Recognizing outstanding direct-patient care.
Kathleen M. Vollman, MSN, RN, CCNS, FCCM, FAAN
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS)
A passion for evidence-based nursing practice has motivated Kathleen M. Vollman to improve care for critically ill patients, educate and empower nurses, and effect positive change in the nursing community. Known for her clinical expertise, innovation, and leadership, Vollman has led a multifaceted career as clinical nurse specialist (CNS), educator, consultant, and entrepreneur.
During her work as a frontline RN in critical care, Vollman discovered the benefi ts of prone positioning for patients with severe lung injury but recognized the need for a safe turning device. As part of her graduate school research at California State University, Long Beach, she developed a prone positioning device, studied its benefit, patented the technology, and educated nurses nationally and internationally on the science of positioning to improve breathing.
She made a significant impact as a CNS for the medical ICUs at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where she and her colleagues developed and implemented many evidence-based care processes that helped create an empowered work culture. These included a mobility program, oral care to reduce preventable lung infections, and care practices and products to prevent skin breakdown. The results included signifi cant reductions in health-care acquired infections and pressure ulcers, as well as low employee turnover rates and higher employee satisfaction. The model for culture change has been replicated in nursing units in the United States and internationally. Other accomplishments include a wound care program and the creation of a healing environment for patients and workers in the ICU.
Active in professional associations, including the American Nurses Association, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, and the Registered Nurses Association in Michigan, she is currently president of the Michigan Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists. Vollman started her consulting company in 2003, which focuses on creating an empowered work environment for nurses through the acquisition of greater skills and knowledge.