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2020 Annual Conference Dallas Speakers
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TONL 2020 Annual Conference Dallas Speakers

“Crisis in Healthcare: Preparing Nurse Leaders to Respond”
February 20, 2020 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm | Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas

Pre-Conference Session - How Leaders Can Create a Speaker Up Culture by Developing Emotional Intelligence in Themselves and Their Teams
Bonnie Artman FoxBonnie Artman Fox, Professional Speaker/Trainer and Leadership Coach – The Healthy Workforce Institute

Bonnie Artman Fox works with committed leaders who want to create work cultures that bring out the best in their employees. With over 25 years in the healthcare and psychology fields, she specializes in behavior change that drives organizational performance and health.

Bonnie has a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing and is licensed family therapist as well as accredited executive leadership coach with the Boss Whisper Institute. As a speaker, trainer and coach for the Healthy Workforce Institute, Bonnie is a content expert in conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and coaching leaders to bring their best selves to the workplace.


Now more than ever, healthcare leaders are stretched to their limits and feel pulled in multiple directions. They’re being asked to do more and more with less and less. As a result, leaders feel burned out, beat up, and therefore, don’t have the mental bandwidth to cultivate and sustain a healthy workforce.

Leaders need our help.

Studies show that leaders with high emotional intelligence are better able to mitigate the challenges of the healthcare environment. Even when stretched, these same leaders are empowered to cultivate high performing teams. By developing emotional intelligence in your leaders, you are providing a roadmap for their success and the success of their team.

In this interactive workshop, leaders will learn how to enhance their emotional intelligence skills to build a psychologically safe, productive, and collaborative work culture.


  1. Develop key emotional intelligence (EI) competencies that create a psychologically safe work culture
  2. Adopt a resilient mindset when faced with negative employees
  3. Implement five EI based strategies to build a cohesive, professional workplace culture
  4. Identify the effects of negativity on patient outcomes

Celebrate Nurse Leaders: Human by Birth - Hero by Choice
Renee ThompsonRenee Thompson, DNP, RN, CMSRN, CSP - President and CEO, The Healthy Workforce Institute

As an international speaker and consultant Dr. Renee Thompson tackles the professional challenges facing healthcare leaders today. With 27 years as a clinical nurse, nurse educator, and nurse executive, Dr. Thompson is a leading authority on creating a healthy workforce culture by eradicating workplace bullying and incivility. She hosts an award winning blog and is the author of several popular books on bullying and professional development.


As with all heroes, there is always a villain who tries to take away the hero’s powers: Superman had Lex Luther, and poor Perseus had to fight Medusa! Like ancient Greek and modern-day super heroes, nurses also have their villains: ignorance, the judgments of others, and the scourge of bullying are a few of the villains that sap nurses of their heroic capacity. The good news is that, like all heroes, there are behaviors that STRENGTHEN nurses’ heroic powers and enable them to succeed: knowledge, compassion, a positive attitude, and moral courage can all transform nurse leaders into truly successful and effective heroes.

This keynote presentation is designed to provide inspiration and practical strategies to help nurse leaders become more heroic in their practice and to believe that what they do makes a difference. If you are looking to create a culture where every nurse is inspired to bring their best to the work they do, so they enjoy their work, provide exceptional patient care, and take ownership of their practice, then you do not want to miss this session!


  1. Understand the signs of "the villains" that rob nurses' heroic power
  2. Embrace practical ways to articulate nurses' value to public
  3. Remember why they chose their noble profession

TONL Talks

Planning, Development, and Implementation of a Tailored Evidence-based Charge Nurse Education Program
Jaci SuLynn Mester Jaci SuLynn Mester, MSN, RN, DNP Student - Chief Nursing Officer, Childress Regional Medical Center

Jaci SuLynn Mester is a Registered Nurse who is currently working as Chief Nursing Officer at Childress Regional Medical Center in Childress, Texas. She has been in this position for the past eleven years. Her bedside nursing career, which began in 1987, specialized in critical care, cardiovascular surgical intensive care and trauma care.

