Our Nurses Achievements

Nurses at Children’s consistently go above and beyond their daily duties to excel at their jobs, contribute to their communities and further the nursing profession. For these efforts, Children’s nurses have attained local and national recognition.

Our Nurses Achievements

National Awards

Children’s National nurses receive the National Magnet Nurse of the Year® Award for two consecutive years.

  • In 2013 Elizabeth Bradshaw-Mikula, MSN, RN, CPN; Former Clinical Program; Manager/Clinical Program Coordinator, Cardiac Research received the National Magnet Nurse of the Year® award in Empirical Outcomes.
  • In 2012 Kathy Ann Sheehy, MSN, APRN, PCNS-BC, RN-BC; Interim Director; Advanced Practice Nursing, and Director of Program Development and Implementation, Pain Medicine, received the National Magnet Nurse of the Year® award in New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements.

The Association of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology Nurses honors a Children’s National nurse for dedication and leadership.

Deborah Freiburg, MS, BSN, RN; Director; Medical Nursing and Patient and Family Education Program, received the 2013 Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Casey Hooke Distinguished Service Award

Local Awards

Out of hundreds of nominations, Washingtonian magazine selected ten extraordinary individuals for contributions in the field of nursing for the annual Washingtonian Excellence in Nursing Award.

Two Children’s National nurses received this award:

  • Christy Baxter, MSN, MHA, RN, CPN; Clinical Manager; Pain Medicine
  • Lindsey Kennedy, BSN, RN, CPHON; RN II; Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Unit

2014 Nursing Excellence GEM Awards, make up Nurse.com prestigious award program that honors outstanding nurses in regions across the country, leading to the selection of National Nurse of the Year.

Two Children’s National nurses were recognized in 2014:

  • Claudette Coderre, RN, CPN; RNIII; 7 East Medical Care Unit
  • Chantel Skipper, RN , MSN, CPNP-AC, CPN; Professional Practice Specialist; Surgical Care Unit and Neuroscience Unit

Children’s National Awards

DAISY Award Winners are acknowledged through the DAISY Foundation which was founded by Bonnie and Mark Barnes- the parents of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 due to complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The family created the international DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses as a means to honor nurses across the globe for excellence in caring for patients and families.

The following Children’s National nurses were recipients of the daisy award in 2014:

  • Tina Floyd, RN, BSN, CPN; RN II; 6 East/ North Intestinal Rehab Unit
  • Sabrina Singleton, RN; MSN; RN II;  7 East Medical Care Unit
  • Marnell Jungoy, RN; BSN; RN II; Neuroscience Unit
  • Rebecca Cunningham, RN; CNOR, RN III; Operating Room
  •  Marcia Neuendorf, RN, BSN,  CNOR; Clinical Manager; Operating Room
Formal Degrees

Formal Degrees

Anne Weichold, MSN, RN, CCRN, ACNPBC, FCCS (PICU), earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Maryland, December 2011.

Eileen Sytnyk, MSN, RN, CCRN, (PICU), earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree for Family Nurse Practitioner at Georgetown University, December 2011.

Pamela N. Petto, MA, BSN, RN, CPON, (Professional Nursing Practice) earned a Master of Arts in Education and Human Resource Development from The George Washington University, May 2012.

Yolanda Williams, MSN, MHA, RN, CPN, (7 East-MCU) earned Master of Nursing and Master of Healthcare Administration degrees from the University of Phoenix, February 2012.

Nkemdilim Okonkwo, BSN, RN (Inpatient Psychiatry), earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Radians College, October 2011.

Leilanie Marie Ayala, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC (Inpatient Psychiatry) completed a Post-Master’s Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing – Clinical Nurse Specialist Track from University of Virginia in May 2011, and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing – Nurse Practitioner Track from University of Virginia in August 2011.

Carolyn A. Benigno, MSN, RN, CPN (Perioperative Services) earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree in Nursing Informatics from the University of Phoenix, March 2012.



Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) Anne Weichold, MSN, RN, CCRN, ACNP-BC, FCCS (PICU)

Family Nurse Practitioner Terri Ameri, FNP-BC, MSN CNE CPN (Float Pool)

Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Leilanie Marie Ayala, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC (Inpatient Psychiatry)

Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (PMHCNS) Leilanie Marie Ayala, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC (Inpatient Psychiatry)

Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) Rebecca L. Ali, BSN, RN, CCRN, CPN (PICU) Jody Ashman, MHPM, BSN, RN, CPN, (Endocrinology), Kimberly Cook, RN, CPN (Children’s Ambulatory Surgery Center)

Kathy Davis, MSN, RN, CPN, CNL, (Ambulatory Services, Children’s National Specialists of Virginia, LLCAndrea Ewing-Thomas, BSN, RN, CPN, (Perioperative Services) Hannah Freymeyer, MSN, RN, CNL, CPN (PACU) Julie Harab, BSN, RN, CPN (PICU) Jennifer McClellan, BSN, RN, CPN (Acute Care Float Pool) Kelly Weiss, BSN, RN, CPN (Children’s Ambulatory Surgery Center) Nursing Informatics (RN-BC) Brenda G. McNeely, MA, BSN, RN-BC (Nursing Education and Professional Development)

Certified Case Management (CCM) Alicia C. Littlejohn, BSN, RN-BC, CCM (Children’s School Services)

Nurse Executive-Board Certified (NE-BC) Marjean Cefaratti, MSN, RN, CPN NE-BC (Radiology and Sedation Nursing) Certified Hospice and Palliative

Pediatric Nurse (CHPPN) Deborah A. Lafond, MS, PNP-BC, CPON, CHPPN, (Neuro-Oncology and PANDA Care Team)

Certification in Pediatric Bioethics (first national certification in pediatric bioethics) Katherine DuBois, MSN, RN-BC (Nursing Education and Professional Development)

Clinical Ladder

Clinical Ladder Achievement

Proficient Status

Rebecca L. Ali, BSN, RN, CCRN, CPN (PICU)
Hannah Freymeyer, MS, RN, CNL (PACU)
Kelly McDonald, BSN, RN, CPHON (CCBD)
Faben Jalleta, BSN, RN, CAPA, CPAN (PACU)
Kristen Laheta, BSN, RN, CPN (PACU)
Aileen Pinola, MSN, RN, CPN (PACU)
Janine Smith, RN, CPN, CCRN (PICU)

Expert Status

Brenda Reed, BSN, RN, CPON
(Chemo Infusion of Northern Virginia)
Kimberley Riley, BS, RN, CPON (CCBDNV)

Renewal of Expert Status

Theresa Fitzpatrick, RN, CPN (Radiology Nursing) – Renewal of Expert Status
Cheryl Reggio, BN-PC, RN, CPON (HOCU) – Renewal of Expert Status

Previous Awards

Previous Awards

Linda Arapian, RN, MSN, CEN, CPEN, EMTB, received the 2008 NurseEducator Award from the National Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) at the annual ENA meeting in Minneapolis, MN.Linda also was appointed by the National ENA to serve on the Leadership Conference Committee for 2009-2011, with responsibilities for the overall Annual ENA Leadership Conference planning, from speaker selection to on-site organization during the Conferences.

Pauline Clarke MSN, RN, CNOR, is the 2008 alumna of the year awardee in recognition of her work in supporting the School of Nursing at Excelsior Community College in Kingston, Jamaica.

Tara Taylor, RN, MPH “The Neonatal Blood Stream Infection (BSI) Reduction Team” received the 2008 District of Columbia Hospital Association (DCHA) Patient Safety award for their successful efforts to reduce blood stream infection rates in the neonatal intensive care unit. 

Simmy Randhawa MS, MBA, RN, CPN was appointed as a member of the Clinical Practice Committee for the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN).

Tanika Jones BSN, RN served as adjunct clinical faculty at Catholic University and taught Clinical Pediatric Nursing for Fall 2008.

Margaret Shanks, RN, BSN, was elected to serve on the Nominations Committee of the United American Nurse (UAN) for a two-year team.

Amy L. Motz, RN, received a citation in April from the Maryland House of Delegates for the community work she does in the field of forensics.

Katherine Kelly, PhD, RN, was appointed co-chair of the Nursing Research Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group. The COG is an international childhood cancer research organization.

Linda Talley, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC, Interim Chief Nursing Officer; Tara Taylor, RN, MPH, BSN, NICU clinical coordinator; and Jessica Carman, RN, BSN, were recognized at the Fourth Annual Heartsongs Luncheon benefiting Children’s in February 2006. They were nominated by Melissa Buckles, the mother of conjoined twins treated at Children’s.

Dory Walczak, RN, was elected Secretary for the Northeastern Pediatric Cardiology Association.

Melissa Silva Wills, MS, RNCS, PNP, of the Hematology/Oncology Unit, received the 2006 Nurse of the Year award from the National Capital Area Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  A parent nominated her and she was honored at the society’s annual gala.