Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus Med-Surg Unit 1A, Dover, Delaware

The nurses of Delaware's Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus Med-Surg Unit 1A have received their second Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) PRISM Award®, an honor recognizing exceptional nursing practice, leadership and outcomes in hospital medical-surgical units.

Unit 1A previously received the honor in 2014, and is the only med-surg unit in the state to receive the award.

AMSN co-sponsors the award with the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB). The 'PRISM' acronym stands for "Premier Recognition in the Specialty of Med-Surg." The award is the first of its kind honoring med-surg nursing units in the U.S. and internationally.

The staff nurses of 1A received their award during a November 28, 2018, celebration at the hospital, which is located in Dover. Cathryn Kelly, RN, LDN, CCCTM, Director, MSNCB Board of Directors, presented the nurses with the award plaque during the ceremony

Bayhealth administrators praised the nurses during the celebration and credited Dianne Halpern, MSN, CNML, RN, Unit 1A nurse manager, for helping her staff provide top-quality patient care. They also cited her for involving the nurses in joint decision-making and encouraging accountability for performance.

"I'm very grateful for the staff I have," Halpern said at the ceremony. "It's because of them and what they do every day that makes 1A, 1A. We have a great team, and I know that's why we received this award a second time."

Bayhealth's Clinical Coordinator Jessica O'Connor, BSN, RN, CMSRN, and Medical-Surgical Coordinator Amy Cunningham, MSN, RN-BC, said they believe this year's honor validates the unit's work and demonstrates how the nurses are motivated to reach an even higher level of practice in the future.

"Getting this award shows that when people come here, they're going to get the best care we can possibly give them," O'Connor said. "We're proud to be the first and only med-surg unit in the state to receive this recognition."

1A Preceptor and Relief Charge Nurse Melissa Slater, RN, BSN, CMSRN, agreed, citing the 2014 award as inspiration for the nurses to employ the same work ethic and high standards.

"1A has a reputation for doing the right thing for patients, striving to go above and beyond expectations, while supporting and holding each other accountable,” Slater said.

"Once we received the award, we said, 'What do we have to do to get it again?' As a new nurse on the unit at the time, I was thankful to be become part of this recognized team. 1A has a reputation for doing the right thing for patients, striving to go above and beyond expectations, while supporting and holding each other accountable," Slater said.

About the AMSN PRISM Award
Hoping to inspire nurses to strive for the highest levels of patient safety and quality, AMSN and MSNCB launched the AMSN PRISM Award in October 2012. In addition to excellence in practice and outcomes, the award also reflects the compassion, commitment, and connection that characterize med-surg nurses.

Specifically, the award celebrates units that exhibit:

  • Effective leadership
  • Recruitment and retention of competent staff members
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Positive patient outcomes
  • A healthy practice environment
  • Lifelong learning of unit staff members

There are approximately 650,000 medical-surgical nurses practicing in the United States today, making them the single largest group of specialty nurses working in hospital settings, according to AMSN. Med-surg nurses oversee a broad spectrum of patient care responsibilities, another reason the acronym "PRISM" was chosen for the award.

View complete information about the AMSN PRISM Award, contact AMSN at or 866-877-AMSN.

About AMSN
The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) is the only specialty nursing organization dedicated to medical-surgical nursing practice. Its mission is to promote excellence in medical-surgical nursing.

About Bayhealth
Bayhealth's mission is to strengthen the health of our community, one life at a time. As central and southern Delaware's largest healthcare system, Bayhealth is comprised of Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus and Bayhealth Milford Memorial, the freestanding Emergency Department in Smyrna as well as numerous satellite facilities and employed physician practices encompassing a variety of specialties. Visit for more information.