She received her Associate Degree in Science from Clarendon College in 1984, Associate in Nursing from Amarillo College in 1987, Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2014 and Masters of Science in Nursing Administration in 2016, both from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), and is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Nursing program at UTA with a projected completion date of 2020.

Her work and research have focused on rural healthcare policy. She was chosen and completed yearlong leadership fellowships with the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals in 2015 (TORCH) as well as the National Rural Health Association (NRHA)in 2019. In 2020, she will be participating in Texas Hospital Association (THA) leadership fellowship. She has been published in Nursing Management Magazine and has an upcoming publication in the Emergency Nursing Journal.

SuLynn currently resides in Childress, Texas with her husband, Randy Mester.


Education and development of frontline nurse leaders are essential to the success of a healthcare organization and quality care delivery. Role clarity and clearly defined expectations are required for charge nurses to be effective frontline leaders.1 Review of the literature supports intentional development of charge nurse education programs (CNEPs).2,3 However, current literature lacks specific or practical information on how charge nurses should be developed in their leadership role and program content inclusion. Research articles do, however, provide selected best practices for education delivery methods.3,4

This charge nurse education program (CNEP) was both tailored and evidence-based.2,3,4,5,6,7 Development of a tailored CNEP requires an in-depth assessment of the current state, climate, and perceptions of nurse leaders within an organization. Interviews were conducted with 35 nurse leaders including charge nurses, nurse managers, nursing directors, and nursing vice presidents to more clearly understand the charge nurse role and challenges within the Nurse Advisory Group (CNAG), an essential component to the development of a tailored CNEP. The CNAG’s objectives focused on the development of the charge nurse competencies checklist, the education program content plan, program structure, and identification of internal experts to present program content.

Charge nurses are crucial to establish healthy work environments with support, resources, communication, and recognition.5 A literature-based, organization-tailored charge nurse competencies checklist was created and categorized by technical skills, problem solving skills, team building skills, communication skills, leadership skills, and professional development skills.4 Charge nurse leadership classes positively impact the charge nurses’ perception of their abilities in the role of charge nurse and their practice as a charge nurse.2 The pre-post education program evaluation tool enabled both the nurse director and charge nurse to evaluate growth in the skills needed for charge nurse competence.

The program content was organized and based on the categories of charge nurse competencies and was delivered using evidence-based methodologies including short time segments, information relevant to the charge nurse role, directly involving unit-based experiences, and including charge nurse as faculty.1,2 The sessions were limited to small groups of no larger than 15 to enable active engagement, as the ability to apply management knowledge and skills are enhanced by simulation experiences and by reality-based case studies, discussion, and role play.7 Evaluation of the CNEP was positive. Charge nurses found that having functional topics associated with their day-to-day role presented in this manner and in a short timeframe provided increased role clarity and the opportunity for them to immediately integrate changes within their leadership role.

  • Delineate evidence-based strategies essential to charge nurse education programs.
  • Discuss the role of a charge nurse advisory group in the development of essential elements for an effective charge nurse education program.
  • Reflect on the differences between tailored and evidence-based courses.

TONL Talks

The Impact of Centralized Operations Team (COT) on Discharge Before Noon (DBN)
Nelson Tuazon Nelson Tuazon, DNP, DBA, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, CPHQ, FACHE - VP/ACNO, University Health System

Dr. Nelson Tuazon has over 35-years of experience in nursing practice, academia, administration, and executive leadership. He has been a member of TONL since his move to Texas in 2010. He is currently the Vice President and Associate Chief Nursing Officer at University Health System in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Tuazon is passionate about serving in professional and civic organizations. His proven track record of leading organizations is evidence by his involvement in various professional organization including President, Philippine Nurses Association of San Antonio (PNASA) and President, SCTONE. He has been active in various boards including the Asian American Alliance of San Antonio, the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce, and the Alamo Asian American Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, he led the formation of the San Antonio Nursing Consortium that comprises of 12 professional nursing associations in San Antonio and South Texas.


