Certification Champions

A Virtual Hospital Visit with ProMedica

2020 has certainly been the year that has turned everything upside down and caused all of us to rethink the way we approach everything! In the spirit of rethinking the way we manage life as we know it today, BCEN had the pleasure of a virtual meeting with the leadership team from ProMedica in Toledo, OH on Zoom.

We spoke with Deanna Montanaro, BSN, RN, ED Director at ProMedica Toledo Hospital who told us how excited the nurses there are about achieving specialty certification. In fact, Deanna said “Certification has become contagious but in a very good way.” Not only are nurses excited to get their first certification, but some are now aiming for a second and even a third.

It was amazing to watch ProMedica’s strong leadership team interact. You could feel the respect and support they had for each other and their nurses…even through Zoom. Beth Estep, MSN, RN, CEN, ProMedica Metro Region Vice-President of Patient Care Services had this to say “We all have a passion for learning and growing our team. We all lead by stepping up and stepping out – that is how we lead our team.”

Pictured Above: Kristie and Abbie

When we asked about the “secret sauce” for all of the enthusiasm around certification, in the middle of a pandemic, no less, Beth and Deanna quickly pointed out that the catalyst behind all of this is Kristie Gallagher, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN,

EMTP, EMSI, FAEN, Metro-Region Emergency Department Educator. As often is the case, this kind of passion for learning and professionalism comes from a grass roots and very dedicated peer who lights fires within people and gets them excited. Kristie is that catalyst for ProMedica.

Kristie told us she lays out a plan for each nurse the day they start work at ProMedica. She begins with talking about the importance of belonging to one’s professional membership association, in this case, The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). Kristie said, “When nurses join ENA, they are introduced to a new level of professionalism and best practices.” Kristie talks with the nurses about what they are learning from their membership and their practice. From there, Kristie works with each nurse to develop goals which naturally advance to specialty certification. As one size does not fit all, she likes to help each nurse determine the best path forward and how and what tools to study from. From there, Kristie assists them in applying for a scholarship to cover the exam fees. This personalized plan and attention for each nurse has worked very well.

During our virtual visit, we had the pleasure of talking with Hannah Michalak, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN who is a staff nurse in the Toledo ED. Hannah started with ProMedica as a scribe and has worked her way through nursing school and into her current nursing position. She holds two BCEN certifications. Hannah’s goal is to become part of the leadership team. “Certification has broadened my knowledge base and made me a better nurse”, Hannah revealed. She proudly wears her certification pins and told us her patients frequently ask her about her certifications. She very proudly tells them that the certifications represent increased knowledge and dedication. The patients tell her they are glad she is their nurse.

There are so many benefits to having a team of certified nurses. Beth says “We have come from I to We. There is so much more engagement with the projects we need to accomplish and a hunger for ensuring best practices in our EDs. Our nurses are persistent, resilient, and motivated.” The ProMedica team is very proud of their nurses and their entire team. Even in the midst of a pandemic, their strong support of their nurses and specialty certification has not wavered.

At BCEN, we echo that sentiment. Well done ProMedica!