Irma D’Antonio (‘21), director of professional practice and nursing education at Jefferson Hospital, recently won the Excellence in Nursing Education and Professional Practice award at Allegheny Health Network (AHN).
Recipients of the award are recognized for their displays of excellence in leadership, education and professional development. Described by her colleagues as a compassionate leader, D’Antonio was selected for both her leadership and passion for patient care.
“For me, being honored with this award is validation that I am on the right path for my profession,” said D’Antonio, a graduate of Waynesburg University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program. “It means that I am working hard to promote and advance the field of professional nursing.”
While searching for a doctoral program, D’Antonio focused on finding a program that offered both a flexible schedule for the working adult and a rigorous curriculum. She desired a program that would not only elevate her thinking, but also promote growth as a professional nurse leader.
“I needed weekend and evening classes, but didn’t want an easy program,” D’Antonio shared. “I wanted a program that would elevate my nursing practice. The Waynesburg DNP program changed how I think about nursing, healthcare, and my place in the future of nursing.”
Winning this award confirmed that doing what is best for patients and patient-facing nurses is worth the extra time and effort because it makes a difference,”
Recipients of the Excellence in Nursing Education and Professional Practice Award demonstrate excellence not only through leadership skills, but also the completion of a project or program that provides advancements in patient care and nursing practice at AHN.
One particular program developed by D’Antonio and colleagues, highlighted in her nomination, led to important efforts made at Jefferson Hospital during the height of the pandemic when patients had limited access to loved ones due to hospital visitor restrictions.
Through “Connection Rounds,” patients admitted during the pandemic were visited by nurses with a cart that contained snacks and activities. Nurses also gave technology lessons on digital devices to patients needing help staying connected with family members.
D’Antonio’s focus on making a difference in patient experiences as a nurse leader brought hope during a time when it was needed most.
“Winning this award confirmed that doing what is best for patients and patient-facing nurses is worth the extra time and effort because it makes a difference,” said D’Antonio.