Clinical Nurse, Intermediate Neurosciences, Tower 10CD/12B

Nominated by Mary Pennington, MS, RN, nurse director, Intermediate Neurosciences; with letters of support from Melissa Coughlin, BSN, RN, clinical nurse, Intermediate Neurosciences; and Jessica Logsdon, MHS, MHA, PA-C, director of Physician Assistant Services

In her narrative, Siobhan Raftery, BSN, RN, CNRN, reflects on one of her most memorable patients: an older woman who had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Raftery recalls how she tried to calm the woman before her surgery by walking the patient and her family through each step of the process. And then Raftery asked the patient if she could make an observation.

Raftery continued, “What I saw was a room of blessings, a room of everything she had done, was here for her now. Some people spend their whole lives never witnessing all this love. I said she was blessed,”

When Raftery visited the patient the next day, the woman told her that she was right about all the blessings in her life and that Raftery was one of them.

That feeling, of mutual thankfulness in the existence of another,” recalls Raftery. “That is the blessing. That is the power of Nursing.”

This interaction is just one of countless examples that illustrate how Raftery has been bringing energy and compassion to her patients at the Brigham for more than 20 years. Nurse Director Mary Pennington, MS, RN, noted, “What is most striking about Siobhan’s nursing practice is the fluidity with which she creates transpersonal relationships with her patients. Transpersonal caring is the Caritas language that describes moments of spiritual connection between two human beings.”

Raftery’s current and former colleagues also noted her important contributions as a leader. A few years ago, Raftery embarked on an initiative, the Transitional Care Program, with interprofessional colleagues to improve the discharge process for neurosurgical patients admitted for elective procedures. The program included the creation of the Transitional Care Nurse (TCRN) role to bridge the gap between inpatient and ambulatory care. Because of its success, the program was submitted in the hospital’s Magnet documentation last month, and other specialties are considering implementing the program.

“Siobhan singlehandedly changed the way our patients were discharged from the hospital, and we had the data to prove it; our readmission rates were decreasing, our patient satisfaction was increasing and the communication between our patients and our providers after discharge drastically improved,” wrote Jessica Logsdon, MHS, MHA, PA-C, director of Physician Assistant Services, who collaborated with Raftery on the program.

Raftery has been a clinical nurse in the Neurosciences Intermediate unit since starting at the Brigham in 1996. She received her BSN from the University of Massachusetts Boston and earned certification as a Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN).

Read a reflection by Raftery about “The Power of Nursing.”