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NICU Nurse Manager Maureen Maurano lauded for ensuring critically ill newborns receive the highest quality care

Maurano credited with fostering a culture of excellence, increasing satisfaction scores and shepherding quality-improvement efforts

Maureen Maurano

WASHINGTON – Children’s National Health System’s 54-bed, level IV tertiary care neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) attends to the complex care needs of more than 900 fragile newborns who are admitted per year. NICU Nurse Manager Maureen Maurano, B.S.N., R.N., “is a visionary nurse leader who plans, develops, implements and sustains change” as the NICU’s nurse manager, colleague Tara Floyd, M.P.H., B.S.N., R.N., NE-BC, writes in an essay published in the January 2018 issue of Nursing Management.

“Maureen keeps the large, multifaceted NICU team working together smoothly to ensure the best care experience possible for our critically ill patients,” Floyd writes. “The complexity of the patients under the care of her team can’t be overstated: Some are born weighing less than 1 pound and spend many consecutive months in the NICU. … Especially from a neurodevelopmental perspective, expert nursing care in the earliest days of life impacts a child in positive ways throughout their lifespan. Care must be taken to ensure that staff members work well together at all times and maintain best practice, especially in a field as fast-moving as NICU nursing.”

Children’s NICU was ranked the nation’s
No. 1 for babies out of more than 1,500 NICUs reviewed by U.S. News & World Report in 2017. In October 2017, Maurano was honored with the 2017 Richard Hader Visionary Leader Award based on Floyd’s essay.

“Maureen and the nursing team partner with neonatology and others to provide clinically expert and compassionate care to our patients and their families. She is responsible for operations, clinical practice, regulatory readiness, family and staff satisfaction and ongoing quality-improvement efforts,” says Billie Lou Short, M.D., chief of the Division of Neonatology. “It is an ambitious portfolio but in the many years we have worked closely together, Maureen always has demonstrated the utmost skill. She challenges herself to do more every day, and she inspires all of the NICU staff to achieve their very best.”

Linda Talley, M.S., B.S.N., R.N., NE-BC, Vice President of nursing and Chief Nursing Officer, adds that the innovative approaches that Maurano introduced in the NICU now have taken root throughout Children’s National. 

“As just one example, after the medication bar coding project began other areas reached out to find solutions for using the technology while not disturbing their smallest sleeping patients whose ID bands were often wrapped in a blanket or swaddled at the time of medication administration. Now, those areas are using the same identification band extenders that Maureen initially helped bring to the NICU,” Talley says.

Among her accomplishments, Maurano has:

  • Exclusively hired staff who share a commitment to a culture of excellence. At the end of fiscal year 2016, the NICU had no vacancies among its clinical nursing staff.
  • Streamlined processes for leadership rounding, service recovery and team communication.
  • Effectively advocated for bar coding medications, breast milk and blood products, optimizing safety and ensuring each product was matched to the appropriate patient.
  • Initiated a “safe sleep” program that ultimately migrated to other inpatient units within the hospital.
  • Co-chaired the multidisciplinary NICU care delivery team, a partnership that has resulted in bloodstream infection rates and unintended extubation rates remaining consistently below national benchmarks.
  • Worked with a NICU team to standardize discharge training for parents and significantly increased the percentage of parents completing the classes.
  • Kept a finger on the pulse of parents who wanted to remain with their infants as long as possible by upgrading furniture to accommodate the needs of families staying at the hospital overnight.
  • Helped to implement free meal delivery service for breast-feeding families.

Media contact:  Diedtra Henderson | 443-610-9826 | 202-476-4500

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