Awards & Recognition

2015 Awards

Congratulations to Jill Tahmooressi MBA, BSN, RN-BC, NCSN, Nursing Director Ambulatory Services, for her recognition as the Florida Nurses Association 2015 Nurse Administrator. Jill has also been elected and sworn in as the 2015-2017 Florida Nurses Association Secretary. 
Congratulations to Elena Ortega MSN, ARNP, CCRN for receiving the Barry University Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2015 Nursing commencement pinning ceremony.



Congratulations to the Nicklaus Children's Hospital nurses recognized for nursing excellence at the 5th Annual Florida Nurses Association South Region Symposium & Awards Ceremony on April 11, 2015.
  • Jill Tahmooressi, BSN, MBA, RN-BC, NCSN- Nurse of the Year Recipient
  • Maxine Jacobowitz BSN, RN, CPN- Community Service Award Finalist
  • Elena Ortega, MSN, ARNP, CCRN- Nurse Educator Award Finalist
  • Debbie Hill-Rodriguez MSN, RN, PCNS-BC- Nurse Administrator Award Recipient
  • Emily Zubiria BSN, RN, CPN- Registered Nurse Award Recipient
  • Marlene Cuellar, BSN, RN- Registered Nurse Award Finalist


2014 Awards

Congratulations to
Lazara Briones, BSN, RN, CCRN
Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital

Nurse of the Year is an elegant awards event and fundraiser that brings together the corporate and health care communities to recognize and celebrate nursing excellence and achievements in research, education, quality patient care, innovation and leadership. March of Dimes salutes and recognizes nurses for their leadership and service to the health and well-being of our community.


Nicklaus Children's Fall Prevention Program Receives Top Magnet Honor
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awarded its annual Magnet Honors Award to Nicklaus Children's Hospital in recognition of the hospital’s Humpty Dumpty Falls Prevention Program™. The program was developed by Nicklaus Children's Hospital clinicians to identify patients at risk and prevent falls in the care environment. The Magnet Honors Award is presented to a Magnet hospital that embodies excellence in patient care by creating and managing a transformational program that makes a difference for patients and nurses alike.

The Humpty Dumpty Falls Prevention Program™ is now offered in 887 hospitals across the nation and 152 internationally. The ultimate goal of the program is to improve the quality of care and reduce the risk of injuries in pediatric patients across the globe.
Photographed above from left to right:
Linda C. Lewis, MSA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE,
Chief ANCC Officer/Executive Vice President

Michael L. Evans, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN,
ANCC President, Board of Directors
Jenny Cordo, MSN, ARNP, PPCNP-BC,
Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, Nursing Excellence & Magnet Program Manager
Jackie Gonzalez, DNP, ARNP, MBA, NEA-BC, FAAN,
Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, Senior Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer
Roy L. Simpson, DNP, RN, FAAN,
Vice President Nursing at Cerner Corporation

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Health Care Heroes® Award

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Health Care Heroes® Award recognizes the collective actions of the individuals, institutions and programs that have made an extraordinary impact in the South Florida health care community and whose acts of heroism represent a display of dedication to excellence in their area of expertise beyond the scope of their profession
Congratulations to the Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, Intensive Care Teams
Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
   Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Recipients of the Health Care Heroes® Award 2014
Congratulations to Nicklaus Children's Urgent Care Center Team 
Nicklaus Children's Urgent Care Center Team in their 3rd Place Poster Award: Evidence Based Best Practice, “Committed to the Beat. Reducing Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes” at the April 26th in Davie Florida South Region, Florida Nurses Association Symposium and Award Ceremony.

Congratulations to the Nicklaus Children's Hospital nurses recognized for nursing excellence at the 4th Annual Florida Nurses Association South Region Symposium & Awards Ceremony on April 26, 2014

Registered Nurse Practice Award recipient
Sheree Mundy MSN, ARNP, PPCNP-BC
Nursing Leader Administration/ Academia Award finalist
Monica Ruiz-Valls, BSN, RN
Advanced Practice Nursing Award finalist
Dania Vasquez, MSN, ARNP

Promoting an Environment of Excellence in Nursing Award recipient
Jenny Cordo, MSN, ARNP, PPCNP-BC



2013 Awards

FIU 30th Anniversary Gala
Congratulations to Jo Ann Nieves, MSN, ARNP, PNP-BC, CPN, for her recognition at the Florida International University (FIU) 30th Anniversary Gala.

