Congratulations to Cynthia Grand, MSN, RN, NNP-BC, neonatal nurse practitioner, for being named the 2018 recipient of the Debra Lee Seiber Nursing Excellence Award. The award, which was created in memory of longtime nurse practitioner Deb Seiber, who passed away in 2013 and worked in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Summa, is presented to a nurse who demonstrates clinical excellence, teamwork and collaboration, community awareness and a commitment to continued education and family-centered care.
Cynthia has been a nurse at Akron Children’s for 32 years. She received her BSN from Kent State University and her MSN and neonatal nurse practitioner degree from Stony Brook University in NY.
“As the first person in my family to complete a college degree, my parents encouraged me to work hard, help others and be the best I can be in whatever role I had in life,” she said. “My husband and children have also supported and encouraged me to continue my education and further my career.”
It was after taking a tour through the NICU during her pediatric rotation at Children’s that Cynthia settled on neonatal intensive care nursing.
“Seeing the very small babies in isolettes fighting to survive was inspiring,” she said. “Now my inspiration comes from being involved in process improvement projects and seeing the results and their impact in the care we give our patients. Identifying areas of needed improvement, working hard to make changes and then seeing those changes implemented is very rewarding as a nurse.”
Cynthia says some of her best opportunities for learning came during the days she was able to participate in rounds with the neonatologists.
“It’s inspiring to be a part of saving the life of an extremely premature or sick newborn and sharing in the most private and difficult times in a family’s life,” she said. “Celebrating the successes and sharing in the pain of losing someone so precious to a family is a privilege. It also drives you to work harder and look for opportunities to improve care and outcomes because discharging a newborn home after being in the NICU for months makes it all worth it.”
Having known Deb Seiber makes the award extra special to Cynthia who had Deb as one of her instructors in the Idabelle Firestone School of Nursing.
“Deb was a passionate teacher and leader and was eager to help other nurses develop a love for the NICU,” Cynthia said. “I am very humbled by this award. Caring for these babies requires not just one person, but a team of passionate people. It takes so much finesse and attention to detail to help fragile newborns survive and be able to leave with their families after a very lengthy hospital stay. Receiving this award makes me feel the need to encourage others to get involved with process improvement. It also makes me want to work harder to continue to improve the outcomes for the babies and families we serve.”