Sparrow Chief Nursing Officer receives prestigious national honor

Published: Jan. 18, 2016

Sparrow Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Mary Lou Wesley has been named a recipient of the highest honor presented nationally to Nurse leaders by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

The AACN’s 2016 CNL Visionary Leader Award honors practice leaders who have made significant contributions to advancing the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) initiative.

Wesley has been instrumental in making the CNL an integral part of health care delivery and advancing quality Patient care at Sparrow. The CNL is an emerging nursing role developed by AACN to improve the quality of Patient care and better prepare Nurses to thrive in today’s health care system. CNLs are master’s-prepared clinicians who put evidence-based practice into action to ensure that Patients benefit from the latest innovations in care delivery.

The award was presented at the 2016 CNL Summit in Long Beach, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 14. Carolinas Medical Center Chief Nursing Executive Grace Sotomayor was also honored with the award.

“Introducing a new Nursing role into the health care delivery system takes vision, courage, and leadership, as well as sustained efforts,” said AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN. “AACN commends the groundbreaking work of these two leaders to integrate the CNL into their health care systems as a mechanism for enhancing care coordination, strengthening outcome-based practice, and enhancing Patient safety.”

Wesley is a Michigan native who joined Sparrow in December 2014. Her outstanding nursing leadership credentials span more than 30 years at major health systems in both Michigan and Georgia. She leads a staff of nearly 2,000 Nurses whose hard work and dedication to quality and compassionate care helped Sparrow achieve Magnet® redesignation, the nation’s most prestigious honor for nursing achievement and considered the "gold standard" for nursing care in hospitals. It places Sparrow among the top 6 percent of hospitals in the nation.

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