2013 Nightingale Award Recipients

    "All of us at L+M, as well as the patients and families our nurses serve so well, are proud of our Nightingale Nurses and all the nurses who are part of the L+M Hospital family."    Lauren Williams, RN, MS, DM, CENP Vice President, Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Officer

    Meet this year's recipients, and read what their peers had to say when nominating these winners.


    Linda Beth, RN, CCRN

    Linda has all the traits of an excellent nurse. She is confident in what she thinks. She is competent in what she does. She is enthusiastic about new technologies and techniques. She is loyal to her teammates. She is dedicated to the L+M family. She is committed to her community. Linda began her nursing career at L+M 44 years ago. She brings a smile to work every day. You don’t learn, “humor” in textbooks or lectures. You are born with it. It is the most underestimated trait a person can have, and Linda exudes laughter and humor and comfort.

    Debra Connolly, RN

    Deb has been a nurse at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital since 1986 and currently works on the acute inpatient rehabilitation unit where she is a well-respected nurse. Her ability to acknowledge and understand the complexity of patients’ needs, advocacy for the patients and detailed oriented patient care is superior. A true team player, she works well with other disciplinarians to identify patient’s needs, set goals and provide daily instruction and teaching to patients and families – preparing them for a safe and well educated reentry, at some level, into community living

    Nina Dunford, BSN, RN

    Nina embodies the spirit of teamwork, of cooperation, of collaboration and of convergence. Her dedication to the patient is tireless. She has compassion for the patient, patient’s family and for all her colleagues. She is very eager to learn and is passionately motivated to bring others to her level. She has a keen attention to detail. She has demonstrated successfully her organizational skills. She has outstanding quality of patient care, superior nursing clinical skills and extraordinary compassion for the patient, for the physician, for her colleagues and for her team. She has shepherded surgeons to true teamsmanship very early in her career, masterfully and with great humor. Having been able to do so is a testament to her negotiating skills and commitment to every patient.

    Lora Hahn-Schubert, MSN, APRN, CRNA

    Her work as a CRNA is professional and exemplary – diligent and precise documentation with attention to every detail. She is quiet, cognizant and patient focused always. Lora is a consummate team player. She adds value to each phase of care. She knows her place, role, domain and field, but is never timid and never inappropriate in demonstrating her expertise when a care situation calls for anesthesia intervention. Lora lives up to what Florence Nightingale held precious and to what standards award winners must adhere and fulfill. In fact, she does so every day and beyond.

    Cheryl Kruszewski, RN, CRRN

    Cheryl is the definition of a “true leader” on the Rehab Unit, and she definitely leads by example. She does it all – from floor nursing to handling clinical coordinating duties. Cheryl will assist a patient with all aspects of care and teaching that includes the patient, patient’s family and staff. All of this is done with a calm demeanor and without being flustered. Cheryl keeps the floor running smoothly and adequately staffed. She interacts well with management and treats the staff with respect and kindness.

    Catherine (Rena) Powers, RN

    Personally and professionally, Rena exemplifies all that a Nightingale recipient should represent. She is known by all of her past and present peers and employers to be a knowledgeable and skilled nurse. Her assessments and patient feedback corroborate this, and anyone who has seen her working with patients recognizes immediately her compassion and devotion. She truly goes above and beyond the call of duty, and her patients and coworkers appreciate the care and hard work she puts forth every day.

    Peggy Shepherd, LPN

    Peggy personifies the pioneering spirit, dedication and commitment of the Nightingale Award. Those who work with her know she is one of the most caring, compassionate nurses you would ever want to meet. Peggy has never lost sight of the fact that patients are at the core of the data and that accurate, actionable, understandable data serves first and foremost as a platform to improve patient care.

    Melissa Swan, BSN, RN, CLNC, CNML

    As nurse manager of the Neuroscience Unit, Melissa has transformed the care her staff delivers. Melissa and her team were featured in Advance for Nurses Best Nursing Teams 2010. In 2011, she restructured her unit into a Microsystem care delivery system. Her passion for reducing falls led to hours with the fall committee identifying data glitches in a system and discovering a dramatically reduced fall rate on Med-Surg units. Her unit has posted impressive results in patient care, satisfaction and financial areas. As a manager, she believes in transparency and is a tireless advocate for customer service and fiscal responsibility. Melissa is a valued friend, leader, manager and nurse making this honor most deserving.

    Katie Van Dyke, MSN, APRN

    Katie’s nursing career began at L+M in 1989 where she first started on a medical/surgical floor and then joined the nursing staff of the hospital’s newly-established Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. From early on, she showed excellent nursing skills and clinical judgment when caring for both well and sick neonates. She then went on to pursue her MSN at the University of Connecticut and obtained certification as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Katie is now in her 18th year as an NNP in the L+M NICU. She also holds a position as Clinical Associate Faculty at the University of Connecticut and is an instructor for the Neonatal Resuscitation Program.

    Ann Wish, BSN, RN

    Ann spent three months on the Clinical Design Unit before joining the Neuroscience Unit where she has thrived. She is able to engage physicians, fellow nurses and ancillary staff -- motivating each to work toward the common goal of quality care. When in charge, she runs a daily huddle to keep all staff abreast of new happenings on the unit and within the organization. Ann has a passion for learning, educating and caring. It is difficult to put into words what makes her unique, but she rekindles the spark of what it feels like to be a new nurse because her excitement for our profession is so clearly evident. It is that spirit which makes us all, new or seasoned, remember why we come to work every day.