MORRISTOWN, NJ — Atlantic Health System presented its annual neuroscience nursing awards to Stephen Coughlin, RN, of Parsippany and Randi Cataquet, of Springfield.

Coughlin, who works at Morristown Medical Center, was named the Atlantic Health System Neuroscience RN Rising Star Award winner. In presenting him with the award, Gayle Walker-Cillo RN, said Coughlin has a reputation for showing compassion and kindness to patients. She said one of Coughlin’s patients expressed thanks for the “warm attention” provided while under Coughlin’s care.

Coughlin, who leads the hospital’s Employee of the Month Committee, has presented articles about dysphagia and pain management at the Unit Based Shared Governance committees, Walker-Cillo said.

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The Rising Star Award recognizes excellence for new neuroscience nurses in the Atlantic Health System, focusing on “the potential” of a relatively new nurse. “While these are nurses with three years or less bedside nursing experience, they possess all the qualities to be leaders both on their units and in their facilities,” Walker-Cillo noted. “During their time with Atlantic Health, they have positively impacted patient outcomes, staff morale and contributed to quality and hospital-wide initiatives.”

Also recognized by Atlantic Health System, is Registered Nurse Randi Cataquet.  According to her colleagues, Cataquet is not just a nurse. She’s also a motivator.

Cataquet, who was recently chosen as an Atlantic Health System Neuroscience Nurse of the Year, puts a lot of love and energy into her work as an emergency room nurse at Overlook Medical Center, said Alyssa Ericksen, RN, who presented Cataquet with the award.

“Randi has a creative flair and she has a gift for making learning memorable and fun,” said Ericksen.

Cataquet’s off-duty endeavors helped her achieve the Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. According to Ericksen, Cataquet volunteers at the Emergency Medical Service’s annual dinners, the annual registered nurse block party and completes swallow screen audits.

Additionally, Cataquet — a certified emergency nurse and an active member of Atlantic Health’s Performance Improvement Team — helps boost staff morale by helping organize volunteer benefit events, including Color War games and the MuckFest MS, said Ericksen.

She said Cataquet played an instrumental role in teaching nurses the 'Code Grey' process related to the emergency department’s response to stroke assessment and treatment.   Part of that education involves teaching the proper mixing and administration of alteplase to stroke victims.

The Excellence in Clinical Practice Award recognizes bedside RNs with at least four years of bedside neuroscience experience who are working at one of Atlantic Health System’s neuroscience focus areas. Cataquet, in winning the award, was deemed to have been a “champion neuroscience nurse who consistently shows exemplary qualities” in her clinical practice.

“These nurses are the frontline staff giving exceptional care to our neuroscience patients as well as acting as mentors to staff and continuing to grow professionally within the neuroscience specialty,” noted Ericksen.

Both awards were sponsored by Atlantic Neurosurgical Specialists.