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In This Issue:
When Margaret Costello, MSN, MHA, APRN, BC, was a nursing student at Salve Regina College, her first patient had a debilitating neurological disease that left her unable to walk or care for herself. At the height of the patient’s illness, her husband left her, and financial problems forced her to move from the home she loved to a tiny apartment.
“She was up against so many odds, but she had this positive outlook that made everything more bearable for her,” Costello, now a nurse in-charge on Tower 15C, recalled. “She could still find goodness in life. I was so inspired by her.”
The experience with that patient shaped the way Costello practices nursing and the way she teaches it, both as a preceptor to BWH nurses and as a faculty member at Simmons College.
“As nurses, we don’t just take care of patients’ physical needs,” said Costello, who joined BWH in 1988. “We take a holistic approach that helps them develop a positive outlook and the skills to cope.”
She added, “For me, it goes beyond what happens at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It’s also about teaching patients how to maintain the highest level of function they can when they leave.”
This attitude and compassion make Costello an exemplary nurse and this year’s recipient of the Mary S. Fay Essence of Nursing Award. She accepted BWH’s top honor for nurses at last night’s annual Nurse Recognition Dinner.
“Margaret’s total focus is the care of the patient, and to that end, she encourages every member of the staff to strive for excellence,” said Suzanne Silvernail, RN, nurse manager of Tower 15, who nominated her for this award. “Margaret is a superb listener and a compassionate, non-judgmental caregiver.”
Each of this year’s finalists for the Essence of Nursing Award are inspiring, which made the selection difficult. The finalists are James Roche, MEd, BSN, RN, NIC, Central Nursing Resources; Joan Dorr, BSN, RN, Cardiac Surgery Step Down, Tower 8AB; Karen Green, BS, RN, IBCLC, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and Mary Lou Powers, BSN, RN, Tower 12D, Coronary Care Unit.
“Margaret and our four finalists represent the best in nursing at BWH,” said Mairead Hickey, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services. “Their dedication to excellent patient care sets a shining example for others to follow.”
BWH celebrated all of its nurses last night at the annual Nurse Recognition Dinner at the Westin Hotel in Waltham.