WHGH Spotlight: Rena Leyland nominated for nursing excellence award

This past May, WHGH presented its first-ever Kelly Currie Nursing Excellence Award.

The award celebrates a nurse who demonstrates core behaviors and values that include role modeling, inspiring others, creativity, fostering accountability, creating a spirit of community, showing passion and commitment to improving the quality of care, and leading by example.

Registered Nurse (RN) Rena Leyland was one of seven nurses nominated for the award.

Here is what Rena’s nominator had to say about her:

“I would like to nominate Rena L. for consideration for the Kelly Currie Nursing Excellence Award. In addition to performing her job at an exemplary level, she demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the hospital, the patients, and the families of the communities we serve.

Rena takes it upon herself to provide exceptional support and service to her colleagues and new staff.   She discerns quickly their individual needs and provides key information, suggestions for improvement, or direction. Rena is a wonderful ambassador for our hospital in assisting staff and students to navigate the ever-changing Emergency Department and in greeting our patients, families, and community partners. If she did not exist, we would try to invent her.

Recently Rena precepted a BScN student.  Rena and the student often exchanged news and information about healthcare and the socio-economics of our communities. The student said, “Rena is the kind of nurse who gives to give…she took time out of her busy schedule to spend extra time with me and discuss my career goals.”

Rena perfectly depicts the characteristic of genuine public service.  She demonstrates how to juggle ups and downs and inspires all to never stop giving. She epitomizes servant leadership and inspires others to give back and pay it forward.

Rena quickly supports new initiatives and implementations and offers well-thought discussions and suggestions for improvement, recognizing the current limitation in healthcare. 

Fondly known as the ‘go-to’ for most things, Rena is helpful, caring, resourceful, and happy to offer service no matter the task. She often performs above and beyond and freely offers her expertise. Rena quietly does her job and provides excellent nursing care to patients and families who are quick to share the comfort Rena offers.

Rena has worked in both the IPU and the ED and has great empathy for staff who work in both departments, recognizing the challenges of providing care in the different areas.  She is cheerful, pays attention to details, and is loyal to West Haldimand General Hospital, which endears her to her colleagues. 

Rena makes a difference and exemplifies the mission of the hospital, and positively impacts the ED.  Her skills, knowledge, willingness to help others, and dedication make her an excellent Nursing Award for Excellence nominee.”

Nurse Kelly Currie had been a nurse for 31 years and was very well known and respected. Kelly worked at various hospitals over her career, including the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Center, Dartmouth General Hospital, Norfolk General Hospital, and lastly, West Haldimand General Hospital, where she served as a Director of Inpatient Care and Clinical Educator.

Kelly passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, July 30, 2020, at the age of 52.

In May, Kelly’s colleagues wanted to do something in her memory and decided on naming the IPU’s palliative care suite – a space designed to provide patients and their families with a serene and comforting space as they navigate their end-of-life journey – in her memory. The room is now known as the Snowy Owl Room.

Kelly was a life-long member of the Girl Guides of Canada, beginning at the age of eight. She was the dedicated leader of Sparks, Brownies where she chose her name of Snowy Owl.

You can read more about Nurse Kelly Currie’s story by clicking here.