Mary LaMartina, BSN, RN, CCRN

A Kenmore Mercy Hospital critical care nurse was recently honored with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Circle of Excellence Award. Mary LaMartina, BSN, RN, CCRN, is New York State’s only nurse to receive the prestigious national award in 2020.

Award winners are selected for achieving excellent outcomes in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families. This year, only fifteen individuals were recognized nationally.

LaMartina, who was nominated for the Circle of Excellence Award by her critical care peers and leaders, helped author three successful submissions for AACN silver Beacon Awards. She has also been involved in several important critical care initiatives, including the Modified Early Warning Score System; palliative care; and the Awakening and Breathing Coordination, Choice of Drug, Delirium Monitoring and Management, and Early Mobility (ABCDE) bundle, which was adopted throughout Catholic Health.

During her 31 year career as a Kenmore Mercy nurse, LaMartina has been an unstoppable force of positivity, influencing both nurses and patients. “Unstoppable means pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones to relentlessly pursue improvement in patient outcomes. Unstoppable is collective nursing strengths driving excellence because nothing else is acceptable,” said LaMartina.

In addition to the Circle of Excellence Award, she was named the hospital’s Nurse of Distinction in 2012.

“Mary is a visionary leader who relentlessly pursues best practices for optimal patient outcomes at the bedside. She went beyond becoming certified in critical care and encouraging others to do so by recruiting a physician to voluntarily teach review courses. Her commitment to excellence and evidence-based care has helped improve patient care, support the local community and create a healthy work environment throughout the hospital,” said 2019-2020 AACN President Megan Brunson.

The Circle of Excellence Award

Healthcare professionals who receive the Circle of Excellence Award exemplify why AACN is a community of exceptional nurses. Criteria used to evaluate award candidates includes relentless promotion of patient-driven excellence; communication skills; true collaboration; effective decision making; meaningful recognition of others; ability to transform thinking, structures and processes; and ability to address challenges and remove barriers to excellent patient care and achieve visible results through leadership.

“Mary absolutely deserves this national recognition for her outstanding contributions toward nursing excellence,” said Kristen Parisi, BSN, RN, CCRN-K, nurse manager of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.  “She is passionate about patient care, is a strong advocate for education, and played an integral role in the implementation of the Healthy Work Environment.”

AACN’s Circle of Excellence awards align with the association’s mission of creating a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

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