With Empathy and Balance, Erica McPhail Goes Above and Beyond to Mentor Other Nurses

Monday, November 6, 2023 | Awards & Recognitions
Bayhealth is proud to honor Erica McPhail, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, NPD-BC, adult inpatient nurse residency coordinator at Sussex Campus, with the 2023 Educator of the Year Award.

Celebrating those Bayhealth team members who make it a part of their daily routine to educate others — even if they’re not in a traditional educator role, the award is given in memory of Geraldine Webb Palladino, BSN, RNC. A clinical instructor at Bayhealth until her untimely death in March 1993, she consistently demonstrated her commitment to helping others obtain competent, caring medical attention throughout her career.

In her role at the health system, McPhail is an educator who focuses on new graduate nurse development. Her nominator highlighted McPhail’s great work, writing: “Erica is a true educator because she flawlessly balances constructive criticism with positive feedback, all while remaining respectful to each nurse and staff member. [She] has not forgotten where she started as a nurse, and uses this to empathize with newer nurses to create a safe and productive educational environment.”

“Erica consistently works with her staff to achieve educational and personal goals through mentoring, investigating, promoting evidence-based research review, and being flexible to all different types of personalities and learning styles,” her nominator noted, adding that McPhail has met with all of the new graduate nurses he has precepted and she helped them tremendously with their critical thinking, confidence, and clinical skills.

“[She is] a friend that everyone needs — she unfailingly lifts up everyone around her and consciously goes out of her way to make every person’s questions and concerns be validated,” he added.

McPhail also received the Bayhealth honor in 2020, alongside a former colleague, for her work in support of the acuity adaptable unit staff nurses at the Bayhealth Sussex Campus. In April of this year, she was also recognized as a top nurse by Delaware Nurses Association and the editors of Delaware Today, when she was the top vote getter (in a vote of Delaware-licensed nurses) in the
Clinical Educator category.

Nominees for the 2023 Educator of the Year Award also included staff members Rachel Winston, Donyetta Little, W. Drake Nichols, Sarah Swan, Dan Wagner, Dr. Assar Rather, Amanda Bergstrom, Dr. Matthew Debo, Sarah Beebe, Melissa Bailey, James Tompkins, Tina Raab, Frankie Bell, Mikel Shans, Barbara Willis, Paige Gennarelli, and Dr. Amita Jain.

"Every day I'm inspired by our nurses who display an unmatched commitment to our patients and each other," said Rosi Wurster, DNP, RN, MPH, NEA-BC, CEN, chief nurse executive at Bayhealth. "We're particularly proud of all the award nominees and celebrate Erica for all she has brought to her professional practice here at Bayhealth to inspire our nurses and train them to provide outstanding patient care."

Visit Bayhealth.org/Join-Us to learn about career opportunities at Bayhealth.

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