As director of the UAB Hospital Center for Nursing Excellence, Connie White-Williams, Ph.D., wears a lot of hats. She is a leader in evidence-based practices and conducts workshops to help bedside clinical experts learn how to search literature for best practices, write articles for publication, do research and write grants and abstracts.
Her coworkers say she is respected for her transformational leadership and passion for nursing excellence. That is one of the reasons why White-Williams has been named February Employee of the Month.
"She isn't sitting in an office working on her own professional interests alone," said Cheri Plasters, BSN, CCRN. "She is out among the staff nurses as a teacher, coach and mentor."
White-Williams said she is humbled that her coworkers would think to nominate her for Employee of the Month.
"I don’t see myself as different from anyone else," White-Williams said. "It’s what I do and who I am. I wouldn’t expect anything less from myself."
White-Williams has been at UAB since 1986. She served as a Cardiothoracic Transplant Coordinator until she graduated from the UAB School of Nursing with her Ph.D. in 2009. She began working in the Center for Nursing Excellence and has been director since January 2013.
|Each month, UAB recognizes an outstanding employee for their dedication, hard work and contributions to our success. If you know of a great employee and would like to nominate them for this recognition, find more information online.|
"When I was a nurse coordinator in heart failure and transplantation, I took advantage of opportunities to be involved in research, education and leading teams," White-Williams said. "Those opportunities led me to where I am today. I learned from so many people across the campus at UAB, and I feel like those lessons prepared me for my current leadership role."
"She always has time for you and stays over after hours to work with staff if needed," said Robin Sutton, RN. "She generously educates the staff and helps them to step outside of their comfort zones and take nursing to another level."
"At the end of the day, if you can ask yourself if you’d made a difference today and can say yes — that’s what it’s all about," White-Williams said. "It is really simple. Mentoring or coaching someone else to be successful generates the energy to keep doing what you do."
White-Williams says she is thankful for her team members at the Center for Nursing Excellence, because they help nursing reach for the next level.
"They and the nurses we serve make UAB a great place to work," White-Williams said.
When she isn't at work, White-Williams gardens and spends time with her husband, Craig, and children Travis and Kelsie. Connie, Craig and Kelsie recently ran the Mercedes Half Marathon.
She is also involved with several professional organizations, including the American Heart Association, the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation and the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses.
"For me, it’s about helping someone else achieve their goal," White-Williams said. "Whether it is helping a patient have a better outcome and quality of life or whether it is helping a nurse write a paper or develop a poster presentation, I just want to make a difference in the lives of others."