ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – One nurse from Odessa Regional Medical Center, is 1 of 3 nurses from the state of Texas this year to be awarded the “Circle of Excellence” award by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

In a recent news release, the criteria used to determine the candidates eligible for the award includes strong communication skills, effective decision making, the ability to address challenges and remove barriers to excellent patient care and achieve visible results through leadership, and the ability to transform thinking, structures and processes.

Denae Sims, Director of Critical Care Services at Odessa Regional Medical Center checked off each box to be considered for the “Circle of Excellence” award. 

According to the news release, only 16 nurses, including Denae, received the 2022 Circle of Excellence award from the  American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Each nurse was recognized for their solution-oriented approaches to challenges, including reducing healthcare-associated infection rates, improving the work environment, and helping their organizations and communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carol Cates, Chief Nursing Officer at ORMC shared why she believes Sims is deserving of the award. 

“Sims is a brand-new Director, but you would not know it. She is a natural leader. Staff satisfaction is high, turnover is low, and despite the pandemic, she has kept the quality metrics in her department exceeding the national average. She mentors her staff in the art of nursing: being a patient advocate and a lifelong learner. Sims’s colleagues respect her for her compassion, leadership, and skill.”

Cates went on to say that during the second wave of the pandemic, Denae worked countless hours to provide care to patients in the COVID unit at ORMC.

“Denae was first promoted to Interim Director of Critical Care at ORMC as the second wave of the pandemic was starting. She tirelessly worked to open an additional 16-bed COVID critical care unit, then another 10-bed COVID step-down unit, as well as manage the existing 10-bed critical care unit,” said Carol Cates, Chief Nursing Officer at ORMC

Denae along with the other recipients of the Circle of Excellence Award will be recognized during AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI) in Houston, May 16-18.