2021 Nightingale Award Winner - Lt. Alainna Crotty, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, NE-BC
Nurturing New Nurses
Lt. Alainna Crotty - MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, NE-BC
After a family car accident, Lt. Alainna Crotty watched as nurses cared for her little sister. A nurse was born.
Lt. Alainna Crotty was in middle school when her family was involved in a terrible car accident. Her younger sister was trapped inside their vehicle and had to be airlifted to the hospital, where she spent more than a week in intensive care. Alainna witnessed true compassion as the skilled nurses cared for her sister.
“I knew then that I wanted to be a nurse,” Alainna recalled. “My sister fully recovered, and she is actually a nurse as well.”
Today, Alainna is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy practicing as a clinical nurse specialist. Her most recent duty station was Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She is now preparing for deployment.
As a clinical nurse specialist at Walter Reed, Alainna was responsible for overseeing seven medical and surgical floors. By providing guidance, training, and best practices to bedside nurses, Alainna was able to enhance patient care and foster a positive work environment.
While she enjoyed improving standards of care, the most memorable part of her work at Walter Reed was helping the wounded warriors. “I remember one of our wounded warriors in particular who I worked with who had some really complex pain issues,” she said. “It was great to be able to get to know him and his wife and to help them. His resiliency in dealing with a long-term injury was just so inspiring.”
As a leader in her field, Alainna loves helping new nurses develop as professionals. “I like to encourage new nurses to think about how they want to facilitate change in the profession or in their patients,” she explained. “Seeing them launch their own projects and their own careers is extremely rewarding.”
While at Walter Reed, Alainna prepared nurses to care for covid patients. She developed training modules to help nurses from a broad range of areas hone their ICU skills. Alainna also encouraged nurses to implement innovative ideas and to address chronic problems. She mentored a nurse who was working to improve patient sleep through nonpharmaceutical interventions. She also worked on a project to help decrease pressure injuries.
One thing is for sure: Alainna is elevating the nursing profession by nurturing new nurses—pushing them to learn more and do more—for more patients.
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