Kerry Thayer

As the nurse-in-charge (NIC) in the busy Center for Labor and Birth, Kerry Thayer, MSN, RNC-OB, c-EFM, offers a calming voice and presence that leads other nurses, from novice to expert, through the work of their shift.

“Kerry is an active listener when nurses come to her with a multitude of patient, personal and work-related issues,” wrote Kate McGovern, RNC-OB, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC, c-EFM, IBCLC, nursing director. “She communicates effectively with all members and disciplines within the team, and she places patient safety at the forefront of her decision-making.”

Thayer can be counted on to support not only staff nurses but also providers and non-clinical staff, and she is often the first to see where there is a need, according to colleagues.

From left: Margaret Allaire, Kerry Thayer and Kate McGovern

“As one of the NICs on the night shift, Kerry has gained the respect of her colleagues, medical providers and management teams for many reasons, especially her leadership style,” shared McGovern.

Karen Manganaro, DNP, RNC-OB, C-ONQS, agreed. “I have worked alongside Kerry for over 20 years and am inspired by her expertise, leadership and caring passion,” she wrote. “When nurses are heard and know they are supported, it is positively reflected in their care at the bedside.”

For Thayer, the relationship among nurses and care team members is essential to the provision of excellent care.

“There is much written about relationship-based care between the care team and the patient. Having the patient feel known, valued and understood is a basic tenet of this care model,” she wrote. “I would add another dimension to the relationship-based care model: the relationship between the members of the care team.”

Thayer recalled a stressful situation one particularly busy evening that underscored the importance of the team’s relationship with one another. A patient was rushed to the operating room unexpectedly, and the team responded swiftly to deliver the newborn and resuscitate the mother. Other staff and providers on the floor not involved in the code worked together to ensure all patients on the unit received the care they needed.

“The nonverbal communication and straight-up nursing excellence I witnessed is something that I will forever be in awe of,” Thayer wrote. “To know someone’s strengths, the way they communicate and the way they handle stress and challenges shapes your interactions. I will forever be equal parts proud of and grateful to that team.”

From left: Bridget Mirarchi, Kate McGovern, Rebecca Nilsen, Kerry Thayer, Kathy Looney, Rachel Slagle and Margaret Allaire

Thayer also supports nursing colleagues through staff education initiatives and her roles as chair of the Connors Center for Women and Newborns Standards, Policies and Procedures Committee and active member of her unit-based practice council. She teaches competency-based programs focused on electronic fetal monitoring and obstetrical patient safety to improve staff knowledge in support of safe care.

“Kerry is always available to listen and address practice concerns related to unit-based policies, and she advocates to implement change when needed,” wrote Susan L. Kearney, BSN, RN, RCN-OB. “Kerry demonstrates her passion and dedication to obstetrics, always sharing her wealth of knowledge with staff. She inspires everyone around her to be a stronger leader and nurse. Even after the many years of working with her, I often find myself asking, ‘What would Kerry do?’”

Thayer received her BSN from Boston College and her MSN from Southern New Hampshire University.

Nominated by Kate McGovern, RNC-OB, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC, c-EFM, IBCLC, nurse director of CWN5 and CWN8S and Margaret Allaire, MS, RNC-OB, assistant nurse director of CWN5 and CWN8S, with letters of support from Karen Manganaro, DNP, RNC-OB, C-ONQS, clinical nurse educator, and Susan L. Kearney, BSN, RN, RNC-OB.

Photos by Faith Ninivaggi

3 Responses to “Essence of Nursing Award Honoree: Kerry Thayer, MSN, RNC-OB, c-EFM”

  1. Cathy thayer

    So proud to call you my daughter love mom

  2. Patti DiSalvatore

    It is an honor and a privilege to work with you.

  3. Erin Cassidy-Lunman

    I am lucky to have worked with you! I love that no matter what happens on L&D you are always calm, cool-headed, and supportive.

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