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Local Nurses Receive National Honors

Adding local emphasis to National Nurses Week, two of Inova Alexandria Hospital's personnel have received national recognition for their career expertise and achievements.

Kathleen Barry, RN, MHA, and Simone Gadoury, RN, were named Nurse Executive of the Year and Nurse Manager of the Year respectively, by Nursing Spectrum the publication for the nursing profession. Between them they have 47 years of nursing experience.

"I was drawn to nursing because I love being around people. Nursing gives you the opportunity to be around other nurses, doctors, patients, and family members," Gadoury said. "I try to foster a work environment so people never feel pulled between work and home."

As nurse executive at Inova Alexandria, part of Barry's responsibility is to foster the love of nursing. "The beauty of nursing is that there are so many opportunities to find different ways to satisfy your passion for the profession," she said.

"You can teach, you can do research, you can work with anyone from babies to the elderly. You can literally change your job without changing your career. The possibilities are limitless. You are never bored," Gadoury said.

IN CONTRAST TO the nationwide rising rate of unemployment, the nursing profession is in desperate need of additional personnel. A recent study put the Washington/Baltimore area top on the list for nursing vacancies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million new nurses will be needed by 2010. By the year 2020, there will be a need for 1.7 million nurses in the United States. If the current trend continues, there will only be 635,000 positions filled, according to recent statistics.

"We have our challenges, just like all other hospitals across the nation," Barry emphasized. "But, Inova's incentives are working to draw new nurses to this area."

Barry noted that several former interns who worked at Inova Health System returned after completing their degrees to assume full-time positions. "This is truly a high-tech, high-touch profession because you can never replace the human element of a friendly face and reassuring words when a person is ill," Barry said.

Gadoury has been at Inova Alexandria for over two years in the position of Clinical Manager of Same Day Surgery, PACU, and Pre-Surgical Testing. Barry was recruited to Inova Alexandria 26 months ago from New Hampshire. Throughout her career she has held a variety of nursing leadership positions ranging from supervisor to assistant vice president. She is now leader of Patient Care Services.

IN MAKING THE nominations for the awards, their peers stated, "Kathy Berry is an invaluable nursing leader whose passion for nursing and commitment to excellence is evidenced by the respect and admiration she receives from the nursing and medical staff."

Gadoury was cited for "her people skills" in addition to her management techniques. "She recognizes the value of people, whether they are patients, family, or staff members. She also recognizes and rewards those who achieve and excel in their endeavors," they stated.

The theme of this year's National Nurses Week, May 6 to 12, is "Nurses: Lifting Spirits, Touching Lives." It concludes on Florence Nightingale's birthday.

In 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day. But, beginning this year it is celebrated on the Wednesday of National Nurses Week. On May 15, Inova Alexandria Hospital will hold a Nursing Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the hospital atrium.

Barry summed up both her's and Gadoury's passion for, and dedication to, the nursing profession by saying, "I couldn't envision my life without it. I have no regrets."