Miltner honored by QSEN, VAQS

Recognized for achievements in health care quality improvement, patient safety

Photo: Rebecca Miltner AwardBy Erica Techo

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Associate Professor and Director of Educationally Focused Partnerships Rebecca S. Miltner, PhD, RN, CNL, NEA-BC, has been recognized by two national organizations for her accomplishments in the field of health care improvement and patient safety.

The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Institute presented Miltner with the Linda Cronenwett QSEN Leadership Award which honors a nurse leader in the field of quality and safety education who has significantly contributed to the education of nurses or student nurses through exemplary vision, influence, critical thinking, communication and role modeling. The award was named in honor of Linda Cronenwett, PhD, RN, FAAN, who was the principal investigator of the national initiative Quality and Safety Education for Nurses from 2005-2011.

“Linda Cronenwett is one of my personal heroes as a nurse scholar and as a human being,” Miltner said. “Linda Cronenwett knew the importance of quality improvement, saw the gaps in nursing education, and worked hard to create the QSEN competency framework that has been integrated into nursing curricula throughout the United States. I feel very honored to receive an award that is named after her.”

As a faculty member, Miltner seeks to present quality improvement in the same way as Cronenwett — in a practical manner that encourages understanding and application.

“As a faculty member in our Nursing Health Systems Administration (NHSA) program, I helped incorporate an improvement project for the students to complete within their unit,” Miltner said. “They not only learned the quality improvement tools, but they also learned how to apply those tools in a clinical setting. Quality improvement is best learned by doing. You can read about it, but doing it in clinical practice helps you really understand the complexity of work processes and systems.”

In August, Miltner also received the first Paul Batalden Award at the VA Quality Scholars Summer Institute. The award, presented by the VAQS Alumni Committee and Coordinating Center, recognizes VAQS graduates with outstanding accomplishments in the field of health care improvement and patient safety.

“It’s quite an honor to be recognized by my peers, and it was incredible to receive this award, considering the pool of nominees,” Miltner said. “There were a number of accomplished colleagues among the group, and I’m honored to be recognized among the other individuals making huge contributions as former VAQS Fellows.”

VAQS celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, which also marked the 10th year that nurses were allowed to enter the fellowship. Miltner came to UAB School of Nursing as a post-doctoral fellow in 2010, spending two years studying improvement science as a VA Quality Scholar.

“It was a fabulous experience. The best part was that our Dean, Doreen Harper, supports faculty who have different paths of scholarship,” Milter said. “She recognized improvement science as a real scientific pathway, which was unusual at the time. She supported my atypical way of being on a tenure track, and her foresight and understanding of improvement science has guided our integration of quality and safety across programs.”

Miltner is an associate professor in the School of Nursing as well as the Director of Educationally Focused Partnerships in the Office of Clinical and Global Partnerships and a Nurse Scientist at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. Her research interests are focused on improvement and implementation science with a focus on the quality of nursing care in a variety of health settings. She is a recognized leader in quality improvement education and has driven quality improvement in several health care organizations. Along with Professor and Rachel Z. Booth Endowed Chair in Nursing Pat Patrician, PhD, RN, FAAN, Miltner leads the Deep South QSEN Regional Collaborative at UAB, an initiative to work with nurse educators, practicing nurses and other health care leaders about the importance building quality and safety into health professions education and organizational structures.

Read 307 times Last modified on October 23, 2019

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