Research Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—announces that Patricia Conley, PhD, RN, PCCN, has been named as a Kansas City Chapter March of Dimes Nurse of Year 2017. Conley was recognized, along with other award recipients, at the organization’s annual black-tie gala in November.
The March of Dimes salutes outstanding nurses from across Kansas and the Greater Kansas City region each year. From neonatal and pediatric care to mental health and advance practice, these awards recognize the contribution that registered nurses make in the community and help fund the mission of the March of Dimes to improve the health of babies. The nonprofit works to fight premature birth, which impacts about one of 10 babies born each year in the United States.
“Research Medical Center is extremely proud of Pat, who makes a positive difference in people’s lives every day by delivering exceptional healthcare,” says Research Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Jackie DeSouza-Van Blaricum. “Her amazing and innate gift to lead with compassion, be an engaged mentor and advance the practice of nursing aligns with Research Medical Center’s mission: Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.”
Conley began her nursing career after graduating from Saint Louis University at Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, and also worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital before relocating to Kansas City in 1990. She has worked at Research Medical Center for 12 years in the telemetry unit with a vulnerable and challenged patient population. Conley notes the award means a multitude of things to her professionally and personally.
“I am honored and humbled by it and in the same light, it will inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing,” says Conley, who is the Telemetry Unit Charge Nurse. “My goal each day is making the life of each patient I come into contact with better in some way with evidence-based nursing.”
An avid clinical researcher, Conley is a member of The KC Nurse Research Consortium, a group of researchers from hospitals throughout the metropolitan area that focuses on improving care through evidence-based practices. Meeting three to four times each year, the group—which nominated Conley for the March of Dimes award— discusses current research and identifies opportunities for collaboration, a particular passion of Conley’s.
“Margaret Mead once said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has,’’ Conley quotes the famous American cultural anthropologist. “In my job, that is magnified.”
As Conley looks forward to celebrating her 39th year in the nursing field, she offers sage advice for nursing students.
“If you have a true passion and work hard,” she says, “the benefits of nursing will totally outweigh what you put into it. You’re always evolving, changing and learning.”
“Nurses are often the unsung heroes of the medical community, such as Patricia and the hundreds of nurses who work at the seven HCA Midwest Health hospitals throughout the Kansas City region,” says Darryl Nelson, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of HCA Midwest Health. “The Nurse of the Year program is an opportunity to honor those in the nursing profession who have dedicated their lives to ensuring patients and their families receive the best, most compassionate healthcare possible.”
For more information on HCA Midwest Health and its family of hospitals, visit hcamidwest.com.