Assistant Clinical Professor Named NurseWeek National Nurse of the Year

Cathy Rodgers Ward, director of nursing at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, is the recipient of NurseWeek Magazine’s 2011 National Nurse of the Year Award in the management category. Earlier this year, Ward was honored with the regional version of the award.

Ward is also an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Nursing, where she earned her doctorate in nursing science and was honored with the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Widely recognized by hospital leadership as an innovative thinker, Ward has overseen the hospital’s inpatient nursing units since 2000. Under her leadership, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has consistently outperformed national standards on the nurse-sensitive quality indicators that are required to achieve Magnet Status, a highly coveted designation for hospitals with outstanding nursing care.

Under Ward’s leadership, overall patient satisfaction remains above the 90th percentile. Some of her other achievements include initiating a nurse leadership succession-planning program for UCLA Health System; developing a structured charge-nurse role to provide continuity in unit supervision; designing daily team rounds with patient and nurse participation; and overseeing the care of patients moving into the new hospital from the old facility.