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

Article looks at triage nurse’s role in combating mental health crisis

Nurses play an important role in emergency behavioral health treatment, nurse Portia Wofford writes in From performing the “point-of-entry mental health assessment” during initial triage to managing behavioral health patients’ environments and acting as their advocates, nurses have a unique vantage point in emergency situations, Wofford says.

“Triage nurses are valuable to the emergency department,” she writes. “They are the first to communicate with, provide support to, and manage patients with psychiatric or mental health issues. Acting as a patient’s initial advocate can be life-changing for that patient.”

Nursing director adopts ailing infant patient

Liz Smith, nursing director at Franciscan Children’s in Brighton, Mass., adopted an ailing infant patient at the hospital and nursed her back to health, the Boston Globe reports. Giselle was born prematurely at 1 pound, 14 ounces, with neonatal abstinence syndrome and an unpredictable health outlook. Smith sought to adopt Giselle, then a ward of the state, and began caring for her off-site before the official adoption process took place.

“She was at a critical point where if she did not get out of the hospital she may not catch up developmentally,’’ Smith said.

Today Giselle is 2, and the two are legally mother and daughter.

Executive moves in the field

New Orleans-based Tulane Health System recently named Tara Beth Anderson associate chief nursing officer. Anderson previously served as CNO at Teche Regional Medical Center in Morgan City, La. 

Templeton, Calif.-based Twin Cities Community Hospital has appointed Robert Cook CNO. He previously served as interim CNO. 

Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center in Houston recently named Loretta Lee acting CNO, CHI St. Luke’s Health announced Lee has held senior leadership roles at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas; Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas; and Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. 

Related News Articles

Insights and Analysis
Robyn Begley, AHA senior vice president and chief nursing officer and CEO of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, encourages hospital leaders to…
The AHA and its American Organization for Nursing Leadership today voiced strong support for the Backlog Elimination, Legal Immigration, and Employment Visa…
The House Energy and Commerce Committee today approved legislation to address surprise medical bills and Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts.
The AHA's American Organization for Nursing Leadership is accepting abstracts through Aug. 2 for its 2020 conference March 18-21 in Nashville, Tenn.
Mary Beth Kingston spoke today at the first of three regional forums on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030.
The AHA today voiced support for legislation to revise and extend federal programs to develop the nursing workforce.