She exudes critical thinking, collaboration, and a love for professional development

Anonymous, Employee

Danielle Chappa is a stellar example of an expert nurse. She has over 15yrs of experience providing direct patient care, precepting new staff, and supporting her team as a charge nurse. Danielle also exudes critical thinking, interdisciplinary collaboration, and a love for professional development.

Intuition is something not found in a nursing textbook. It is learned from years of experience and reflection on past events and outcomes. Dr. Romeo explained it was Danielle’s expertise and intuition that helped save a patient’s life. The patient had occluded their airway and Danielle managed to pull the team together and speak up for safety. Danielle employed our safety phrase, “I have a concern” and obtained help immediately to provide support to a patient who would have otherwise died. Even during intense situations she is able to remain calm and cool, which sets the tone for everyone else.

Danielle operates with a deep understanding of the total picture. Not only does she apply this to her clinical practice, she also does this while collaborating with the TCU team. Danielle was precepting a novice nurse who was struggling to become an advanced beginner. Many had given up hope the nurse could be successful. Danielle saw something in this person no one else could and she asked to continue orientation stating the new nurse would be successful with time. Because of her faith, understanding of the greater picture, and outstanding preceptor skills, the novice nurse was successful.

Proficiency is another attribute of an expert nurse. Danielle is a “go to” person on the unit when you need help with patient care, equipment issues, or clinical advice. She was in charge when a tier 1 gunshot wound came into the ER. Our providers recognized the patient would not have made it out of the trauma bay without her help and support running the massive transfuser and providing sound critical care nursing. They went on to say it was comforting to have such a high level of support in such a difficult time.

Lastly, it is imperative all expert nurses realize mistakes can be turned into treasures so learning and growth can occur. Danielle will be the first to admit when she has made a mistake. During an instance where a mistake occurred, she owned up to it, corrected the problem, and shared her story with other staff members. She knew the past could not be changed but others could learn from her. It takes courage to do what she did and a high level of professionalism to share the story.

Danielle Chappa is a nurse on the Trauma Care at Bronson Methodist Hospital. She is the recipient of the 2018 Hazel Latondress Expertise Award, and was recognized during the 2019 Nursing Excellence Celebration.