Orlando, FL – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) today presented its prestigious Clinical Nurse Specialist Preceptor of the Year Award to Jennifer Kitchens, MSN, RN, ACNS, BC, CVRN, a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis and clinical faculty at Western Governors University. The Award was designed to nationally recognize an NACNS member for outstanding professional achievement as a CNS Preceptor. It recognizes a CNS preceptor who has demonstrated commitment to teach, coach and mentor CNS students to achieve CNS competencies. The Award was presented at NACNS’ Annual Conference.
Kitchens’ colleagues and students nominated her for the award. In their nominating letters, they describe her as dedicated, compassionate, supportive, enthusiastic and “an excellent coach, mentor and teacher to both students and nurses.”
One nominator wrote, “Ms. Kitchens has consistently held a clear purpose for clinical practice to improve patient health outcomes and mentor the new generation of nurses to develop their competence as CNSs.”
Kitchens has been a CNS preceptor for more than five years, working with CNS program students, as well as serving as a guest speaker in CNS courses at Indiana University and engaging undergraduate students in clinical teaching. She has also mentored and worked with students on completing evidence-based practice projects and creating and presenting poster presentations at national conferences.
“Ensuring that the next generation of CNSs is well-prepared to fulfill their roles as leaders in health care is vital to improving the health of our nation,” said NACNS 2014 President Les Rodriguez, MSN, MPH, RN, ACNS-BC, APRN. “Jennifer Kitchens has gone above and beyond as a preceptor, providing encouragement, support and guidance to students, as well as acting as a role model and exemplar of the CNS.”
Kitchens received the Excellence in Nursing Practice Award and a research grant from the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Alpha Chapter in 2013. She holds both an MSN in Adult Health Nursing and a BSN from Indiana University.