University of Kansas Transplant Unit Receives First AMSN PRISM Award® for Exemplary Medical-Surgical Nursing Practice

University of Kansas Transplant Unit Receives First AMSN PRISM Award™ for Exemplary Medical-Surgical Nursing Practice

When the nurses of a University of Kansas Hospital transplant unit gathered in the hospital atrium November 8, they thought they were coming to a Med-Surg Nurses Week party. Many of them had the day off or had asked another nurse to cover for them so they could attend. It’s a good thing they did because there was another much bigger surprise waiting for them.

“The timing of our visit today is really special because we have a wonderful announcement to make,” said Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) President Mimi Haskins, MS, RN, CNS, CMSRN, who was representing the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and MSNCB. “The recipient of our first AMSN PRISM Award® is the 41/42 Hematology, Oncology, Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit of the University of Kansas Hospital!”

Responding with hugs, high fives, and cheers, the nurses celebrated their achievement and crowded around the award, a cut glass framed prism. They were joined by hospital officials as well as AMSN Secretary Robin Hertel, MSN, RN, CMSRN, who co-presented the award with Haskins.

The AMSN PRISM Award, which is co-sponsored by AMSN and MSNCB, the certifying body of AMSN, recognizes exceptional nursing practice, leadership, and outcomes in hospital medical-surgical units. PRISM stands for “Premier Recognition In the Specialty of Med-Surg.” It is the first award of its kind honoring med-surg nursing units in the United States.


Watch the awards ceremony at the University of
Kansas Hospital, Kansas City.

"Unit 41/42 impressed the AMSN PRISM Award application reviewers as an outstanding example of teamwork, professionalism, and innovation," said AMSN President Kathleen Lattavo, MSN, RN, CNS-MS, CMSRN, RNBC, ACNS-BC. "The staff members' commitment to patients and their dedication to excelling in every aspect of their jobs were obvious on their application. They have earned every bit of their success."

Specifically, the unit was chosen for its excellent recruitment and retention practices, outstanding application of evidence-based practice standards; personalized and holistic patient care; and a healthy and supportive practice environment. The AMSN PRISM Award task force also applauded the unit for the number of nurses seeking to advance their education and professional development.

According to Haskins, the joy and excitement of the staff during the award ceremony was matched by that of hospital leaders and administrators.

"Every day I'm reminded how we have the right people," said Tammy Peterman, COO and CNO, who took the podium for the hospital, which is located in Kansas City. "Because you can't have great outcomes at our hospital without the right people. And you are that group."

"The AMSN PRISM Award is a testament to the nursing team and how we continue to raise the bar in terms of the care we provide," said Robin Thompson, RN, MSN, Nurse Manager, Unit 41/42. "The patients who come here know we are always looking for ways to be more efficient and compassionate and to deliver care in a more exceptional way."

After the main ceremony in the atrium, officials brought the celebration directly to the 41/42 unit and repeated the award presentation for the working nurses who were unable to attend the first event. The award was a surprise to the nurses, who were emotional and grateful.

"The AMSN PRISM Award is a testament to the nursing team and how we continue to raise the bar in terms of the care we provide," said Robin Thompson, RN, MSN, Nurse Manager, Unit 41/42. "The patients who come here know we are always looking for ways to be more efficient and compassionate and to deliver care in a more exceptional way."

Hertel said she and Haskins were moved by the warmth and gratitude of staff and administrators.

“To say it was an honor and a privilege to present the award that day is putting it mildly,” Haskins said. “It was one of the best moments of my career.”

According to Hertel, the nurses’ stories were particularly compelling.

“By the stories they told us following the presentation, we knew for certain that this award was truly deserved and the AMSN PRISM Award selection team made an excellent choice,” Hertel said. “The nurses were thrilled at having the opportunity to share their stories and were particularly excited when they learned that the award presentation would be shared with AMSN members.”

She added that one of the unit nurses spoke with her and Haskins on the unit and told them “This award and its prisms truly represent all the patients we have taken care of in the past who have died and the loving care we gave them.”

AMSN will announce the award recipients in its publications and during a presentation at the next AMSN Annual Convention slated for September 2014 in Orlando, FL.


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.

With more than 600,000 medical-surgical nurses practicing in the United States today, AMSN and MSNCB also wanted to promote public understanding of the broad spectrum of patient care services these nurses provide, another reason the acronym “PRISM” was chosen for the award.

View complete information about the AMSN PRISM Award.

Photos from the Award Ceremony


Bob Page, President and Chief Executive Officer.


Natalie Wellington, RN, Kathleen Kornelis, RN.


AMSN Secretary Robin A. Hertel, MSN, RN, CMSRN, and MSNCB President Mimi Haskins, MS, RN, CNS, CMSRN, award.


Robin Thompson, RN, Nurse Manager, Cyndy Steen, RN, Nurse Manager.


Natalie Wellington, RN.


Happy faces!


Happy group!


Left to right: Emily Connor, RN, Liza Murray, RN, Unit Coordinator, Marla Stubbs, RN, Natalie Wellington, RN, Kathleen Kornelis, RN, Heather Figary, RN, Gina Brownlee, RN, Megan Laskares, RN, Unit Coordinator, Robin Wilks, RN, Angela Rueter, RN, Unit Coordinator, Karla Tartaglia, RN, Unit Coordinator.


Left to right: Heather Figary, RN, Marla Stubbs, RN.


Left to right: Cyndy Steen, RN, Nurse Manger, Robin Thompson, RN, Nurse Manager, Tammy Peterman, RN, MS, Executive Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer, Chris Ruder, RN, MS, Vice President of Patient Care Services, Bob Page, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Karen Wray, RN, Nursing Director, AMSN Secretary Robin A. Hertel, MSN, RN, CMSRN, and MSNCB President Mimi Haskins, MS, RN, CNS, CMSRN.


Emily Connor, RN


Karla Tartaglia, RN, Unit Coordinator


Natalie Wellington, RN


Angela Rueter, RN, Unit Coordinator


Heather Figary, RN


Megan Laskares, RN


Kathleen Kornelis, RN


Marla Stubbs, RN


Gina Brownlee, RN


Left to right: Cyndy Steen, Heather Figary, Robin Thompson.


Left to right: MSNCB President Mimi Haskins, MS, RN, CNS, CMSRN, and Karen Wray, RN, MSN, Nursing Director of Acute Care.


Group picture.


Left to right: Group shot, staff in front row, Kathleen Kornelis, RN, Heather Rischar, RN, Marla Stubbs, RN, Rachel Lee, PCA, Whitney Reeves, PCA: Back Row: Chris Ruder,2 Heme/Onc Residents and Elizabeth Erickson, ARNP.


Left to right: Cyndy Steen, RN, MSN, Nurse Manager, MSNCB President Mimi Haskins, MS, RN, CNS, CMSRN, AMSN Secretary Robin A. Hertel, MSN, RN, CMSRN, and Robin Thompson, RN, MSN, Nurse Manager.