Launette Woolforde, EdD, DNP, RN-BC, vice president of nursing education and professional development for Northwell Health and assistant professor at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, has been named a 2019 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Certified Nurse of the Year.
Winning in the category of Nursing Professional Development, Dr. Woolforde is among 29 nurses honored by the ANCC in their respective specialty areas. The winners demonstrate ongoing contributions to the advancement of nursing in their specialties through innovation, collaboration, leadership and professional risk-taking and patient-centered care.
The ANCC is a premier organization for board certification for nurses and provides Magnet designation, a widely recognized gold standard of nursing care excellence in hospitals.
Woolforde works with other health system leaders to further Northwell’s goal to deliver superior patient care, quality and safety by developing and advancing nursing, especially at the frontline. She oversees a broad scope of strategic efforts and educational programming that impacts the more than 17,000 nurses employed by Northwell at its 23 hospitals and 700-plus outpatient facilities.
“Dr. Woolforde’s commitment to excellence in nursing practice, education, and innovation as well as her engaging personality made her the clear choice for this recognition,” said Maureen T. White, executive vice president and chief nurse executive for Northwell Health.
During her 15 years at Northwell, Woolforde has served in a variety of capacities including nurse educator, orientation coordinator, corporate director for nursing education, and senior administrative director for patient care services. She has contributed to the development of countless nurses, as well as aspiring nurses, within and outside the health system.
For many years, she has created programs and pathways to enable Northwell’s 17,000 nurses to pursue and earn board certification. Northwell’s nurse certification rate among nurse leaders and frontline clinical nurses is higher than the national mean for Magnet hospitals.
ANCC certification allows nurses to demonstrate their specialty expertise. With a long career as a certified nurse, Woolforde led the development and launch of a unique oncology nursing clinical education program at Northwell. The cutting-edge program is framed around the patient’s journey, taking nurses through settings such as medical/surgical inpatient, radiation-oncology and home care to help them understand the patient and family experience, and prepare for complex care navigation and chronic care coordination needs.
To address the growing nationwide shortage of nurses in perioperative and ambulatory settings, she led the development of a program that allows nursing students to have an in-depth rotation in a specialized ambulatory and perioperative program, preparing them for roles in these settings upon graduation—a transition that is unheard of in nursing.
Woolforde’s work on addressing the competencies of nurse educators working in clinical settings paved the way for the National League for Nursing’s development of the Certified Nurse Educator-clinical exam. She also launched and leads a national diversity task force at the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD) and co-authored the current Scope and Standards of Practice for Nursing Professional Development, which set the guidelines for practice across the specialty nationwide. Her leadership helps to advance the health of patients across Northwell and in other critical forums where she shares her work, including the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
Having earned both a doctor of nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University and a doctor of education degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College, Woolforde became the first nurse in the health system to earn two doctoral degrees. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Pace University, a master’s degree in adult health as a clinical nurse specialist from Hunter College-CUNY, a post master’s certificate in nursing education from the College of New Rochelle. She is also a Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine.
—Submitted by Northwell Health