Monday December 18th 2017

Foundation honors exceptional RN

Jennifer Rhoades: Creator of the Teddy Bear Clinic

The American Nurses Foundation named Jennifer Rhoades, RN, of San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown, TX, as the 2014 Nurse of the Year through its Honor a Nurse program. The program acknowledges nurses who have made a difference in the lives of others while raising funds for the Foundation, the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association. It is sponsored by Wolters Kluwer’s Lippincott Solutions software suite.

At the hospital, Rhoades created the “Teddy Bear Clinic,” which she has run for six years. This annual event helps show children in the surrounding community that the hospital is not such a scary place. Her program also invites outside agencies and emergency medical services to install displays at the clinic to help shore up children’s confidence.

“The selection process for our Nurse of the Year is always difficult because there are so many shining examples of nurses who go above and beyond the call of duty,” said Foundation Chairperson Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN.  “This year, we all found Jennifer Rhoades to be a standout and were especially touched by her many special contributions toward helping young children.”

Added ANA Chief Executive Officer Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN, FAAN, “The Lippincott name has a longstanding connection to nursing and quality, and we’re thrilled to have Wolters Kluwer support our Honor a Nurse program. Our partnership has exceeded our expectations. The team at Wolters Kluwer has generated ideas and projects that have helped us grow the Honor a Nurse program more than 800 percent since we started the relationship.”

Since its inception, the Teddy Bear Clinic has grown from welcoming 50 children its first year to more than 200 kids last year — and it continues to increase in popularity.  “Our main goal for the clinic is that kids become acquainted with the experiences that they may face if admitted to the hospital, Rhoades said. “We hope that this alleviates any fears they may have.”

The Honor a Nurse program enables colleagues, friends, family and others to tell the story of nurses who have made a positive difference in nursing, locally or globally. The funds raised are used to support nursing research, scholarships and programs to improve nurses’ lives and the nursing profession. RNs who have been nominated qualify for the Nurse of the Year award.

To learn more, please visit www.givetonursing.org.

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