Kellie Kessler

Kellie Kessler

Kellie Kessler, MSN, RN, CCRN

Radiology/MRI
Christiana Care Health System
Newark, Delaware
United States
Kellie never shies away from taking ownership when a patient or family member feels they have been wronged. Through kindness and an empathetic ear, Kellie shows a genuine concern that leaves the injured party feeling validated. Kellie extends this same attitude of caring to each and every one of her staff.

Kellie began at Christiana Care as a staff nurse and worked her way through multiple disciplines, earning each promotion through her work ethic, drive, humble attitude, willingness to learn, ability to mentor and to be mentored, and her overall positive attitude with both staff and customers. She served as an Assistant Nurse Manager in the MICU and led with both integrity and intellect topped with a splash of humor (when appropriate) and positivity. Since becoming Nurse Manager in 2017, Kellie has brought the Radiology/MRI Nursing Department from a tier 3 to a tier 1 with employee satisfaction scores that exceed not only the hospital average but the national average as well. She did this by exhibiting amazing leadership skills and hard work. Not only does her staff feel as though they can confide in her, lean on her for support, learn from her, and feel their own growth being fostered, but they can relate to her. Kellie has the two most important qualities that any leader can exhibit towards their staff: She never asks anything of the staff that she cannot (or would not) perform herself, and the staff will say "she has my back", meaning that they feel supported, safe, and desire to stay in or join her department. Ultimately, retention is a big indicator of performance as a manager, and a lot of staff are trying to work for her. From her ability to engage staff, her resourcefulness as a leader, Kellie is a phenomenal manager, a highly skilled nurse, and a true DAISY Nurse Leader.

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The day Kellie became our manager, she hit the floor running. Amazing things started happening. If Kellie said she was going to get something or do something, it got done. She does everything with a smile on her face and makes everyone smile and feel great. Her sense of caring, compassion for all exudes in everything she does and has become contagious with her staff.

When she can find time between caring for her 6 children, constantly furthering her education, and working, she devotes time to volunteering. Every year Kellie devotes 3 days to the Susan G Komen 3-Day 60 Mile Walk for a Cure in Philadelphia. Even after breaking her foot, Kellie was unable to walk the 60 miles but still volunteered to work in the medical aid unit to care for those making the trek themselves. Kellie has the ability to turn a negative into a positive. She is a champion for her staff and the patients we serve. I have personally witnessed Kellie speaking to a disgruntled patient to express her concern and ask, "How can I make it better?" Kellie never shies away from taking ownership when a patient or family member feels they have been wronged. Through kindness and an empathetic ear, Kellie shows a genuine concern that leaves the injured party feeling validated. Kellie extends this same attitude of caring to each and every one of her staff. It is this kind of leadership that transforms an entire department in one year. Hands down, Kellie is the most deserving of nurses, to be recognized for her phenomenal skills, compassion, love, and ability to further our profession.

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Kellie is committed to serving her staff, patients, families, and community with excellence and love. She offers opportunities for her staff to develop professionally and is closely involved in decisions about their work. She is generous with providing time for formal continuing education, conference and workshop attendance, and professional certification. Since Kellie's arrival as nurse manager 1.5 years ago she has made multiple unit improvements to better equip staff and promote a safe patient care environment. Highlighting some of these tremendous efforts included creating a robust Radiology float pool in order to help unit staffing, improved call out procedure for staff, additional staff oriented to charge and consult nurse role, initiation of staff huddles to improve team communication, and facilitation of a paracentesis improvement project which provided training and credentialing of Radiology Nurse Practitioners. Kellie not only advocates for her staff, but she is also a huge patient and family supporter. In an effort to make patients and families feel welcome to the unit she revamped the patient waiting room area, which included additional seating, phone charging stations, and a beautiful welcome board. She also mails personalized hand-written thank you cards to the patients and families thanking them for allowing our unit to care for them.

In addition, patient safety is a priority for Kellie. She is directly involved in patient safety and infection prevention initiatives. Showcasing just one of the many initiatives included an improved process for cleaning procedural rooms and patient care areas in an effort to keep patients safe from unnecessary hospital-acquired infections.

In her relentless pursuit of helping others, Kellie is very active in serving the community through a variety of volunteer activities. She has donated her hair to Locks of Love, participated in the Susan G. Komen The 3 Day Walk for breast cancer and Relay for Life supporting the American Cancer Society, and has organized community service projects through the Gloucester City Community Service Project and Moms House Community Service Project. Kellie’s pure altruistic nature makes her a true DAISY Nurse Leader.