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Empowerment of Sparrow Nurses is founded on decision-making closest to the issue. Thus, staff nurses engage in unit-based councils to have input where they work everyday. Further, our evolving shared decision-making model offers participation at Council and Committee levels where their ideas impact nurses across all departments.


Nursing Bylaws

The Bylaws committee reviewed the proposed changes to the Bylaws submitted by the Nurse Coordinating Council. At the Annual State of Nursing Sparrow Nurses adopted the following changes to their Bylaws which will continue to advance the practice of nursing at Sparrow Hospital:

  • Updated Table of Contents with 2013 approved changes
  • The service line membership and meeting schedule was updated
  • Updated the Professional Practice model to include informational text boxes
  • Added two new committees: Operations Committee and Informatics Committee

Shared Decision-Making

Through our shared decision-making model, direct care nurses have avenues for their voice to be heard and feedback used in organizational decision making. These are just a few examples:

  • In November 2012, a new medication distribution system was implemented. A task force of direct care nurses, Educators, and Directors worked together with pharmacy liaisons to create a planned change prior to the implementation. The direct care nurses participated by providing input into the plan, implemented the plan on a pilot unit (5 West), and adjusted the plan after the pilot prior to implementing the new methods throughout the hospital.
  • As nursing units are renovated or moved, UBC members and all interested staff nurses are involved in the planning process to improve the work environment. An example of this occurred in the design of the new Neurosciences Center which moved into the Sparrow Tower in August 2013.
  • When the Modified Early Warning System (MEWS) was introduced on 4 South the trial was a small test of change that was refined before going hospital-wide.
  • Early mobility—a progressive mobility program called “Keep Moving” was instituted at Sparrow to prevent our patients from becoming physically deconditioned. Deconditioning is the loss of muscle and mass due to inactivity and can lead to a plethora of negative patient outcomes including pressure ulcers, falls, pneumonia, and increased length of hospital stay. The objective of the program is to safely mobilize patients early in admission and throughout their hospitalization to reduce hospital acquired complications.


Sparrow values and supports personal and professional growth and development of all staff.

Percentage of nurses with professional nursing certification:



% Point Improvement

Direct Care Nurses




Nurse Leaders




Percentage of nurses with a minimal education in nursing of a BSN:



% Point Improvement

Direct Care Nurses




Nurse Leaders





The Sparrow Nurse distinguishes themselves through community service among other things. In 2012, 2,064 hours were provided to our mid-Michigan region by Sparrow Nurses. The following demonstrates the wide variety of activities whereby our community was served: camp nursing, ski patrol, scouting events, first aid support, free clinics, blood pressure screenings, respite care, walk/run events/highway clean up, and more!


  • Corrie Champine RN, Emergency Department
  • Ann Wallace BSN, RN, Neuro Care Unit
  • Susan Dowker RN, CCU

Quality Awards

Michigan Quality Council Leadership Award

Nursing played an integral role in both the application and site visit leading up to receiving this prestigious award. This is the highest state level to be achieved before we can apply for the Baldrige Award, a national distinction that few hospitals achieve.

Most Innovative Practice

  • Pediatrics
  • Massage Therapy

Most Improved Practice

  • Promoting Breastfeeding

Beacon Award

  • ICU achieved Gold Status


  • Medical Surgical / Danielle Williams, RN, Float Team
  • Hospice/Homecare / Trisha Wiseman, RN, Homecare
  • LTACH/Behavioral Health / Toni Cutcher, RN, Adult Psych
  • Perioperative Services / Kimberly Richardson, BSN, RN, PACU
  • Emergency Services / Troy Latunski, RN, ED
  • Practices and Affiliates / Angela Hufnagel, RN, Clinton ED
  • Professional Support / Heidi Elliott, RN, IV Specialty Team
  • Women and Children’s Services / Marcy Kavo, RN, PICU
  • Advance Practice/Education / Penny Stevens,
    DNP, RN, PACNP, PPCH, PCNS, Trauma Services
  • Management / Lori Meaton, BSN, RN, Pediatric Subspecialty Clinic
  • Critical Care/Stepdown / Paige Harakas, BSN, RN, CCRN, CU
  • Jean Granger Award / Connie Botke, RN, CCRN, CU
  • LifeTime Achievement Award / Wendy Kushion, MSN, RN, APRN, RN-BC, CDE

2012 Preceptor of the Year

Pauline Ashton, BSN, RN, CNOR, from Surgery

Pauline understands the individuality of each new nurse she precepts. She adjusts her teaching method to provide an atmosphere conducive for learning. She coordinates learning experiences by consulting with the nurse educator and the charge nurse, and by reviewing the daily schedule. She plans for the success of each orientee.

She is also exceptional as a role model for the nurses who are new to her unit. She models appropriate actions, skills, and critical thinking. She values the role of quality communication in the stressful environment of her busy unit, and mentors new nurses through this communication. She models a strong work ethic and instills this in a kind, compassionate manner. She truly leads by example.