Penn Highlands DuBois Honors Certified Nurses

April 07, 2015


Penn Highlands DuBois recently honored 65 nurses who hold 76 advanced or specialty nursing certifications. Shown are nurses in attendance at the event including, front row, from left, Bernie Adamson, Margo Anderson, Tracey Sayers and Rita Gutowski. Second row, from left, Janice Hamscher, Michele Jacobson, Lori Mehok, Fran Manners and Denise Zernell. Third row from left, Teresa Kennis, Kim Cicon and Melanie Morris.

Penn Highlands DuBois recently honored 65 nurses who hold 76 advanced or specialty nursing certifications.

“Each year we honor those nurses in our organization who have voluntarily achieved and maintained a certification that makes them better at caring for our patients,” Janice Hamscher, vice president and chief nursing officer, who is also holds a nursing certification, said following a ceremony held in the atrium at Penn Highlands DuBois West. “The level of dedication it takes to achieve these certifications, and in some cases multiple certifications, shows how committed our nursing staff is to keeping quality of care standards very high at our hospital.”

The certification process for nurses typically includes an assessment process and, most often, must be renewed throughout a career at specific times. Certifications credentials are recognized nationally and are accepted at all hospitals. Nurses may also choose to gain certification in specific clinical areas, signifying they are experts in that clinical field. Certification is voluntary in the majority of fields with the exception of nurse practitioners and certain clinical nurse specialists, like nurse midwives.

Most certification programs are created or are affiliated with a professional association, whose main interest is to raise standards in that specialty. Certifications are regarded as validation that a nurse has achieved knowledge, skills, abilities and experience in a specific area that allows that nurse to practice beyond the scope of a registered nurse license.

Cheryl Brooks, RN, Director of Professional Practice and Nurse Recruitment & Retention Officer welcomed about 40 attendees to the event. Speakers included Don Moore, RN, a member of the Nursing Recruitment and Retention Council; Bernie Adamson, RN, of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Department; and Rita Gutowski, RN, of the Pediatrics Department. Nursing Recruitment and Retention Council members Marla Larson, RN, and Janet Mehok, RN, announced the names of each certified nurse along with their specific certification. Hospital chaplain and director of Pastoral Care, Deacon Robert DeNoon, conducted a special blessing of the hands for all the honorees.

Staff members who were honored for their advanced certifications include:
Adult Acute & Critical Care Nursing Certification
Annette Agosti, Cardiovascular Unit
Margo Anderson, Cardiac Cath Lab
Nicole DuFour, Patient Services, Clinical Nurse Education
Barbara Gregg, Intensive Care Unit
Margaret Hopkins, Cardiovascular Unit
Michelle Jacobson, Cardiac Cath Lab
Cynthia Knouse, Intensive Care Unit
Joanne Kurtz, Intensive Care Unit
Jean Matsko, Intensive Care Unit
Lori Mehok, Cardiovascular Unit
Christine Small, Intensive Care Unit
Nancy Smith, Short Stay Unit
Anna Vicklund, Cardiac Cath Lab
Shea Walker, Patient Services, Clinical Nurse Education

Adult Cardiac Medicine Nursing Certification
Lori Mehok, Cardiovascular Unit

Adult Cardiac Surgery Nursing Certification
Lori Mehok, Cardiovascular Unit

Advanced Nurse Lactation Consultants Certification
Alexis Cherico, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Wendy Reynolds, Maternity ans Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Float

Cardiac Rehab Professional Certification
Bernie Adamson, Cardiac Rehab

Diabetes Educator Certification
Carole Berger, Performance Improvement, Diabetes and Nutrition Wellness Center
Cathy Senior, Employee Health
Marilyn Sheley, Diabetes and Nutrition Wellness Center
Kristy Stephens, Diabetes and Nutrition Wellness Center

Emergency Nurse Certification
Crystal Brunetti, Emergency Department
Kim Cicon, Emergency Department
Lisa Dush, Organizational Development 
Christina Selfridge, Emergency Department
Nancy Smith, Short Stay Unit

Geriatrics Certification
Melanie Morris, Behavioral Health

Hyperbaric and Wound Specialist Certification
Alison Newara, The Wound Center

Infection Prevention & Control Nursing Certification
Carole Berger, Performance Improvement, Diabetes and Nutrition Wellness Center
Kim Bloom-Snyder, Infection Prevention and Control
Kathy Lemmon, Infection Prevention and Control

Informatics Nurse Certification
Kelly Grube, MIS – Information Systems
Stan Smochek, Clinical Informatics

Inpatient Obstetric Nursing Certification
Holly Boyer, Maternity Department
Becky Cella, Maternity Department
Marjorie Raybuck, Maternity Department
Denise Zernell, Maternity Department 

Lactation Counselors Certification
Alexis Cherico, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Kim Pifer, Healthy Beginnings Plus
Wendy Reynolds, Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Float

Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification
Peggy Gardner, Pain Management and Evaluation

Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse Certification
Laurie Barney, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Stacey Huffman, Emergency Department
Suzanne McCullough, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Jill McDonald, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Wendy Reynolds, Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Float

Nurse Executive, Advanced Nursing Certification
Janice Hamscher – Patient Services, Administration

Oncology Nurse Certification
Candace Cole, Hahne Regional Cancer Center, The Lung Center
Teresa Kennis, Hahne Regional Cancer Center
Frances Manners, Hahne Regional Cancer Center
Tracey Sayers, Nathaniel D. Yingling MD Cancer Center

Pediatric Nursing Certification
Mary Carocci, Pediatrics Department
Rita Gutowski, Pediatrics Department

Perioperative Nursing Certification
Craig Carpin, Surgical Services
Robin Corby, Surgical Services
Patricia Penn, Surgical Services
Mary Beth Reese, Surgical Services
Carla Rosenthal, Surgical Services

Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing Certification
Denise Huff, Behavioral Health
Christine Kushner, Behavioral Health

Progressive Care Certification
Donna Sprague, Cardiac Cath Lab

Radiation Oncology Nurse Certification
Candace Cole, Hahne Regional Cancer Center, The Lung Center
Teresa Kennis, Hahne Regional Cancer Center
Frances Manners, Hahne Regional Cancer Center
Dee Petraitis, Hahne Regional Cancer Center

Rehabilitation Nursing Certification
Tracey Brumberg, The Rehabilitation Center
Ruth Ann McKinley, The Rehabilitation Center

Nurse Practitioner Certifications
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification
Susan Mitchell, The Lung Center

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification
Jeanine Root, Penn Highlands Gastroenterology

Family Nurse Practitioner Certification
Patricia Peoples, MIS – Information Systems
Margaret Swanson, The Clinic at Walmart
Amy Vezza, Penn Highlands Obstetrics and Gynecology
Allison Williams-Ball, Penn Highlands Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

Hamscher acknowledged that all departments throughout the hospital have staff members who achieve and maintain advanced certifications and these staff members also deserve recognition.

“I’m so proud that the number of advanced certifications continues to grow each year,” Hamscher said. “I’m very confident that the quality of care continues to increase as our staff members take steps to achieve and maintain these certifications. Congratulations and thank you to staff members throughout the hospital who work hard to earn these achievements.