St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center President Frank J. Cracolici congratulates NICU Nurse Manager Leonora (Nori) Yaun, RN, MA, recipient of the 2010 Care and Compassion Award.

Leonora Yaun, a nurse manager of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital (SLR) in New York City, is the recipient of the Care and Compassion Award at the hospital’s annual celebration of Pastoral Care Week.

Yaun, who hails from Manila, received her BSN from Arellano University and also holds a master’s degree in nursing from Teacher’s College of Columbia University.

Nori, as she is called by friends and associates, came to the U.S. in 1982 and has been a nurse for 26 years at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt and Beth Israel Medical Center, affiliated-institutions of Continuum Health Partners.

In nominating the nurse in charge of the unit that cares for babies born prematurely or with serious complications, a group of doctors led by Farrokh Shahrivar, M.D., SLR Chairman of Pediatrics and Director, Division of Neonatology, stated, “Nori exemplifies the highest standards of personal and professional excellence...She has great determination and strong leadership, and has shown considerable creativity, sensitivity and remarkable dedication in all aspects of neonatal care, especially with regard to our family-centered approach.”

CPR training

One of the original regional instructor trainers for the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, Yaun has provided CPR training for parents of the NICU’s vulnerable patients.

She is also a nurse-educator, and has extended that role in supporting other RN’s to train as lactation specialists and consultants.

Yaun and other nurses in the unit play a major role in helping families cope with the experience of having a baby, and in dealing with the difficulties of having their baby stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, as well as the best way for achieving the possible outcomes.

Asked why she chose nursing as a profession, she replied, “I was so impressed with my first encounters with nurses when I was a child; I loved the caring interaction with the patients.”

She added, “I chose to be a neonatal nurse because I love working with babies and like the challenges of critical care nursing. It is very rewarding when you see the difference not just in the baby’s life but the whole family you’re working with.”

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