Dannette Mitchell, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, clinical nurse specialist on the Wilmington Hospital Intensive Care (WICU) and Transitional Care units, received a 2020 Circle of Excellence award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).
The annual award goes to just 25 or fewer individuals nationally who exemplify excellence in high-acuity and critical-care nursing practice.
The Circle of Excellence awards recognize excellence in facilitating interventions or providing care to specifically address the needs of acutely and critically ill patients and their families. Recipients are nurses who achieve significant impact on patient and family care in acute, progressive or critical care nursing. Honorees are nominated by a fellow AACN member or members and must meet rigorous qualifications including:
- Providing data to reflect transformative thinking, structure and processes to address challenges and remove barriers.
- Modeling a healthy work environment marked by skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making and meaningful recognition. Managers demonstrate support of appropriate staffing and authentic leadership.
- Achieving measurable results that validate the impact of individual leadership contributions to organizational excellence, including influencing and mentoring.
Mitchell, who helped lead the WICU to an AACN silver Beacon Award in 2016. was nominated for the Circle of Excellence Award by colleagues and leaders on WICU and Transitional Care Unit; Michael Knorr, MSN, RN, PCCN, vice president, Patient Care Services, Acute Medicine; and fellow clinical nurse specialist and mentor Maureen Seckel, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCNS, CCRN, FCCM, FCNS.
“Dannette Mitchell has been a tremendously positive influence on care for critically and acutely ill patients at ChristianaCare. She has unquestionably earned the AACN Circle of Excellence Award. We are proud to have her leadership as part of our team.”
In her 24 years as a ChristianaCare caregiver Mitchell has been instrumental in helping to change the culture of WICU with evidenced-based quality improvements for better patient outcomes in CLABSI, CAUTI, VAP, mobility and other areas. She has been a key team member in creation of CritiTrac, the documentation system for Code Blue events being used in all intensive care and transitional care units at ChristianaCare. CritiTrac won a 2020 FutureEdge 50 Award from IDG’s CIO.
Her most recent noted achievement was an article she co-authored with Seckel about ICU patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) — an often fatal condition nationwide — having better outcomes when they are positioned in a prone, or face-down position for most of the day, instead of supine, or face up. The article was published in the winter 2018 edition of the AACN journal Advanced Critical Care.