Jo Ann received the 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award, Honorable Mention
Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Florida International University College of Nursing
Miami, Florida (October 19, 2013)
FNA Membership Assembly Great 100 Awards

Congratulations to Laura M. Hernandez, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, CPN. She has been selected as a recipient of the Great 100 Awards by the FNA Membership Assembly.



Bing Wood, DNP, ARNP Administrative Director of Critical Care

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) have received a Gold Beacon award for excellence by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). In addition, the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) received a Silver level distinction.

Nicklaus Children's Hospital critical care departments (PICU & NICU) are first in Florida to achieve this distinction of Gold level Beacon award. NICU is 2nd in the nation to receive the Gold level. "This recognition demonstrates the commitment of our outstanding staff in advancing care excellence and optimal outcomes," said Jackie Gonzalez MSN, ARNP, NEA-BC, FAAN, senior vice president and CNO at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital. "We are delighted to be recognized for this tremendous achievement as it speaks to our dedication to the families in our care."

For patients and families, the Beacon award signifies exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall satisfaction. The gold award is the highest recognition level which demonstrates excellence in unit performance and patient outcomes.

The AACN created the Beacon awards to recognize hospital nursing units that improve every facet of patient care. For the critical-care nurses, a Beacon award signifies a positive and supportive work environment as well as great collaboration between colleagues and leaders.

The Beacon Award Criteria

In 2010, AACN updated the criteria for the Beacon Award for Excellence. The award continues to incorporate:
• Leadership Structures and Systems.
• Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement.
• Effective Communication.
• Knowledge Management and Best Practices.
• Evidence-based Practice and Processes.
• Patient Outcomes.

Units that apply for Beacon Award recognition set the standard for excellence in acute and critical care environments by collecting evidence-based information. Patient safety and quality programs, such as the Leapfrog Group Hospital Quality and Safety Survey, regard the Beacon Award as a significant achievement in their evaluation process

In 2010, the nursing leadership of the Critical Care set their goals to achieve a Beacon award. The journey was long and challenging. Major efforts were focused on establishing standardized guidelines and protocol to drive and sustain the patient quality outcomes. With collaboration from all of the ICU’s, the team met weekly to write the documents. Evidence-based practice and processes were translated to bedside practice and hardwired to further sustain results. The leadership engaged staff to drive many of the initiatives.

Several staff led initiatives include raising funds so some staff can have an opportunity to attend the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI) conference, an annual AACN conference to further increase their knowledge on patient management and best practice. The revenue of this initiatives resulted in sending 2-3 staff to attend conferences such as NTI.

The critical care units PICU, NICU & CICU have shown the way, setting an example that serves as a beacon for other departments, hospital and healthcare facilities to use, navigating the rough waters of critical care nursing.  This national award recognizes our critical care team for achieving the highest outcomes and for being a beacon of light, an inspiration, to other departments and critical care in the country. There are only 6 hospitals, 13 critical care units in the country that have received the Gold level award.



Jean Buckley, RN
PNCB's 2012 CPN® Certification Advocate Award Recipients
GAITHERSBURG, MD (May 16, 2012) – The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, Inc. (PNCB) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012 Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) Certification Advocate Award. Congratulations to Jean Buckley, RN, CPN of Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, for going above and beyond to encourage RNs to seek certification. The PNCB presented Jean Buckley with her award during the 2012 Society of Pediatric Nurses Conference Awards Luncheon in Houston, Texas.

Congratulations to the Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, team who was the overall poster winner at the 2011 NACHRI Annual Leadership Conference and Meeting.

Forging the Future of Children's Health Care Annual Leadership Conference Logo
Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, Poster Entry Presenters:
  • Mirtha Gonzalez, MSN, ARNP, Director, NICU and 2 North
  • Deborah Salani, ARNP, MSN, Director, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Maria Lina "Bing" Wood, ARNP, MSN, Administrative Director of Critical Care Services

BeaconAward for Critical Care Excellence 2009-2010 LogoNicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, is a proud recipient of the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, an award given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The award is specifically designated to recognize the nation’s top pediatric, progressive, and adult critical care units across a multitude of hospitals. The recognition itself is priceless, as it represents extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, and dedication to the exceptional care of patients and their families.

As a Beacon Award recipient, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, succeeded in the following areas, as measured against evidence-based national criteria:

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Education, training and mentoring
  • Research and evidence-based practice
  • Patient outcomes
  • Leadership and organization ethics
  • Healing environment
Nicklaus Children's Hospital

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