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In This Issue:
Sharon Levine cares for a patient in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit.
Most days, Sharon Levine, BSN, RN, wears a heart-shaped charm with an angel carved into it on a chain around her neck. It came in the mail about seven years ago with a note from the son of one of her patients who had passed away in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit.
The note’s last lines read: “Most of all, when I needed someone to hold my Dad’s hand when I had to leave the room, you did it for me. My mom and I thought that the enclosed was fitting for you because we hope that there will always be a guardian angel looking after you and yours the way you looked after us.”
Levine, who has been a nurse at BWH for 28 years, has a passion for nursing that each of her patients and their family members feel. “Knowledgeable and compassionate in the care she delivers, Sharon approaches each patient and family as if they were her own and ensures that every need is met,” said Karen Reilly, MBA, RN, nurse manager of Shapiro 9 and 10.
Last night, Levine was honored for the exquisite care she provides to patients and families—a blend of knowledge, compassion and skill—as she received the Essence of Nursing Award at this year’s Nursing Recognition Dinner at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, where all BWH nurses were celebrated.
From left, Jo Ann Morey, Leslie Sabatino, Sharon Levine, Patti Smith-Allen, and Lynette Wardwell
The four exemplary finalists for the Essence of Nursing Award also received special recognition: Jo Ann Morey, BSN, RN, of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Leslie Sabatino, BSN, RN, of the Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit; Patricia Smith-Allen, BSN, RN, of Hematology/Oncology; and Lynette Wardwell, BSN, RN, of the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit.
“Congratulations to Sharon and all of our finalists,” said Mairead Hickey, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services. “They are outstanding nurses whose expert practice, compassion for patients and dedication to teaching the next generation of nurses is inspiring.”
BWH President Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, shared excerpts from the many thank you notes he receives from patients praising their nurses. “Your voice, with your knowledge, expertise and compassion, carries the message of our mission and our vision to deliver excellent care with the very best staff in the safest environment to those who depend on us in their time of need,” he said. “And for our patients, your voice is the voice of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.”
In addition to caring for patients, Levine strives to improve the practice of nursing through participation on hospital committees. She also is a dedicated teacher and preceptor for nurses just beginning their careers.
“I am a very lucky person because I can do all of my favorite things: first and foremost, bedside patient care,” Levine said. “Everything else is a close second: teaching, committee work and filling in for the charge nurse role every third weekend. It’s a very stimulating environment. I get to do all of the things I love.”
Levine became a nurse 31 years ago simply because she loves helping people. On days that are difficult, she touches the guardian angel charm. “It’s a reminder that even in the seemingly most hopeless situation, I can still try to help,” she said.