Illinois 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award Winner Highlight: Michael Liwanag

Meet Michael Liwanag, the Unit Director for Rush University Medical Center. He has been nominated for the class of 2023 Illinois Nurses Foundation 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award. Designed to highlight young nurses who are making a lasting difference in the healthcare industry, this award celebrates those who shape the future of nursing.

Dr. Michael Liwanag: A Multifaceted Leader in Healthcare

Dr. Liwanag’s journey in the nursing profession has been nothing short of exceptional. Currently serving as the Unit Director for a Medical-Surgical Unit at Rush University Medical Center, Interim Unit Director for Rush Rehabilitation, and Director for Rush Rehabilitation and Select Medical’s Joint Venture, he has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to both patient care and leadership. Within his organization, he spearheads the Nursing Operations Council, where his leadership has led to significant improvements in quality and operational outcomes.

A Scholarly Pursuit of Excellence

Education has been a cornerstone of Dr. Liwanag’s professional growth. Holding a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Rush University, a Master of Nursing and a Master of Business Administration from Lewis University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bradley University, he has cultivated a diverse skill set that merges clinical expertise with strategic thinking. Furthermore, his board certifications from the ANCC as an Advanced Nurse Executive and in Medical-Surgical Nursing showcase his commitment to excellence in specialized areas of nursing.

Illuminating Onboarding and Leadership Enhancement

One of Dr. Liwanag’s most impactful contributions lies in his doctoral work. Focusing on the onboarding of new nurse leaders, particularly Unit Directors, within his organization, his scholarly efforts have borne remarkable results. The program he developed has not only retained new leaders during their probationary period but has also garnered positive feedback from participants, with 83% acknowledging its superiority over its predecessor. Liwanag’s success story doesn’t end here – he has collaborated with the Professional Nursing Practice department to expand this onboarding program to other nursing leadership roles, benefiting a wider spectrum of healthcare professionals.

His leadership extends beyond the boardroom as well. As the Nursing Operations Council Chair, he has revitalized leadership meetings to foster open dialogue and operational efficiency. Liwanag’s innovative approach also involves daily huddle rounding for all six service lines, emphasizing real-time communication and collaboration. However, his true passion lies in mentorship. Recognizing that the nursing journey goes beyond the bedside, he invests in his staff’s career aspirations, leveraging his network and resources to propel their growth within the organization.

A Community-Focused Advocate

Dr. Liwanag’s influence is not confined within the hospital walls. His community involvement resonates with his commitment to holistic healthcare. He stands as a strong advocate for his organization’s mission of hiring from the West Side of Chicago, his community. As a participant in the Men in Nursing Chapter, he supports primary and secondary health prevention efforts in the vicinity. His active role in administering COVID-19 vaccines to high-risk populations showcases his dedication to public health, especially during critical times.

A National Voice for Nursing

Liwanag’s advocacy for nursing leadership and the role of nurses during the pandemic has resonated on a national scale. An interview with The Filipino Channel brought his passion to the forefront, illuminating his dedication and serving as an inspiration to aspiring nurses. Through this exposure, he not only showcases his own achievements but also shines a light on the broader nursing community.

Michael Liwanag: A Guiding Light in Nursing Leadership

Dr. Michael Liwanag’s journey is an embodiment of what it means to be an emerging nurse leader. His multifaceted contributions, from innovative leadership strategies to mentorship and community engagement, have left an indelible mark on the nursing profession. His commitment to excellence, both inside and outside the healthcare facility, sets him apart as an exceptional nominee for the Illinois Nurses Foundation Emerging Nurse Leader award. He is not just a nurse; he is a guiding light, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps and make a lasting impact on healthcare.

Congratulations to Michael Liwanag 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 Michael 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!