Darlene Ferenz is a rare and special nurse who makes a difference in the lives of everyone she meets. During her 40+ year career, she has directly touched the lives of many patients and families. As she approaches retirement, Darlene's professional legacy will be her enthusiastic and amazing vision to promote the "art of nursing". Darlene brought the nursing process to life for bedside nurses; nothing reinforces the nurse/patient relationship more than being able to identify a patient's individual strengths and weaknesses, while involving them in their plan of care. She taught us how to be "available" and "present" for our patients to alleviate their fears.
In our organization and community, Darlene implemented dozens of innovative ideas to expand nurses' educational opportunities and promote nursing professionalism. She was the leader in developing a clinical education department, a robust clinical ladder, and a residency program for new nursing graduates. Her Pay For Skills compensation model has been duplicated across the U.S. She brought us Shared Governance, ANCC's Magnet and Pathway to Excellence designations and membership in the DAISY Foundation. As the epitome of "Professional Practice", and as our Director of Nursing Strategy, Darlene inspired us, made us excellent, and made us all winners! She will forever have our gratitude and admiration. Darlene is "MPM" and now "BayCare"! Thank you, Darlene, for enriching our lives; we celebrate you as a DAISY nurse, no one deserves it more!