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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Childress Regional Medical Center has received the Small Healthcare Organization award from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing.
“We’re the only rural hospital in the whole United States to win this award,” said hospital CEO Kevin Latimer. “It’s a big deal for our ER.”
The board, which is the benchmark for board certification across the emergency nursing spectrum, honored the hospital for its commitment to emergency nursing excellence through specialty nursing certification, according to a release from the board.
Chief Nursing Officer SuLynn Mester said the ER nurses earning specialty nursing certifications are Rayna Knox, Victoria Eds, Michelle Blount, Kate Schaefer and Shelly McWhorter.
“My nurses are rock stars,” Mester said. “I’m so proud of them. They’ve done this themselves by pursuing these special certifications.”
Latimer said the hospital provides an annual education allowance. Each year, $800 is given to employees for continuing education hours and to help employees maintain certifications.
The hospital’s Board of Directors made this commitment to learning and education years ago, Latimer said. If employees want to go above and beyond, they just turn in their receipts.
“Our ER nurses go the extra mile, the extra step to get the higher, specialized certification,” Latimer said. “We save more lives because our nurses are more educated.”
With 42 percent of its emergency RNs holding the Certified Emergency Nurse and a mission to be the best rural facility in the state of Texas, the hospital assists new hires with certification readiness and goal setting from day one, a release from the board for emergency nursing stated. The hospital also celebrates certified nurses with formal banquets and rewards RNs with a pay increase for each national certification they hold.
“Education makes us better and helps us take care of people,” Latimer said. “It’s the commitment of our hospital from the top to bottom.”
Latimer said it’s the commitment the hospital makes to learning and being better that earned this award.
“Being recognized on a national level with this BCEN award, Childress Regional Medical Center is proud to show our community, our patients and our rural facility peers across the country that we are committed to providing optimal emergency nursing care,” Latimer said.
And it is care Latimer’s family has experienced. He said when he took his son to the ER, knowing the people he worked with would care for his son provided him peace.
“When I had walked through those doors, I had this peace,” he said. “I saw familiar faces, and I had this feeling of peace.”
Mester said she would not hesitate for them to work on her or her family.
“They work so hard and don’t always get the recognition they deserve. This award makes it a little more transparent how hard they work,” Mester said.
In addition to hospital receiving the Small Healthcare Organization award, the University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, N.Y. won the Large Healthcare Organization award and Life Link III in Minneapolis, Minn. is the Large Healthcare Organization winner.
In its release, the board stated the organizations are considered a standout for the ways they encourage, support, reward and recognize certification and how they describe the positive impacts of certified emergency nursing practice.
“To the benefit of every patient and community they serve, these organizations are all in when it comes to ensuring their emergency, trauma and transport nurses practice at the top of their specialty,” said BCEN Executive Director Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC. “The persistence that this year’s honorees and their extraordinary nurses have shown in their commitment to certification through the pandemic is remarkable.”