Nurses of Note 2023: The Nurse of Many Titles
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PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note awards program honors nurses who deserve recognition for their service, sacrifice, and devotion to their patients and colleagues. For the third year of the Nurses of Note program, PerfectServe is highlighting nurses who’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty and whose resilience, creativity, and determination inspire others to do the same.
These honorees are outstanding representatives from the field of nursing, and the stories they share help paint a picture of the difference they make for their patients and communities every single day. Of the 200-plus winners from this year’s program, we’ve selected a handful to engage with more in-depth profiles that will be published throughout the year. These are their stories.
The Nurse of Many Titles: Susan Moy, RN, BSN, CCRN | Downers Grove, IL
Nursing is sometimes thought of as strictly a care career; nurses serve at the bedside in various specialties for all types of patients. But for nurses like Susan Moy, RN, BSN, CCRN, nursing and caregiving also encompass council meetings, governance discussions, and decision-making in addition to the many types of bedside care she provides. Her multifaceted job description reminds us that nursing comes in many different forms, including some that primarily involve serving fellow nurses and/or the entire health system.
Susan started her nursing career at St. Francis Hospital in Blue Island, Il, in 1995. Her husband was a firefighter in Downers Grove at the time, and several of his nurse friends expressed how much they enjoyed working in the ED at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital (AGSH). Nine years later in June of 2004, Susan interviewed and accepted a position at AGSH with great excitement.
When she began her career at AGSH, Susan found that cardiovascular (CV) care was her true passion. She obtained her CCRN (critical care RN) certification and became more involved as a resource for specialty equipment. In 2015, her role changed to Charge Nurse, and she also served as a Rapid Response Nurse. She was still able to work at the bedside, but her new role expanded her duties to include managing the Patient Command Center. She completed staff assignments, rounded on patients to help improve satisfaction scores, promoted process improvement with nurse sensitive indicators, and even assisted in conflict resolution with staff, patients, and families.
In the Charge Nurse role, Susan is considered a Skills Super User. The term “super user” means different things in different contexts, but in Susan’s case it means she received specialized training that qualifies her to set up certain devices that other nurses cannot. This includes equipment like an Impella, balloon pumps, or an ECMO machine. She’s a resource to the inpatient nursing units and assists them with troubleshooting and concerns, and she coordinates the CV orientation for nurses interested in managing CV patients immediately post op. Add on that Susan monitors patients who trigger for positive sepsis, and she also assists in reviewing charts and orders to help with compliance. If it sounds like Susan wears a lot of hats, you better buckle up: there’s plenty more to her story!
For Susan, giving physical patient care was just the tip of the iceberg. She’s also involved with Shared Governance, the Professional Development Council, and the Practice Council. The Professional Development Council works to ensure professional development of AGSH nurses by promoting certification, mentoring, membership in professional organizations, recognition, and community involvement. Susan helped develop mentorship programs at AGSH both for nurses who are recent graduates and nurses who are new to AGSH. As Chair for the Practice Council, Susan helps review nursing practice policies and provides leadership and expertise for nursing and best care practices. She talks with the staff about shared governance, current projects, possibilities for involvement on committees, and other opportunities for improvement. She believes this fosters more transparency and communication between leadership and nurses at the bedside.
Susan is also on the CCU Education Committee, where she ensures staff are trained and competent in the use of the specialized equipment found in the CCU. As she is passionate about CV patients and CV care in general, she serves as the chair of our CV subgroup within the CCU Professional Development committee. Along with other committee members, she’s helped to establish a quarterly hands-on skills day for new and existing staff to improve competency with specialized equipment used to care for CCU patients.
Susan is clearly a nurse of many talents, from hands-on care to nurse education and beyond. And even with all of these work responsibilities, she still makes it a priority to give back. Each year, Advocate Health Care participates in the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Throughout the hospital, each unit has one or several heart walk champions and participates in a competition to raise money for the cause. It likely won’t surprise you to find out that Susan was one of the “Heart Walk Champions” for CCU in 2022. No matter the endeavor, Susan is all in once she’s involved!
In short, yes, Susan does it all. She supports patients, colleagues, and much of what goes on behind the scenes at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. To be a Nurse of Note means that you go above and beyond the call of duty, and we can’t think of anyone who meets that standard better than Susan.
Susan, it would be impossible to highlight all of the ways you support fellow nurses, patients, and other staff and care team members at AGSH. Your inclination to lead and inspire reminds us that nurses thrive when they have the right support from the top down. Thanks for everything you do—we can’t wait to see where else you’ll fly!
To learn more about Susan’s background, we asked her a few questions to get to know her better.
Why did you choose to become a nurse?
You could say it was in my blood. My aunt was a nurse and my mother was in nursing school when she met my father. I enjoy caring for people, and I find that nursing is very rewarding; it helps to feed my soul. A nurse wears many hats: you are a support for the patient and family during difficult times, a teacher who educates about self-care and disease management, and you serve as each patient’s advocate. Nursing also offers many opportunities for advancement and movement within the medical field.
What is the biggest lesson you learned while serving as a nurse throughout the pandemic?
The pandemic taught me how strong and resilient nurses can be. Every day we faced challenges, yet everyone worked together and supported each other.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about working in the healthcare industry?
There is something to learn every day, and you never know it all! My other pieces of advice would be never to forget how important networking is—don’t stop reading articles, and never stop learning.
What do you do to relax after a stressful day?
I work 12-hour shifts, and with my travel time to and from work, my days are 14 hours total. I like to listen to music or podcasts. In the summer, I like to sit on the front porch (sometimes with a glass of wine), listen to the quietness of Mother Nature, and talk with my husband.
What changes would you like to see in the nursing field of the future?
I would like to see nursing programs incorporate students working as CNAs in hospitals while in nursing school. Working in a patient care setting can be intimidating; you have to be able to get into someone’s personal space. It can be fast-paced. There is constant change, so adaptability is a must. By working in a hospital, you see the day-to-day workflow of caring for patients. Different situations and problems arise, which lead to problem-solving opportunities. Many nurses like to teach and are willing to take those staff members in nursing school under their wings and expose them to learning opportunities.
If you had to pick one song that describes you as a nurse, what would it be?
I don’t have an answer to this! Some days it’s one song, and other days it’s another.
Make sure to follow our blog as we publish profiles about more of our amazing Nurses of Note honorees throughout the year!
For more about Nurses of Note 2023, check out the full list of winners.