it. We need strong, committed leaders who are passionate and driven to tackle those barriers so the bedside nurse can provide the best care their patients deserve. If you fi nd yourself getting discouraged, don’t leave nursing. Find another area where you can renew the passion within yourself.”


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