HCA Midwest Health
February 01, 2012

HCA Midwest Health System, Kansas City’s largest healthcare network, is recognizing two nurses who exemplify the American Nursing Association’s code of ethics for their compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual. April Waibel, RN, of Centerpoint Medical Center and Amy Haun, RN, of Research Psychiatric Center have been named HCA Midwest’s 2011 Nurses of the Year. This honor recognizes staff nurses who are committed to providing the highest level of direct patient care and safety in an environment where people, compassion, community and integrity are valued, in addition to inspiring their peers to provide the highest standard of patient care and patient safety.

Waibel and Haun were chosen from nominees in the HCA Midwest System’s employment base of 2,287 registered nurses. Members of the HCA Midwest division Executive Nurses Panel selected them for the prestigious 2011 Nurse of the Year. Each nurse also receives $1,000 to apply toward educational opportunities.

Waibel has worked at Centerpoint Medical Center since 1984, when it was Medical Center of Independence (MCI). From 1984 through 2000 she worked in the intensive care unit, and then joined the surgery department’s pre-operative team when MCI moved and opened its doors as Centerpoint 2007. As a pre-op nurse, Waibel is responsible for preparing patients for surgery and is known for her regard for patients’ families.

“April is compassionate not only to patients but with their family members,” says Centerpoint Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Caldwell. “The families look to her with respect and friendliness knowing that their loved one is in the safest of hands. Her smile and openness allows them to know that a kind professional is in charge of their loved one.”

In addition to a high level of patient care, Waibel promotes professional development for herself and others through continuing education, precepting and being a knowledgeable resource.

“April is an excellent resource person to students and also to peers,” says Centerpoint Chief Nursing Officer Lynn Barrett. Her experience in working in the ICU reassures all of us working with her that we can go to her in emergent situations and ask for help and clarification. Any student who follows her comes away with a clearer understanding of the nurses’ responsibility and the importance of the job.”

Waibel enjoys the nursing profession and its many aspects of patient care, teamwork and personal professional excellence. “I am honored to receive this recognition,” says Waibel. “I am filled with immense satisfaction and personal pride for my work over the decades in the field of nursing, and look forward to many more years of caring for patients and their families.”

Barrett says Waibel shows restraint during times of pressure, and acknowledges the skills of others and relies on their expertise. “She encourages and provides all of us with knowledge,” she says. “April is warm and kind to those in her care. I think the greatest compliment would be to say that I would trust her with my life.”

Haun has worked in the seniors unit at Research Psychiatric Center since September 2010. She graduated from the Research College of Nursing in August 2010, realizing a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. “Many of our patients are elderly and have advanced cognitive challenges,” says Haun. “I remember every day that they were healthy and vibrant people at one time, with hopes and disappointments, just like me. It’s imperative to treat them as a whole person.”

“Amy is an exceptional nurse who inspires others through demonstrating a positive, compassionate, and caring demeanor when providing care for the patients or interacting with staff,” says Teresa Mathis, RN, nurse director at Research Psychiatric Hospital. “She remains calm and handles some of the most difficult situations with a quiet reassuring mannerism. In addition, Amy is a leader in our quest for increasing patient safety and decreasing falls by attending the TEAMSTEPPS conference and participating in fall elimination processes on our unit.”

In addition, Haun is regarded as a nurse whose attitude and demeanor promote an environment of compassion, caring and commitment to her patients.

“Amy always has a smile and kind word from the patients she provides care for,” says Mathis. “She continuously reminds them of who she is, no matter how many times they forget and performs her work with a ‘it’s a pleasure to take care of you’ attitude.”

Research Psychiatric Hospital Chief Executive Officer Richard Failla says Haun exemplifies all the qualities a professional nurse should possess. “She is a self-starter who seeks opportunities to advance the practice of nursing and excellent patient care throughout the hospital,” he says. “She is regarded as having excellent clinical skills by her nursing and ancillary peers, the physicians, the nursing leadership team and the administrative team of Research Psychiatric Hospital.”