It is a well-known that the amount of ED (Emergency Department) admission, visits and LOS (Length of Stay) have become worse (AHA, 2013). Delays in discharges due to multiple barriers and lack of structured discharge planning have led to less bed available leading to increased inpatient LOS, reduced patient experience, and decreased revenue (Powell et al., 2012; Williams et al., 2010). Joint Commission recommends strategies to improve patient flow (TJC, 2014). Various concepts have been used to influence flow but discharge planning upon admission, increased communication between care teams, and prediction of discharge have been the most common theme that influence patient flow and patient throughput (Pirani, 2010).

The Iron Triangle of Healthcare was used as framework in addressing capacity management. Appreciative Inquiry was utilized as the method of analyzing the current state, defining the ideal state, designing the improvement plan, and quantifying the leading and lagging indicators. The data collected includes DBN percentage daily, weekly, and monthly compared with and benchmarked against historical data. Data collection included ED boarding time, ED admit LOS and inpatient LOS, and readmission rates. Run charts, histograms, and bar charts were used to graphically present the data. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data.

Appreciative inquiry was conducted with the members of the COT. A designated COT lead was created to empower the house supervisors to engage in leading the project. Centralization of EVS, transport service and staffing assistant were made. Swim lanes were developed to identify roles, delineate functions, and clarify the responsibilities of the COT members. Leading and Lagging indicators were identified and monitored closely and regularly. Education was provided to directors, senior leaders, physicians, providers, and frontline staff. Cross-training of ancillary staff on Patient Movement and Tracking system. Regular huddles with the various stakeholders.

Current outcomes include reduction in ER hold hours by 50% and DBN increase from 15% in January 2018 to 33% November 2019. Reduction in Admitted Length of Stay and boarding time were some of the significant achievements of this project.

A structured Discharge Planning process, supported by an organized team of healthcare staff, providers, and physicians, has positive impact on the achievement of DBNs. The synergy of the COT, efficiency of the team, and the effective communication among all stakeholders promote patient throughput, discharge planning, and patient movement throughout the care continuum.

  • Identify key communication strategies and patient movement technology to facilitate patient throughput
  • Leverage the triad – provider, care management, and nursing - model for targeted early discharge implementation
  • Implement a centralized operations team using existing resources as a transformative strategy

TONL Talks

Director of Nursing Turnover: Intervening with a Long-Term Care Leadership Round Table
Priscilla StansellPriscilla Stansell, MSN, RN-BC - Assistant Professor, TTUHSC-SON

Priscilla Stansell, MSN, RN-BC serves as an Assistant Professor for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing (TTUHSC SON) in the Traditional Undergraduate Program (TUG). Mrs. Stansell currently teaches in the Level 1 semester and facilitates the Integrated Learning I course. Her current role allows her to be actively involved in the fundamental education that entry level baccalaureate nursing students receive in both the didactic and simulation setting. Mrs. Stansell is actively involved in the school's programmatic needs. She recently served as Chair of TUG in which she organized and facilitated the monthly meetings. Priscilla also recently served as the Admission Co-Chair for TUG. Priscilla is affiliated with several professional organizations including American Nurses Association, Texas Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, National League for Nursing and Texas League for Nursing. Priscilla currently serves as the Succession Committee Chair for Sigma Theta Tau, Iota Mu Chapter. She also serves as one of the faculty advisors for Texas Nursing Students' Association. Priscilla is passionate about teaching and serving both her students and fellow faculty. Mrs. Stansell has presented at several conferences related to education and simulation and has had several abstracts accepted as well. She presented on "Transforming Nursing Education Through the Use of Standardized Patients in the Classroom Setting" at the 2016 National Nurse Educator Summit and on "The P.I.N.K.Y. promise: Standardizing expectations across the curriculum using authentic pharmacological experiences with high-fidelity simulation" at the 9th Annual NLN/Elsevier Technology Conference. Abstracts include: "The Curriculum Beyond the Curriculum: Developing the Whole Nursing Professional" which was accepted for a poster presentation at NERC 18, a podium presentation at Sigma Theta Tau Leadership Connection and was recently accepted to the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators Region III Symposium in New Orleans and "Multi-campus Simulation Coordination: Upholding Best Practice" which was submited and accepted to the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INASCL). Mrs. Stansell's 17 years of nursing experience have been dedicated to caring for patients in the neuro-surgical/trauma setting and in the cardiac/medical-surgical setting, as well as educating our future nurses. Mrs. Stansell is currently furthering her education by obtaining her Doctor of Nursing Practice through TTUHSC. Her current DNP project involves implementing a nurse leader round table with directors of nursing to decrease turnover and other issues in long-term care. Once completed, this knowledge will be implemented into her practice of preparing nursing students at the baccalaureate level.


