Illinois 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award Winner Highlight: Katie Kean

Katie Kean is a passionate Clinical Manager at Rush University Medical Center. She knows that compassion and teamwork are essential for providing the best patient care and models her leadership around these ideals. She has been nominated for the class of 2023 Illinois Nurses Foundation 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award. Designed to highlight young nurses that are making a lasting difference in the healthcare industry, this award celebrates those who shape the future of nursing.

Katie Kean: A Beacon of Nursing Excellence and Compassionate Leadership in Cancer Care

In the fast-paced and challenging world of healthcare, emerging leaders shine like guiding stars, bringing their passion, intelligence, and dedication to elevate patient care and foster collaborative teams. Katie Kean, the Rush Cancer Center Infusion Room’s clinical manager, is an exceptional leader. Her commitment to nursing excellence and her vision to optimize patient outcomes have made her a true asset to the cancer care community.

A Visionary Leader in Cancer Care

Katie’s journey as a clinical manager at the Rush Cancer Center Infusion Room has been characterized by her unwavering dedication to her profession. She leads with enthusiasm, courage, and intelligence, constantly seeking opportunities to elevate nursing excellence and value. Her ultimate goal is to build collaborative, multidisciplinary teams that work seamlessly to optimize patient outcomes and experiences.

Katie’s leadership style revolves around fostering open communication with her team. She proactively works with staff to identify and address challenges in real time. Collaborating with care teams and leadership at all levels, Katie seeks to resolve identified issues at their root cause. Embracing a culture of innovation, she fearlessly tests new ideas and processes to drive improvement, operational efficiency, and patient and staff safety.

Innovative Projects and Advocacy

Under Katie’s guidance, the infusion room has witnessed many innovative projects to enhance patient care. Notably, she played a pivotal role in building and implementing a new patient EPIC checklist, which has significantly improved communication between disease-specific care teams, leading to minimized delays in time to treatment. Additionally, her vision supported the design of a new facility to enhance the overall cancer patient experience.

Beyond the walls of the hospital, Katie extends her advocacy to the cancer community. Partnering with organizations like Culinary Care and Factor Meals, she ensures cancer patients receive nourishing meals during treatment and at home. Striving for health equity, Katie facilitates the integration of the community health service team, connecting patients undergoing cancer treatment to vital resources.

Prioritizing Team Well-being and Professional Growth

Katie’s commitment to her team’s well-being is evident through her efforts to sustain excellent staff engagement scores despite challenges with staff turnover during the pandemic. She introduced mindfulness sessions and engaged staff in the wellness committee, promoting work-life balance and overall well-being.

Recognizing the talents of her team, Katie mentors staff to submit grant proposals supporting innovation and professional development. She encourages team members to pursue certifications, participate in professional organizations, and present their accomplishments at national conferences.

Nurturing the Next Generation of Nurses

Katie’s influence extends to nurturing future nursing professionals. She hosts clinical internships for nursing students and serves as a facilitator for student capstone projects. Partnering with Rush University nursing school, she actively recruits nurses with associate degrees, allowing them to earn their BSN degrees with full tuition support. Additionally, she supports medical assistants in pursuing a nursing career, guiding and championing their enrollment in nursing school.

Katie Kean: A Beacon of Compassion and Nursing Excellence 

Katie Kean is a shining example of a servant leader passionate about nursing excellence and compassionate patient care. Her dedication to fostering collaborative teams, driving innovation, and advocating for the cancer community sets her apart as an exemplary professional. Katie’s impact on her team, patients, and the nursing profession is unparalleled, making her a true beacon of hope and inspiration in the world of cancer care.

Congratulations to Katie Kean and Rush University Medical Center for this prestigious honor! The Illinois Nurses Foundation 40 Under 40 Award for Emerging Nurse Leaders is proven to open career doors for its recipients. INF is proud to celebrate nurses like Katie who have made a lasting impact in the healthcare industry. 

For more information on the INF 40 Under 40 Award Ceremony, click this link.

Illinois Nurses Foundation: Support Education, Advocation, and Recognition for Nurses

The Illinois Nurses Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports nurses through various programs, empowering them, promoting excellence, and advancing the nursing profession while also recognizing and celebrating the remarkable achievements of young nurses through the INF 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award, highlighting their talent and potential for the field’s growth and evolution. Donate to INF today, and you can help empower nurses and improve healthcare!