Fifteen years ago, Joan Bretschneider, PhD, RN, helped created shared governance at HUP, a structure which championed — and ultimately changed — the role of nurses as decision makers. To honor her dedication and leadership, an award named in her memory was created, to recognize a nurse whose leadership contributions exemplify this excellence.

This year, the honor went to Elizabeth Carnall, BSN, of Staffing for All Seasons.

As chair of the SFAS unit council, Carnall was the impetus behind the increase in nurse certifications, which validate nurses’ competency and mastery of knowledge in specific nursing areas, such as in critical care or maternal/newborn care. According to the nomination letter, her support and commitment “allowed for certification rates among SFAS to increase by almost 10 percent for 2019. Currently, SFAS surpasses the hospital percentage of certified nurses with greater than 50 percent certified.”

Carnall also advocated for quality improvement initiatives. For example, she worked to get hand hygiene data consistently measured and reported out hospital-wide to improve compliance and decrease hospital-wide infection rates.

In addition, Carnall helped put together HUP’s Magnet application for 2020. “Liz possesses an incredible talent in writing and her professional vernacular makes her a highly desired team member,” the nomination noted.

“Liz seamlessly juggles her committee responsibilities and also finds time to preserve her clinical skills working at the bedside. Liz truly embodies all the qualities for the Joan Bretschneider Shared Governance award.”

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