News spotlight: Nursing advocate makes list of top 20 people who make healthcare better

Nurse Leader Insider, December 14, 2009

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Each year, HealthLeaders Media selects 20 people who are making a difference for good in healthcare. The selections range from high-profile people who foster big changes to people who may not be household names, but whose contributions to healthcare have inspired positive change. This year, one of the winners is a nurse from Iowa.

For more than three decades, Barbara “BJ” Hannon, MSN, RN, CPHQ, has dedicated her life to the nursing profession and helping others strive toward excellence. It was not until the facility she was working at decided to apply for ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® (MRP) designation, that she became involved with educating other Iowa organizations about MRP.

“One of the reasons that I will go anywhere and talk to anyone about MRP, is that I really want every hospital on the face of this earth to get designated,” she says. “All the things that MRP requires make life better for nurses in the hospitals. And because I’ve been a nurse for 34 years, I know the way it used to be; and it used to be terrible.”

During the past seven years, Hannon has helped her facility receive MRP designation in 2004 and then re-designation in 2008, and has seen nursing increase its visibility across the organization.

“What MRP means to me is getting rid of the invisibility of nurses and putting nurses where they belong, which is out there at the forefront,” says Hannon. “We’re not just nice, sweet, compassionate girls who hold your hand. We are highly educated, quality improvement experts who use evidence-based practice to produce the best care possible.”

To find out more about why Hannon is on the list, and to read the other profiles, visit

Source: HealthLeaders Media

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