20160309, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, Boston, MA, USA; Brigham and Women's Hospital Essence of Nursing 2016. Nursing award finalist Melanie Nedder, RN, with patients and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital on Francis Street in Boston Massachusetts Wednesday, March 9, 2016. ( lightchaser photography © 2016 )

Clinical Nurse, Levine Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (LCU)

Nominated by Elizabeth Eagan-Bengston, MS, RN, assistant nurse director and Kathleen Ryan Avery, MSN, RN, CCRN, clinical nurse educator, Levine Cardiac ICU (LCU), with letters of support from Karen Reilly, DNP, MBA, RN, former nurse director and Sharon Levine, BSN, RN, clinical nurse, LCU 

“The essence of Mel is her ability to seamlessly manage complex clinical situations, provide expert technical care, collaborate with interdisciplinary teams, support nursing staff and have a compassionate presence with patients and family,” wrote Melanie Nedder’s nominators Elizabeth Eagan-Bengston, MS, RN, and Kathleen Ryan Avery, MSN, RN, CCRN.

They recounted the story of a complex patient who was transferred to BWH shortly after Epic go-live, as BWH staff were adjusting to the technology. He had suffered a cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction, with complications. Nedder, who served as an Epic super-user during the implementation of Partners eCare, created a comprehensive plan of care for the patient, consulted with pharmacists to determine the proper dosing for his infusions and coached physicians on entering the necessary orders while maintaining a caring presence for the patient’s wife.

“One of Melanie’s strongest assets is her ability to promote learning and teamwork among the nursing staff,” wrote Karen Reilly, DNP, MBA, RN, former nurse director for Cardiology, in a letter of support. “She is recognized as a highly effective leader.”

Several years ago, the National Teaching Institute (NTI), sponsored by the American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) was held in Boston. Only a few LCU nurses were able to attend, so Nedder created a blog where attendees could share continuing education information; she and her LCU colleagues use the blog to this day. The blog was recognized during the 2015 NTI conference, where Nedder presented a poster and abstract.

Last year, with support from the Mary Fay Enrichment Award, Nedder and colleagues attended a conference at Johns Hopkins focusing on the Awakening, Breathing Trial & Coordination, Delirium Assessment and Early Exercise (ABCDE) bundle, an effort to reduce sedation in intubated patients. She and her colleagues created a PowerPoint presentation, spoke to nurses on their unit, collaborated with physicians and respiratory therapists to redefine processes and created educational materials for the new process. “The efforts of Melanie and others have resulted in our patients being intubated for less time,” wrote Sharon Levine, BSN, RN, clinical nurse in the LCU. “Outcomes have improved.”

Added Eagan-Bengston: “Mel relentlessly promotes excellence, transforming thinking and processes to advance care. She is a tireless advocate for patients and families.”

In 1995, Nedder earned her BSN from the University of Connecticut and is currently working towards her MS in Nursing Education.