As our population ages, more people will require long-term care. However, the number of nurses working in long-term care is decreasing. Director of nursing (DON) turnover rates in long-term care can lead to negative outcomes such as increased workload and increased stress levels of existing staff. Turnover of DONs impacts professional morale and quality of care. The turnover rate for direct resident care registered nurses (RNs) as reported by the LTCNSS (2017) is 47.6% and the turnover rate for administrative RNs is 0.0%. Nursing turnover is associated with high cost and negative outcomes for nurses and patients. In their role, DONs have a responsibility to provide leadership that impacts the work culture and environment. However, they often struggle with an overwhelming number of responsibilities, including staffing issues and a lack of professional support. DONs have limited access to support in their current roles.

The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a sustainable program aimed at establishing a nurse director round table to address issues related to turnover of long-term care (LTC) directors of nursing (DON) in Lubbock, Texas.

This project uses the logic model as a guide for implementation and progressed as follows: Fifteen DONs in the Lubbock area were identified. Monthly roundtable meetings have been conducted since October. The primary DON issues identified and being addressed are lack of staffing, lack of administrative support, certified nurse aide patient abandonment, and the mandated dedicated registered nurse daily coverage. A recent study supports the correlation between staffing issues and the ability of DONs to do their jobs which leads to decreased job satisfaction and burnout. It is important for nurse leaders to have their voices heard and know they are connecting with other directors who may be dealing with similar issues in their own facilities. There is a need to connect DONs with other DONs through a round table of professional support. The exchange of professional support has been shown to reduce work stress, enhance innovation and increase job satisfaction and retention.

  • Utilize the logic model framework to assess the status of director of nursing turnover in long-term care facilities and develop a plan for improvement.
  • Implement evidence-based strategies based on the integration of a nurse leader round table to improve director of nursing turnover.
  • Develop a sustainable, nurse leader round table designed to continually assess issues in long-term care facilities and to decrease director of nursing turnover.

Managing Nursing Cognitive, Documentation, and Communication Burden in Complex Information Systems
Mary Beth MitchellMary Beth Mitchell, RN, MSN, BC, CPHIMS - Texas Health Resources, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer

Mary Beth is the chief nursing information officer for Texas Health Resources, (THR). THR is a 25-hospital not-for-profit, faith-based organization located in north Texas.

Mary Beth has worked in nursing informatics for more than 18 years, both at the hospital level and corporate level. In the role of CNIO Mary Beth oversees the nursing adoption, utilization and optimization of the electronic health record (EHR) for all hospitals within THR.. She also serves as the liaison for all information technology-related nursing projects. In this role, Mary Beth chairs the THR Nursing Informatics Council and participates in the Nursing Executive Team, as well as other Information Technology Leadership Committees and multidisciplinary teams. Mary Beth is the past chair of the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee, and is currently the co-chair of the Alliance for Nursing Informatics. Mary Beth has a Masters Degree in Nursing from the University of Texas, Austin, and a Masters in Nursing Informatics from Duke University. She is also the 2016 recipient of the HIMSS Nursing Leadership Award.


