St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Names Nurses Of Distinction
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital recognized four nurses for the 1199SEIU annual Nurse of Distinction Awards. The honorees are: Donna Foy, RN, Nurse of Distinction; Nadege Celestin, RN, Preceptor of Distinction; Christine Steiger, RN, Novice Nurse of Distinction; and Gwen Pinckney, RN, Nurse Leader.
Nominated by their peers, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Department of Nursing sends one nurse’s name in each category to compete in the region-wide 1199SEIU Nurse of Distinction Awards, which are held in May and coincide with National Nurses Week. St. John’s has been honored to have two city-wide Nurses of Distinction selected by the Committee – Debra Friedland, RN, in 2007 and Joseph Lopez, RN, in 2010.
Donna Foy, RN
Tower 8/Pulmonary Care Center
Nurse of Distinction
In 1990, Foy’s grandfather was a patient at St. John’s. While she was visiting him, she saw a job posting for a unit receptionist and took the position. Foy went to school at night, and in 1997 got her associate’s degree. In 2003, she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from State University of New York Downstate.
The honoree met her husband at St. John’s while he was an intern. When her second son, Jacob, was born with a rare birth defect, she worked part-time. “There was tremendous support from the Hospital,” she says. Foy wrote “Jacob’s Journey,” sharing with other parents how to find support and resources for similar cases.
Nadege Celestin, RN
Tower 8/Pulmonary Care Center
Preceptor of Distinction
Celestin has been at St. John’s for 11 years and finds it rewarding to help new nurses become familiar with nursing protocols and initiated into the team. “I like sharing my knowledge with them,” she says. Celestin points out that there is a culture here that encourages nurses to work independently and grow. “There is a great support from the nurse managers and the Nursing Department Administration,” she says.
As to the nomination, she shares, “I was extremely surprised — it’s an awesome experience to have that moment of recognition from your colleagues. It’s rewarding as a nurse.”
Christine Steiger, RN
Tower 10/Medical- Surgical Novice Nurse of Distinction
Previously a dietary technician at St. John’s for 30 years, Steiger got her associate’s degree and worked as a patient care associate on Tower 5/Psychiatry. When her daughter started high school, she took a computer course through 1199 at Nassau Community College.
“It felt good, so I just started taking a course at a time,” she says. “I always wanted to be a nurse, so I took the prerequisites, and then enrolled at Adelphi University. When I graduated, it was a very emotional moment.” This August will mark her second year in nursing.
Steiger grew up in Far Rockaway and still has family members there.
“I feel very loyal to the community and the Hospital,” she says.
Gwen Pinckney, RN
“I came to St. John’s as a new graduate and started as staff nurse and moved up from there. I’ve worked at St. John’s for my entire career,” she says. She credits St. John’s with her growth and development and notes that she was trained well. “At St. John’s, there are great preceptors and educators.” Not surprisingly, she believes in leading by example. Currently, Pinckney is an electronic medical record team leader for patient care, and is transitioning the paper medical chart to the electronic medical record. “We have successfully finished the nurses’ daily assessment, history and physical, and hope to have major portions of this project completed by 2012,” she says.