Meet third place winner Nichole Pereira RN, Alberta Health Services

I am very proud to nominate Nichole Pereira MN, RN as a nursing hero. I have had the privilege of working with her now for just over two years in her capacity as clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in the pediatric intensive care unit here at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. Nichole, in her 11 years of RN practice has worked as an RN in pediatric critical care, an RN in a quality portfolio, has completed her MN degree and is now working full time in her CNS position while currently enrolled in a PhD program at Queen’s University, completing her Doctor of Philosophy in Health Quality examining resiliency factors in the health care system and medication safety.

Nichole is passionate about the intersection between patient safety and nursing competencies. She is leading the work with our teams to address how we can best assess nursing competencies across the continuum of newly graduated nurses to experienced nurses with several years of experience. Based on the Wright Competency Model, she is facilitating working groups of RN’s, clinical nurse educators, and nurse managers in developing competency priorities for the unit and exploring unique methods to meet competencies. She spent five years working on the continuing competency committee for CARNA and brings that vast knowledge to our site in this work.

Nichole embodies the multiple domains of the clinical nurse specialist role including possessing expert knowledge of the needs of children and families in critical care, complex decision making in supporting nurses and other health providers to meet those needs. She is a role model to the staff, and is always volunteering to have leadership nursing students work with her in their practicums. She volunteers on the Stollery patient and family centered care committee, working to enhance the experience of the children and their families. Nichole leads numerous quality improvement and patient safety initiatives in the unit, as discussed in the following testimonials from her colleagues.


Kathy Reid, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Stollery Children’s Hospital

 

Amidst all the challenges of Connect Care and COVID in the past year, Nichole continues to help move our PICU forward and engage staff. She is always patient focused and keeps that front and center in prioritizing her work. She led her CNE team and brought in a strong physician champion with the Make No Mistake Campaign in PICU that had a weekly focus on improving medication admin errors, bar code scanning and independent double checks. This has been a huge success and has dramatically decreased medication errors and RLS reports in our PICU, ultimately improving safe outcomes for our patients. Nichole is unflagging in her energy and passion for patient quality and safety as well as improving staff education and morale. She is very deserving to be recognized as a Nursing Hero!

Tracy Downie, Patient Care Manager, PICU Stollery Children’s Hospital

 

“Nichole has been a strong leader and advocate for patient and staff safety within the Stollery Critical Care program. This has been demonstrated by her role in supporting the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program within the Critical Care to provide staff with the support and access to resources 24/7. Nichole has also been instrumental in running hot debriefs with her team and being one of the CISM mentors within the portfolio. Nichole has been a key member in reviewing quality improvement measures within the portfolio, including leader rounding, safety huddles, simulation and education. The level of enthusiasm and passion Nichole brings to her work is incredible. She is very approachable and always willing to lend a helping a helping hand.”

Kristy Cunningham, Executive Director, Critical Care Stollery Children’s Hospital

 

‘Even though she is relatively early in her career, Nichole already embodies what it means to be a strong, reflective, and inspiring leader. She leads our education and quality team and every single one of them would tell you that they are better at their jobs because of support and mentorship from Nichole. Wise beyond her years, I have learned much from her about what it means to be an effective leader and how to put it into practice. I have watched her work with people from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives and she is very adept at effortlessly modifying her leadership and communication style to be the most effective leader she can be. Through all of this, she brings this presence of self-assurance, a calming influence no matter how chaotic the situation might be. Nichole is one of those people that make everyone around them better and I am grateful for being able to work with her every day. Our unit would not be the same place without her.”

Dr. Jon Duff, MD Pediatric Intensivist Physician

 

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