By Sarah Pridgeon
Connie Clous, Director of Nurses at Sundance’s Long Term Care (LTC) facility, is this year’s recipient of the Norman S. Holt Award for Nursing Excellence, a prestigious honor granted by the Wyoming Hospital Association (WHA). The award was announced at the WHA Annual Meeting and Convention on September 28.
Clous was nominated by the Crook County Medical Services District (CCMSD) Board of Directors as an “extraordinary nurse who has distinguished herself in many ways in extraordinary circumstances.” The nomination recognized her contribution to recent improvements made to the LTC facility.
Clous returned to her position as Director of Nurses in February of this year, after a two year absence. John Osse, Interim CEO, contacted her after making several “significant” changes in staff, needing someone with “proven leadership qualities to inspire the staff and to regain the quality of care enjoyed by residents in LTC when she was Director of Nurses.”
“It’s a very coveted, high award,” said Osse. “I have had the privilege of working with many talented and dedicated professionals in my 37-year career, but there have been very few that consistently demonstrated the attributes of Connie Clous, R.N. That the Board of Directors nominated her shows the depth and extent of their recognition of what she did.”
The nomination ascribes her success to several attributes, including her concern for the profession and its improvement, which makes her a “role model for the nursing profession in the eyes of the community,” and her active interest in exploring new ideas, training and concepts. She is known as an advocate for residents and patient care and has earned the respect of her peers, both at this facility and others in the area.
Her compassion is described in the nomination as her “strongest and greatest trait,” whether comforting a resident or family member or serving as an advocate for their care. She is also praised for consistently demonstrating initiative in “seeking ways and methods of improving the quality and quantity of care.”
Clous’s dedication to providing the highest possible quality of care is noted, as well as her positive work approach to superiors, peers and subordinates. In spite of the difficult challenges she and her staff have recently faced, she is praised for “consistently maintaining a positive, ‘can do’ attitude.”
“I was surprised to receive the award, I had no idea I’d been nominated,” said Clous. “I’d like to thank John, the Board of Directors and particularly the families and residents – they were all part of the driving force behind my decision to come back.”