Susan S. Stone is the honored and grateful recipient of the Philip D. Raso scholarship. Susan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Boston University in 1987. Susan spent two years working in the hotel business, quickly advancing to management. Susan did not feel fulfilled in this position, as it did not draw from her science background or offer an intellectual challenge. Looking for a profession that would take advantage of her passion for both science and service, Susan enrolled in the accelerated nursing program at Northeastern University, graduating in 1992. Susan’s love of nursing and pediatrics was established on a cooperative experience at Boston Children’s Hospital where she continues to work after 30 years. Susan took advantage of every opportunity for growth at BCH including an Evidence-Based Mentorship Program, which later led to a change in albuterol dosing and administration methods. Susan became an active member of several shared governance committees representing nursing and advocating for best practices. Working with multidisciplinary teams she participated in creating policies, including Medication Desensitization and a Parenteral Nutrition Verification Checklist.
As a nurse in the Intermediate Care Program, Susan excelled clinically and professionally. Once she became a permanent charge nurse in the ICP, the unit went through many changes including expansions and moves. Susan won the Medical Critical Care Builder’s award for being integral to the functioning of the unit. Recognizing her potential as a leader, Susan returned to school, earning a Master of Nursing at Salem State University in 2017 and a promotion to Nurse Manager in 2018.
As a driven nurse leader Susan uses her clinical knowledge and transformational leadership to support nurses at the frontline while meeting organizational goals. The COVID-19 pandemic was utilized by Ms. Stone as a catalyst to empower nurses who faced new challenges related to fear of the unknown; management of COVID-19 patients; and a surge of behavioral health patients. Innovation, targeted education, wellness support, and clear communication were just a few of the management tools used to help nurses navigate past the fear zone so they could provide safe, quality care to these new populations for these new extraordinary situations.
The pandemic, with its associated lockdown, enabled Susan to matriculate in the Simmons University Doctor of Nursing Practice – Executive Leadership program. Susan is excited to use this new knowledge to support her own professional development as well as the growth and empowerment of nurses in her program. Susan strives to enhance the nursing experience, understanding its impact on patient experience and safety. Nursing is facing many challenges with increased acuity, burnout, and nurses reevaluating their choice of profession.
Susan’s scholarly project is timely and directed at improving the working environment and establishing joy in the ICP that had experienced increased turnover and poor morale. Recognizing the importance of buy-in for success, joy forums are held for staff to partake in finding solutions to overcome barriers to joy. As a result of Susan’s scholarly project, several quality improvement projects are in progress, nurses are engaged, and turnover has slowed. Susan will continue to use her DNP to continuously support and evolve nursing practice by translating evidence into practice.
NEF’s only purpose is to provide nursing scholarship assistance to make graduate level nursing education possible. NEF is the largest, single, private, professionally endorsed source of funds for advanced nursing study with over one hundred years of service to and for professional nursing.
NEF’s Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from nursing, education, technology, and business communities. Members donate their time and talent to the advancement of the nursing profession. NEF operates with exceptionally low overhead. NEF employs only one individual who serves in several capacities. NEF is a non-profit organization with 501(c) status; thus, your contributions are fully tax-deductible.