This presentation will look at Cognitive Burden in the clinical setting and how that impacts the nurses ability to manage patient care. Focus will be on strategies implemented to reduce cognitive burden and increase nursing efficiency, as well as contribute to better patient outcomes. Interventions will be discussed, and outcomes evaluated based on the following:

  • Clinical Decision Support
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Alarm Management
  • Interoperability
  1. Discuss concepts of cognitive and communication burden and contributing factors.
  2. Understand various strategies that can impact cognitive burden.
  3. Evaluate clinical outcomes related to nurse efficiencies, and reduction of burden, and discuss ongoing future strategies for ongoing improvement.

Panel Discussion: Caring for Patients with Behavioral Health Problems in a Non-Behavioral Healthcare Setting

Renee Thompson Renee Thompson, DNP, RN, CMSRN, CSP - President and CEO, The Healthy Workforce Institute

As an international speaker and consultant Dr. Renee Thompson tackles the professional challenges facing healthcare leaders today. With 27 years as a clinical nurse, nurse educator, and nurse executive, Dr. Thompson is a leading authority on creating a healthy workforce culture by eradicating workplace bullying and incivility. She hosts an award winning blog and is the author of several popular books on bullying and professional development.


Cameron BrownCameron Brown - Cook Children's Health Care System, Staff Care Chaplain

Dr. Cameron Brown is a Staff Care Chaplain at Cook Children's where she directs the Critical Incident Stress Management Program. She is an International Critical Incident Stress Management Instructor and has facilitated over 1000 debriefings throughout the United States. Since 2013, Cameron has served as moderator for the Schwartz Center Rounds for Compassionate Caregiving.

Cameron retired from the Fort Worth Fire Department after serving for 35 years as a Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician, and Fire Instructor.

Cameron earned her Bachelor of Science, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry from Texas Christian University (TCU). Currently, she is as an Adjunct Professor at TCU and serves on various community coalitions and organization board of directors.

Catherine ThompsonCatherine "Cassie" Thompson, MSN, RN, CCRN - PMHNP Student, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Catherine “Cassie” Thompson, MSN, RN, CCRN is a December 2019 graduate of the TTUHSC MSN-PMHNP program and 2019 DFW top 100 nurse. She has a 2010 BSN from Texas Christian University and a 2002 BA in Psychology from Austin College. Cassie is a ten-year ICU nurse and a five-year member of Parkland Hospital’s rapid assessment team, who respond to the hospital’s various codes and rapid response calls. She has served as the staff RN representative at Parkland for both the “Behavioral Alert Review” committee and the “Promoting a Safe Environment” committee. Cassie is the current board of directors’ student representative for both the Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses of Texas (PAPN-TX) and its local chapter, PAPN of North Texas (PAPN-NTX.) After PMHNP certification, Cassie is specifically interested in being a psychiatric provider for patients with significant medical comorbidities.

Lynda CarmoucheLynda Carmouche, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist, Texas Health Resources

With over 23 years’ as a social worker and 18 years as a licensed Psychotherapist, Lynda has experience in Behavioral Health at community and hospital levels, and in private practice. A graduate from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lynda formally worked with juvenile prisons, and taught students with emotional and behavioral challenges for the New Orleans and the Lafayette Public School Systems. Turning her interest to private practice and creative psychotherapeutic techniques in 2008, she continues to utilize her skills as a Certified Trauma Therapist to help clients process pain through education, encouragement, and empowerment. Her foundation of truth is grounded on getting to the root of the problem. As a professional speaker and Clinical Education Specialist, Lynda is driven to educate others about the danger of stigma and bias against those with mental illness. Lynda joined Texas Health Resources University in 2018. Today, she spends countless classroom hours training hospital staff on ethical principles of working with patients with mental illness and instructing staff how to de-escalate a behavioral emergency. Lynda is a true patient advocate who subscribes to instilling hope through trauma-informed care and promoting recovery and wellness.


In this session, a multidisciplinary panel will discuss the important topic of caring for patients with behavioral health problems in a non-behavioral healthcare setting. As more behavioral health facilities close, hospitals and healthcare providers are seeing an increased number of patients with behavioral and mental health challenges. The panel will discuss the impact of these challenges for nurse leaders, including best practices for providing care and supporting your team. Learn how to use crisis prevention and management resources and the importance of critical incident stress management to support a healthy work environment for clinical staff.


