Krista Burnell, RN - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Krista Burnell, RN, Administrative Director of Med/Surg, intermediate care, staffing office, supervisors and bedflow

Krista Burnell

Krista Burnell, RN

Krista Burnell began her career at Crozer as a nurse educator. Although her position changed in 2008 when she became director of the 2 South Oncology Intermediate Care Unit, she is still educating staff and peers alike every day, leading by example with creativity and innovation. Burnell’s colleagues describe her as a team player with an engaging style who continually inspires her staff to reach for new heights of nursing excellence.

This nursing veteran continually thinks about ways to improve patient care and empowers her staff to help in this effort. For example, the 2 South Unit Council developed an oncology binder for PRN nurses to use as a reference source for care when they work on the unit since they are usually unfamiliar with caring for cancer patients. In another effort, Burnell facilitated the Unit Council’s efforts to change the procedure for taking report from taped to face to face report. Her staff has embraced this change which fosters accountability between shifts and saves time.

Burnell extended her efforts to include patients’ families. On an oncology unit like 2 South, family members are often grieving over the impending death of a loved one. Burnell worked with Nutrition Services to initiate a bereavement refreshment cart service on her unit with snacks and beverages offered to family members who are grieving. Many families have expressed their appreciation for this caring outreach. In May 2010, Burnell received Crozer’s quarterly Leadership Award for this effort.

One of Burnell’s earlier successes was the development and funding of an Emergency Department Nurse Fellowship Program in 2005. At that time, CKHS was facing a critical shortage of ED nurses and the program was designed to recruit recent nursing school graduates for a six-month accelerated training program at Crozer. Burnell obtained the necessary grant money to fund the program and she coordinated the effort. As a result, all 20 nurses who participated in the program were successfully placed in Crozer-Keystone emergency departments, fulfilling a vital need for the system.

Burnell is the kind of nurse leader that commands the respect and admiration of everyone who works with her.

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