Children's Hospital Colorado

Three Children’s Colorado nurses take home 2024 Nightingale Luminary Awards

Children's Hospital Colorado | May 20, 2024

The Nightingale Luminary Awards, Colorado's most prestigious nursing recognition, honors nurses across the state for their exemplary contributions in advocacy, innovation and leadership. This year, Children's Hospital Colorado proudly congratulates our 39 regional nominees and nine finalists, with three distinguished as winners. We’re proud to present Bobbie Gillis, BSN, RN, NCSN, Heather Hammett, MSN, CPNP-AC, CNRN, and Lindsey Tarasenko, PhD, RN winners of the Nightingale Luminary Award.

Dedication to community education garners acclaim

Bobbie was nominated for her work in nursing professional development. For over 30 years, she’s demonstrated excellence in nursing and leadership in a variety of healthcare and community settings. Bobbie currently leads nurses providing pediatric school health services in community settings and facilitates the process that allows school nurses to access pertinent health information through a secure electronic medical record portal, improving care coordination. She also led the creation of a public-facing school nurse resource website, which houses information like Anxiety Action Plan resources which can be used to help manage a student’s anxiety in the school setting. 

Leading community change

Heather was nominated for her leadership with the Denver Chapter of the American Academy of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), where she serves as President of the Board of Directors. The Denver AACN demonstrates leadership, inclusivity, and caring relationships on many different levels, and has made great strides in improving quality outcomes, promoting certification among nurses and supporting units in their pursuit of the prestigious AACN Beacon Award. In 2023, under Heather’s leadership, the group identified several matters relevant to all communities served by their members, including child abuse and neglect, human trafficking, food insecurity, firearm injuries, substance abuse, homelessness and mental health crises. They collaborated with the Colorado Council of Black Nurses and the Denver Hispanic Nurses Association to provide education on oxygen level monitoring of patients with diverse skin tones.

Improving practice environments through research

Lindsey was nominated for her research on improving healthcare systems for nurses and their patients. She is a strong advocate for a healthy practice environment for nurses. She has developed a program of research through which she investigates how systems and structures within organizations impact the scope of practice of clinical nurses and nurse leaders. Over the past several years, Lindsey researched changes in nursing practice and the practice environment driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting impact on nurses. This work has validated pediatric nurses’ experiences, fueled conversations on clinical and professional nursing practice, and informed system-level resiliency and leadership research. As an extension of this work, she worked with nursing leadership to implement evidence-based interventions to improve the practice environment for leaders at all levels.

Nightingale Luminary Award winners and finalists from Children's Colorado:

Nightingale Luminaries

  • Bobbie Gillis, BSN, RN, NCSN, Associate Clinical Manager, School Health Program
  • Heather Hammett, MSN, CPNP-AC, CNRN, CCRN, Clinical Nurse IV, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Anschutz
  • Lindsey Tarasenko, PhD, RN, Nurse Scientist, Research, Innovation, & Professional Practice Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, College of Nursing

Nightingale Luminary Award Finalists

  • Ariana Anderson, BSN, RN, CPN, Clinical Nurse IV, Wheat Ridge Outpatient Specialty Care
  • Pat Givens, DHA, EdM, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Executive & Dr. Dori Biester Chair in Pediatric Nursing
  • Elizabeth (Liz) McKelvey, APRN, CPNP-AC/PC, Nurse Practitioner at Colorado Springs Hospital Pediatric Medicine
  • Jennifer Olson, MS, RN, CPHON, Clinical Education Specialist, Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
  • Laura Pickford, BSN, RN, Clinical Practice Specialist, Health Pavilion Kidstreet
  • Mary Smith, MSN, BSN, RN, SANE-A, CPEN, ENPC, Clinical Specialty Coordinator for Anschutz Child Protection Team

Become a Children's Colorado Nurse

Whether you’re new to nursing or have years of experience, there’s a place for you at Children’s Colorado. We offer support, training and valuable growth opportunities for nurses to advance their skills and build a meaningful career alongside the best and brightest in pediatric healthcare. Learn why our nurses love working at Children’s Colorado.