Nurse Watch is compiled in conjunction with the AHA’s American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and highlights articles of interest to nurse leaders, nursing professionals and other health care leaders. For more about AONE, visit

Nurse drives through fire to rescue patients

California nurse Allyn Pierce risked his life twice to evacuate patients in Paradise, Calif., rescuing patients before heading out for his own safety as the region’s record-setting wildfire closed in on Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, NBC’s Today reports.

After the first evacuation, the encroaching fire trapped Pierce in his truck and kept him and other gridlocked drivers from leaving the area. The flames burned surrounding cars, and almost reached Pierce’s before a bulldozer appeared and cleared a path for Pierce to escape. But Pierce instead turned around, driving into the flames to get back to the hospital. There, he found injured Paradise residents seeking medical attention, and Pierce and other hospital staff quickly began treating them.

“Doctors, nurses, paramedics & police started a triage center in the hospital parking lot,” New York Times reporter Jack Nicas tweeted. “They broke into the hospital for gurneys, oxygen tanks & other gear & quickly went to work, treating about two dozen people while the fire raged around them.”

The flames closed in on the hospital, setting it on fire. Hospital staff rushed the patients to the hospital’s helipad and then eventually to a safer area when it became available. All patients and staff made it out safely, Nicas reported.

Nurse researcher cites six areas for nurse leaders’ attention

Nurse leaders should focus on employee well-being, environment, patient acuity measurement, specialty certification, empathy and leadership to succeed in their roles, leadership researcher Patricia A. Hickey, vice president and associate chief nursing officer for cardiovascular and critical care patient services at Boston Children’s Hospital, said in a recent story in HealthLeaders.

“Leaders should be able to articulate the value of nursing and help nurses articulate professional practice,” Hickey told the publication. “Sharing and effectively communicating a collective vision for the future and supporting staff in achieving personal and professional goals is always important.”

Executive moves

Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., appointed Sue DeLeon to the role of assistant chief nursing officer, the organization announced. DeLeon most recently served as director of medical surgical, orthopedic and house supervision at West Marion Community Hospital in Ocala, Fla., and was a medical surgical nurse at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Brookwood Baptist Health appointed Susan Bria to the role of permanent chief nursing officer of Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster, Ala., the Shelby County Reporter wrote. Prior to her appointment, Bria was interim CEO and director of nursing.

Chippewa County Montevideo (Minn.) Hospital named Patty Frank its chief nursing officer and chief operating officer, the Montevideo American-News reports. Previously, Frank was chief nurse at a 25-bed hospital and has more than a decade of nursing experience.

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Insights and Analysis
Also in this weekly roundup of nursing news: a nurse helps save the life of a man at the theatre, and executive moves in the field.