Nightingale Award Winner - Sarah Rose, RN
Hearing and Healing
Sarah Rose, a registered nurse unit supervisor at Inova Alexandria Hospital, is committed to listening—and really hearing—patients and frontline nurses.
Sarah Rose, RN
Sarah Rose is a good listener. As a registered nurse unit supervisor at Inova Alexandria Hospital, Sarah makes sure that patients’ voices are heard and respected. She also ensures that the nurses who work at patients’ bedsides have a voice in shaping health-care policies and practices.
As a child, Sarah wanted to be a veterinarian. She loved animals, so it seemed like an obvious career choice. Her parents had other ideas. One summer, they convinced Sarah to volunteer at a local hospital. She was able to directly interact with nurses and patients on a daily basis. A new nurse was born.
“I always had a calling to help others, and this junior volunteer program allowed me to see how much nurses were helping,” Sarah recalled. “That started me down the path to become a nurse.”
When Sarah joined the staff at Inova Alexandria, it didn’t take long for her patients and co-workers to recognize her aptitude for caring. She received the hospital’s Nursing Excellence award in 2015, 2016 and 2019.
Most recently, Sarah was recognized for her efforts to promote shared governance. Shared governance empowers nurses at the bedside to work with leadership to formulate policies and to express concerns drawn from their day-to-day interactions with patients.
After just two years as a staff nurse with Inova Alexandria, Sarah was promoted to unit supervisor in October 2016. Her unit provides step-down care for patients with serious cardiac issues.
“I strive to lead by example,” Sarah says of her role as supervisor. “I want to show new nurses that we can take the time to make personal connections with patients—to use the patients’ names and engage in small talk. Those simple connections make a big difference.”
Even when faced with difficult patients, Sarah remains dedicated to listening first. “It’s not just about letting them speak and then not hearing what they are saying,” she said. “You have to acknowledge what they are feeling. You acknowledge their concerns and then you explain what you’re able to do to help with the best possible outcome.”
Sarah listens. She pays attention. And she connects. By really hearing her patients and her staff, Sarah Rose is helping improve lives and enhance her profession. Sarah’s hearing promotes healing.