Barbara Morrison, a student in Northern’s RN to BSN program, was awarded the 2015 Excellence in Practice Award in Behavioral Health at the 2015 New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards Banquet held November 7 in Santa Ana Pueblo.
Morrison, a staff nurse at the UNM Psychiatric Center, has a career spanning more than 20 years. Morrison’s former supervisor, Alice Whitt, RNC, BS, at the UNM Psychiatric Center nominated her for the award.
“She is so dedicated to the patients,” said Whitt. “She is always out of the nurses’ station, spending time with the patients and their families.”
According to Whitt, by keeping patients as her priority Morrison has been able to successfully manage the administrative demands of her work. “Barbara takes an active role in improving patient care. She assisted in completing a needs assessment to find out the training needs for nurses in her unit and she also started a poetry group to offer patients an outlet to express their feelings,” Whitt said.
Also recognized at the Nursing Excellence Awards Banquet was Theresa Lopez, MSN, RNC, CNE, Director of Northern’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program. Lopez was nominated for the Excellence in Education/Research/Academia Award of Distinction.
Lopez has served as a nurse for over 30 years in various capacities. Besides being the ADN program director at Northern, she works as an RN in the Newborn and Postpartum Unit at Espanola’s Presbyterian Hospital.
“She encourages and motivates nurses, whether in the classroom or in the hospital, to go back to school for their BSN, MSN and Doctorate degrees,” says Katie Tomarelli, Assistant Professor in the ADN Program. “Through her leadership over this past year, the faculty has changed the nursing curriculum, aligning it more closely with NMNEC and national standards.”
The New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence has hosted the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards annually since 2005, honoring nurses throughout the state for their outstanding contributions in twenty specialty areas.
Barbara Morrison, RN to BSN student at Northern.
Theresa Lopez, MSN, RNC, CNE, Director of Northern’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program.