  1. At the end of this session participants will be able to discuss best practice strategies to provide safe, effective care to patients with behavioral health challenges in a non-behavioral healthcare setting.
  2. Participants will demonstrate how Critical Incident Stress Management enhances communication with co-workers and first responders.
  3. Participants will identify ways to handle tough or sensitive situations by discussing thoughts, questions, and feelings about stressful situations with colleagues.

Public Policy and the Impact on Healthcare
William Stephen (Steve) LoveWilliam Stephen (Steve) Love - President and CEO, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council

Mr. Love is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council which promotes collaboration, cooperation and advocacy on behalf of its 90 member hospitals. The Hospital Council also has approximately 100 Associate Members (business and industry), including prominent accounting, legal and consulting firms. The primary mission is to promote patient safety, quality healthcare and coordination in the delivery of healthcare within the North Texas market. He served as 2015 Chair for the Conference of Metropolitan and Regional Hospitals Association in the United States. He serves on the Dallas American Heart Association; Cure Glaucoma Foundation Advisory Board; North Texas Eye Research Institute; Children at Risk, the Metropolitan YMCA Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of Prism Health North Texas and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Dallas. Mr. Love has worked in healthcare management for over 40 years. He has demonstrated leadership in tax exempt, investor-owned, specialty and private hospitals in operations, finance and corporate governance. Prior to joining the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, Mr. Love was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of a Fortune 500 healthcare company that owned over 50 hospitals and managed approximately 200 facilities in the United States.


Learn about federal and state public health policy and how it impacts the delivery of healthcare in Texas.


  1. Federal policy and regulations and how it affects patient care.
  2. State public policy and its impact on healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  3. The social drivers of health and how Texas has many working poor that need healthcare coverage and access.


The Nurse Leader's Role in Crisis Management
Amy DaherAmy Daher, MSN, RN, NE-BC - Assistant Chief Nursing Officer, University Medical Center of El Paso

Amy Daher, MSN, RN, NE-BC, serves as the Assistant Chief Nursing Officer for University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC). She has been with UMC for the last two years and is responsible for the following services lines: Critical care services, maternal services, medical surgical services, cardiac/medical oncology services lines and nursing education and support.

Amy started my nursing career at Del Sol Medical Center in the Labor and Delivery (L&D) department where I focused on developing my nursing skills. I transitioned into multiple roles while at Del Sol L&D from Charge RN to Clinical Coordinator, and then Director of Labor & delivery with 5 years of becoming a nurse. Throughout my nursing career, I was blessed to grow and experience several different roles/ titles. From the L&D Director, I transitioned to the Director of Special Projects, then Administrator on Duty with focus on bed coordinating. Still desiring more of the clinical aspects I transitioned back to Perioperative Services and took the role of Director of Surgical Services. After some time in surgical services I felt the need to develop my quality/ regulatory knowledge and transitioned to the Director of Quality Management. I continued to feel the need to grow and learn a new service line and was elected the Administrative Director of Emergency Services where I served until I was presented with an opportunity to open a micro hospital and free standing emergency department and served as the Chief Nursing Officer.

Amy has one son, Noah who is 10 years old and the light of my life. He attends St. Raphael Catholic School and plays basketball and is in MMA. I am blessed to still have my mother with me as well as a sister and three niece I adore. In my free time, I enjoy reading, shopping, movies, and exercising.


The following is a summary of the presentation:

  1. Overview of UMC El Paso
  2. Overview of August 3, 2019, massive casualty event
  3. Review guiding principles as it relates to a nurse leader in crisis management
  4. Discuss the priority focus areas for the nurse leader during crisis management


  • The nurse leader will understand how to prepare and review their organizational crisis readiness plan with nursing staff and leadership.
  • The nurse leader will understand the necessary nursing leadership skills needed to manage a crisis.
  • The nurse leader will understand the importance and their role in the post recovery crisis phase.