Can smiles power a hospital? If you work at Powell River General Hospital, you might think so thanks to the hardworking and always smiling Nova Cleghorn. She’s a Nurse Educator and recent recipient of an Award of Merit in the Unsung Hero category in the 2017 People First Awards.

Powell River General Hospital home to its own smiling super Nova

In space terms, a nova is an astronomical event that causes the sudden appearance of a bright new star.

That definition of a nova is also a pretty good description of Nova Cleghorn, who is known for her selflessness and willingness to go above and beyond on a regular basis at Powell River General Hospital while helping frontline staff become stars in their own right.

Words often used to describe Nova include:

  • Professional
  • Efficient
  • Supportive
  • Tireless
  • Driving force
  • Selfless
  • Effective
  • Super Nova

These are just some of the reasons Nova won an Award of Merit in the Unsung Hero category of the 2017 People First Awards.

Nurse educator extraordinaire

Nova is the nurse educator for MSP (medical, surgical and pediatrics), maternity, ICU and emergency. She reports to the Acute Services Manager, and supports all the nurses in the units to ensure they are properly armed with the skills and knowledge to be effective in their patient care.

“Nova is always willing to step in to support the nurses on our unit, no matter what the situation. She maintains a high standard of care, works hard to ensure staff have the education needed to do the same, and is a strong advocate for safe patient care,” said one colleague. “Nova has stayed late to assist the maternity nurse providing care to a labouring mother and the five medical patients who were on the ward until staff could be brought in. Nova then assumed care of the medical patients in order to ensure the maternity nurse could provide the needed one-to-one care to the labouring mother.”

At PRGH, Nova is the go-to person for advice and assistance.

“It makes the world of difference on the unit to know that we have her unconditional support… She is an exceptional role model for us to all follow, not only as a nurse but as a person. We are very fortunate to have her on our team,” said a colleague.

‘PRGH is a special place’

Needless to say, Nova was floored she’d won an award.

“I was very shocked that a colleague would have nominated me,” says Nova, who always has a smile at the ready.

“PRGH is a very special place to work.  We are a close team that supports each other.  We all wear many hats and sometimes that can take its toll on you but the team always has your back and ensures you are supported.”

PRGH staff are likely familiar with a phrase Nova likes to say:  “It is because we are special.”

“Working and living closely with your colleagues is a unique experience and one that I love. Whether you are on the soccer pitch or walking the trails you are guaranteed that you will always see someone you know. PRGH is a very special place to work and live.”

A driving force

On top of all of her other duties, Nova is the driving force behind the successful roll out of Releasing Time to Care and is currently spearheading the roll out of the Acuity and Complexity Scale, which has already made a positive impact on the care delivered to the patients and the support received by the frontline nurses.

“Nova is always eager to help me and coach me when I am faced with a new clinical skill that I have not performed before,” said her nominator. “When she is in her office, her door is always open and she is always willing to answer any questions I have. Despite being very busy with managing the educational needs for the entire hospital, Nova always makes our questions a priority and ensures that our concerns are heard.”

17 comments

  1. Pat van Schaik says:

    Nova is a super star and I am so grateful for her friendship, confidence and support! We all love her!

  2. Jodie Y says:

    Nova is an absolutely necessity for our staff! She is one of the very best people I know. She is not only one of very best patient advocates, she is also the best staff advocate. This award is so deserved !

  3. Rosemary Moran says:

    Congratulations Nova, well deserved!! You’ve always been a super nurse to me, very professional & supportive!! 👍🏻💕

  4. Trish Scoular says:

    Congratulations Nova! Well deserved, even though it’s been a few years that I’ve worked their myself. You were a go-getter from the day you started, and loved all aspects of your job. Helping people was definitely a natural gift.

  5. david barcelonne says:

    You deserve this recognition Nova, every word is true. You are stellar as a nurse and as a human being.

  6. Angela McDonald says:

    Great job Nova!! You were my practicum nurse/educator for the acute care portion of my training, and were always approachable, knowledgeable, and really took us under your wing. Great to see you’re still at PRGH and continuing to make a positive impact!

  7. Coral Gruenhage says:

    Such a well deserved award to an incredible person! For a long time, so many have seen you as an All Star at our hospital and finally you get public acknowledgement! We all are standing to applaud you right now!!

  8. Christina Choung says:

    Congratulations Nova! I’m so glad to see you getting some recognition across VCH for your hard work and stellar attitude! Way to go!

  9. Helen Christensen says:

    Congratulations Nova. Well deserved award, although you are doing what comes naturally and you love what you are doing. PRGH is so fortunate to have you.

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