Press Room

University of Colorado Nurse Honored with National Award

Atlanta, Ga. – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) today presented its prestigious Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year Award to Amanda Nenaber, DNP, APRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC, Program Director, Transitions of Care, from the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colo.

The CNS of the Year Award recognizes an NACNS member for outstanding professional achievement in all aspects of CNS practice. It is presented each year to a nurse who demonstrates CNS competencies and exemplary practice in patient care, nursing and health care delivery systems.

One of Nenaber’s key initiatives addressed prescription compliance and adherence. In 2016 Nenaber was the heart failure program manager at the University of Colorado Hospital and was responsible for maintaining the disease specific advanced heart failure certification by the Joint Commission. She expanded a regulatory requirement for the heart failure population and identified that all patients would benefit from providing indications for medications. Using expert change management skills and partnering with a transitions of care pharmacist, the “no-cost” practice change has resulted in 301,000 patients receiving more than 502,000 prescriptions and information on why their provider prescribed that particular medication. This initiative led to the University of Colorado Hospital being the first organization to include an indication of use at time of prescribing within specific electronic health record. Nenaber’s efforts have been so successful that the University of Colorado Hospital is expanding the requirement across the entire UC Health system.

“It is our great honor to present the CNS of the Year Award to Amanda Nenaber,” said NACNS 2016 President Sharon Horner, PhD, RN, MC-CNS, FAAN. “Her commitment to improving patient care, creating new models of care delivery, innovative thinking and passion for advocating the CNS role are without parallel. Nenaber is a shining example of the best ways advanced practiced registered nurses can have a such a positive effect on patients and families by seeing not just bedside care, but work across the system to be change makers in health care.”

Nenaber plays a valuable leadership role in many of the University of Colorado Hospital’s pilot programs, including some aimed at decreasing readmissions and assessing the feasibility of bundled reimbursement payments from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Nenaber guided her disease management team, from the hospital’s fiscal year 2013 to 2016, to focus on six quality metrics. In that time overall performance improved from 33% to 74% of metrics at or above national benchmarks. She has also initiated nurse led case management rounds to improve overall cardiology service. Since August 2015, she has been able to demonstrate a 43% increase in patients leaving the hospital with a follow up appointment scheduled.

Nenaber is recognized as a content expert in transitional care redesign and population health by the University of Colorado Hospital Medical Group and she’s been selected by their executive leadership team to serve as the co-chair for the Transitional Care and Readmissions Steering Committee.

In her work, she also serves as: Lead, UHC Chronic Disease Medical Home Collaborative Participant; Chair, UCHealth Heart Failure System Taskforce; Lead Facilitator, ACC Patient Navigator Program Participant; Chair, Heart Failure Leadership Committee; and Chair, Hospital to Home (H2H) Heart Failure Taskforce.

Nenaber earned her BSN from South Dakota State University and her MS and DNP from the University of Colorado, Denver. Since 2013 Nenaber has served as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Colorado’s College of Nursing. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.

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