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Six Mercy Nurses Named Among 100 Great Iowa Nurses for 2019

The MedQuarter | March 14th, 2019

Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids is pleased to announce that six of its nurses – Connie Arens, BSN, MS; Teresa Davidson, ARNP, MSN, RN; Marci Hays, MSN, OCN, RN; Shelly Hite, RN; Amanda Pins, BSN, RN; and Nancy Shade, BSN, CAPA, RN – have been selected among the 100 Great Iowa Nurses for 2019.

The 100 Great Iowa Nurses award recognizes nurses who have made meaningful, lasting contributions to their patients, colleagues and the nursing profession, and who are viewed as mentors to other nursing professionals.

Mercy Award Winners

Connie Arens has been a nurse at Mercy for 22 years, currently serving as a house supervisor/patient placement. She belongs to Mercy’s emergency management, organ/tissue foundation, and clinical ladder committees, and is part of the Mercy Nursing Honor Guard, which honors former nurses who have passed away. Outside of Mercy, Connie is a board member of the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight as well as the assistant medical coordinator, assisting veterans to Washington D.C. for the last four years. She has served on the Veteran Memorial Commission for five years and is a parish nurse in the community.

Teresa Davidson is a pediatric nurse practitioner and also serves as Mercy’s anti-human trafficking coordinator, a newly created position at Mercy to develop response protocols and train clinicians to be alert to the signs of human trafficking. Teresa receives referrals of human trafficking victims within the hospital as well as from outside agencies. She frequently speaks on this topic to local, state, national and even international community service providers. Shortly after Teresa was hired at Mercy, she was tasked with taking Mercy’s newborn nursery to a Level II NICU, which opened in 1996.

Marci Hays is a hospice and palliative care nurse with Hospice of Mercy. Previously, Marci worked in a cancer clinic for 13 years, offering support and care to patients and their families as they made their way through the cancer journey, and ultimately serving as clinic manager. Utilizing those same skills, Marci has helped to develop policies and procedures at Mercy to improve patient access to the palliative care staff through the use of clinic time and nursing visits at home. She mentors and leads new staff as they care for patients struggling with chronic illness and mortality.

Shelly Hite, a Mercy nurse for 25 years, is a clinical documentation educator in Mercy’s Organizational Development department. She has used her nursing skills in this role to educate staff on the use of the electronic medical record, contribute to policy-writing committees, and help managers identify solutions for common nursing issues. As a nursing leader, Shelly has led many initiatives and provided ongoing education. She is currently pursuing her BSN. Her nominator said her unwavering dedication to patient safety and nurse education is unmatched.

Amanda Pins is a nurse clinician with Mercy’s Memory Disorders Clinic, demonstrating extraordinary care and compassion for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their families. She continually researches and looks for best practices on providing the very best clinical care for those along the dementia journey. She is active with the Alzheimer’s Association Iowa Chapter, serving as a member of its leadership board as well as facilitating support groups. She has also been the chair of the Cedar Rapids Walk to End Alzheimer’s for six years and has created other fundraising events. As a community advocate, Amanda has worked with state and national lawmakers to increase awareness and funding for research for Alzheimer’s and dementia. She has been with Mercy for 20 years.

Nancy Shade has been a nurse at Mercy for 40 years, consistently advancing through the organization and currently serving as nurse manager of pre-operative and outpatient surgical care; she has been certified for 15 years in her specialty of perioperative nursing. Her commitment to Mercy is evident by her active role on numerous committees. Nancy is committed to patient excellence through advocating for system-wide, continuous improvement. In addition to her daily managerial responsibilities, Nancy has been a team captain for the Especially for You® Race Against Breast Cancer for 10 years.

The six Mercy nurses will be among the nurses honored in Des Moines in May at the annual celebration of 100 Great Iowa Nurses.