Andrea Cowan

2018 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award Winner in the category of Pediatric Nurse

Andrea Cowan, Pediatric Nurse, Erin's Campaign for Kids Nursing AwardOne of the two 2018 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Awards in the Pediatric Nurse category, was awarded to Andrea Cowan, RN, BSN, a pediatric emergency department (ED) nurse at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This award goes to a pediatric nurse who is dedicated to furthering sepsis care and management in his or her facility and the community. Andrea’s role as a pediatric ED nurse puts her at the forefront of identifying sepsis among incoming patients. She also works in clinics in the community, where she has found an alarming lack of recognition of sepsis and she has found herself spending countless hours helping to perfect the process of recognizing and treating septic shock.

The successful roll-out of sepsis care and management in the ED has now led to the program moving to the entire hospital, starting with the PICU. “Our next steps, after the addition of our inpatient units, will hopefully be that all of our 22 sister facilities in our organization will adopt our protocol,” Andrea wrote in her application for the award.

Aside from her work of reviewing charts and individual follow-up with staff regarding cases that may have been missed, Andrea is expected to identify and investigate deviations in nursing care specific to the sepsis protocol and to provide education to correct the process. Among other tasks, Andrea has also assisted in the design and implementation of the Code Sepsis Activation process in the hospital. The hospital’s IV start time improved to a more than 95% IV insertion rate within 10 minutes. She has also made resource cards available to all ED staff that fit on the badge lanyard. It lists the protocol criteria based on age. Andrea stated that the work of the team has completely changed the culture of the emergency department related to sepsis.

“When I found out I was the recipient of the Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award, Pediatric Nurse, I felt so honored,” Andrea said when she was told of the award. “Honored to be a part of an amazing Sepsis Hospital Committee at Primary Children’s Hospital. Honored to represent Pediatric Nursing, which I am so very passionate about. Honored to work alongside so many talented coworkers who have become experts at recognizing and treating septic pediatric patients. So very honored to know that we are making a difference in the morbidity and mortality of our little patients.” She would like to use the award to help provide community education outside the facility.