Nursing Excellence

WCA Hospital recently announced that Debra S. Swanson, R.N., BSN, WCA Hospital staff development educator, was named the 2013 Nurse of Distinction at a special breakfast held in celebration of National Nurses Week.

The distinguished tradition at WCA Hospital began in 1989 when Elaine Hoglin was selected the first “Nurse of Distinction.”

WCA Hospital awards the distinction to an outstanding registered nurse who exemplifies the mission and vision of WCA Hospital. The award is given to a nurse who displays outstanding achievement; is a role model; possesses professional standards and leadership skills; is an advocate for healthcare and the nursing profession; and is involved in his or her community. The honoree is nominated by his or her colleagues and selected by the Nurse of Distinction Committee comprised of recipients from previous years.

“Nurses are a vital part of our healthcare team,” said Betsy T. Wright, WCA Hospital president/CEO. “During our National Nurses Week celebration at WCA, we pay homage to the commitment and dedication of our nursing profession and salute our staff for their continued passion and excellent care to our patients and the communities we serve.”

In announcing Debby as this year’s recipient, Ann Downing, R.N., MS, vice president of nursing at WCA Hospital, reflected on the accomplishments at WCA over the past year. “Debby is a very important part of the WCA team. She is responsible for coordinating education for our hospital. She stays abreast of educational updates and shares that information with employees. She plays a vital role in keeping the nursing staff current in the latest care delivery. Debby is very deserving of this honor and it is our pleasure to recognize her this year.”

“I feel so honored to be recognized today,” said Debby who began her career at WCA Hospital in August 1978. “I want to extend my thanks to those who nominated me for this distinction. There are so many nurses at WCA Hospital who are deserving of this prestigious honor who provide care to our patients everyday. I am truly humbled to join a group of outstanding individuals.”

A graduate of Southwestern High School, Ms. Swanson received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Niagara University. An experienced and exceptionally skilled nurse, Debby worked as a clinical level III staff nurse and flight nurse for the hospital’s Emergency Department for many years. She currently serves as the staff development educator at WCA, coordinating and facilitating the educational and training needs for employees and health professional staff. Additionally, Debby facilitates the American Heart Association’s BLS, PALS, and ACLS training programs.

She resides in Jamestown, and has three grown children, Lori, Craig and Katie. A devoted nurse, Debby is involved in her community through the LINKS Pink Walk and other health activities in support of the betterment of the region.

Award finalist for the 2013 Nurse of Distinction was Karen Watson, R.N., Special Care Unit. The program included recognition of: Lynn Zakowicz, R.N. 4D, Kathy Ramey, Wound Care Center; Amy Baker, nurse aide, and Jessica Currie, R.N., 4D; who were presented the distinguished Employee of the Month honors from WCA over the past year. Donald Holm, R.N., surgical nurse, was acknowledged for 40 years of service at the annual Employee Recognition Dinner held annually in tribute of employees’ service and care to the patient.

Previous Nurse of Distinction recipients include Elaine Hoglin, Julie Anderson, Mary Sue Pawlak, Michelle Benson, Carol Nelson, Kathleen Cayer, Sue Crytzer, Toni DeAngelo, Ruth Yancey-Walton, Joann Nelson, Joyce Devine, Sandra Gilebarto, Ralph Hamby, Karen Beck, Wendy Beckerink, Charity Carris, Donna Bryant, Jennifer Zabalo, Mindy Moore, Erica Alekson, Michele Deuble and Diane Rickard.