40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders - Eight RUSH Nurses Recognized

The award celebrates young nurse leaders who teach, heal and inspire those around them
8 Nursing Leaders

The Illinois Nurses Foundation recently chose eight nurses and nursing faculty members at RUSH University Medical Center, RUSH University College of Nursing and RUSH Oak Park Hospital as recipients of the organization's annual 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award. This award highlights and celebrates young nurse leaders who teach, heal and inspire those around them daily.

We celebrate all our amazing nurses but shine a light on these eight leaders recognized for their passion, skill and knowledge to advance health care and the nursing profession.

The awardees:

Aaron D. Franklin, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CMSRN

Senior program manager in human resources, RUSH University Medical Center, adjunct instructor, RUSH University

Aaron Franklin

Franklin began his career in nursing at RUSH in 2014 as a staff nurse in orthopedics and has worked with the clinical staffing office as a float pool nurse supporting nursing units throughout RUSH University Medical Center. Franklin quickly advanced in leadership and became a professional nursing staff executive member and assumed leadership roles such as interim assistant unit director of the orthopedics unit, hospital operations administrator, unit director of a general medicine unit and his current role as the senior program manager in the talent management department of human resources. In Franklin’s current role, he works with the HR department to determine strategies to improve and retain the workforce. Franklin is currently adjunct faculty in RUSH University’s college of nursing and is the faculty advisor for the Men in Nursing student organization. Men in Nursing is an organization open to all genders to provide a framework for students at the college of nursing and staff at RUSH University Medical Center to meet, discuss and influence factors that affect men as nurses. Men in Nursing at RUSH also has been instrumental in the community health arena, providing health promotion screenings at neighboring schools, participating in community vaccine administrations, serving as panelists encouraging youth interest in nursing, and collaborating with various committees within the RUSH System of Health to improve the communities the health system serves.

“I have always been passionate about helping the underserved, especially members from diverse backgrounds. RUSH’s mission to improve the health of individuals and diverse communities has been pivotal to why I have stayed in the organization my entire career. Developing programs like Men in Nursing and having RUSH support its mission is important because increasing men in nursing and its diversity groups will only aid in improving health outcomes for the community. I have had the pleasure of completing both a Master of Science in Nursing: Clinical Nurse Leader and Doctor of Nursing Practice: Transformative System Leadership at RUSH University’s college of nursing and have assumed many leadership roles that have continued to advance my career and my ability to positively impact the communities we serve. I am genuinely proud to be a RUSH Nurse. #RUSHNurseProud.”

Margaret Gladman, DNP, RN, CMSRN, CBCN

Surgical oncology nurse navigator, RUSH University Medical Group

Margaret Gladman

Gladman started at RUSH in 2012 as a staff nurse on the General Surgery/Transplant Unit. She found that her degrees, a BSN from the University of Pennsylvania and a DNP in Advanced Public Health Nursing from RUSH University, grounded her to flourish in many types of health care settings. Her nursing experience at RUSH allowed her to see treatment and recovery across the care continuum, which makes her uniquely skilled at supporting cancer patients. In her current role as a surgical oncology nurse navigator with the RUSH Cancer Center, she is a resource to patients during an often overwhelming and stressful time. Gladman’s compassionate approach benefits each patient with tailored education, treatment plans, support and preparation before surgery and recovery. Gladman excels as a leader; she co-chairs the Ambulatory Quality Council, chairs the Gamma O’Ramma CE series for Sigma Theta Tau Gamma Phi chapter, and has been on various committees throughout at RUSH. Recently, Gladman has worked on a project to support screening and programming which addresses social determinants of health specific to breast cancer. She is a leadership mentor for other DNP and GEM nursing students.

“I work with many amazing nurses at RUSH who hold themselves to very high standards. They always seek ways to improve and advance themselves through training and mentorship. I continue to be inspired daily by my peers and the excellent care they provide. The collective strength and support of the nursing community at RUSH makes us leaders that others model.”

Colleen Haynes, MSN, CNSRN

Clinical faculty, RUSH University, RUSH University Medical Center

Colleen Haynes

Haynes began her relationship with RUSH as a student studying for a degree in nursing focused on adult-gerontology. In 2015, she graduated and advanced from student to RUSH nurse to educator. She teaches at the RUSH University College of Nursing. Her classes focus on gerontology, the scientific study of the process of aging specific to health assessment and complex care during the lifespan. Haynes was interested in gerontology because she saw an opportunity to be an advocate for aging adults. This demographic of people sometimes presents the same vulnerability as pediatric patients but often lacks support for their health decisions and care. Haynes also started an education committee when she worked on a post-operative recovery floor specializing in ear, nose and throat, plastic surgery, and vascular and general surgical recovery. Haynes was recently accepted into the Gamma Phi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, an international nursing honor society. She envisions her future will include going back to school for an advanced degree and continuing to inspire nursing students to advocate for all patients, especially those who are most vulnerable.

“Knowing that I have the knowledge and skills to not only help my patients but to assist my peers and students to become the best health care providers possible.”

Katie Kean, RN, BSN, OCN

Clinical RN manager, Cancer Center, RUSH University Medical Center

Katie Kean

Kean always knew she wanted to be a nurse as it was a way to use her interest in science and research while also helping others. She graduated from Loyola University in 2011 with a degree in nursing and initially wanted to be an obstetrics nurse, but soon advanced working with cancer patients. Kean has been with RUSH for five years, and her positive impact on patients and coworkers has been significant. Her ability to go the extra mile and connect with patients has positively impacted patient outcomes. Her cheerful demeanor and dedication have enabled her to be a role model and advance quickly in her leadership opportunities. Currently, as a clinical RN manager, she supports some of the patients who require the most complex care. Kean is an active member of the Oncology Nurses Society and connects with other clinical leaders socializing in infusion treatments to explore best practices and the latest research. She is always curious to find ways to do more for each patient and, in the future, would love to return to school for an advanced degree. Kean loves her job and role at RUSH and finds gratitude in helping new nurses find their own successes and voices to be leaders.

“I am passionate about patient outcomes. I have seen personally and professionally how amazing oncology nurses can positively impact cancer patients and their caregivers' quality of life. I strongly believe nursing is vital in ensuring positive health outcomes and patient experience. “

Hyejin Kim, PhD, RN

Assistant professor, Department of Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing, College of Nursing, RUSH University

Hyejin Kim

Kim’s research focuses on psychological and social aspects of late-life cognitive changes (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, mild cognitive impairment). She is committed to promoting the well-being of older adults with cognitive impairment and their family members. Her research is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Washington. Kim and her research team are developing a pilot study to better understand the caregiving experience among Korean American dementia family caregivers. The findings from this study will inform the need for effective biobehavioral interventions for Korean American dementia caregivers, an underrepresented population in dementia research.

"I am passionate about nursing at RUSH due to its esteemed national reputation for clinical and research excellence. Having been a member of the RUSH Nursing community for a year and a half, I have realized that I made a perfect choice for my future as a nurse researcher."

Annie Lally, BSN, RN

Program manager, lung cancer screening, RUSH University Medical Center

Annie Lally

Early detection of lung cancer is the foundation of Lally’s work to improve people’s lives. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2009. Lally has been with RUSH for two years as a nurse navigator and is passionate about working with lung cancer patients. Motivated by new research and advancements, Lally knows that early detection lung cancer screening offers the best opportunity for successful treatment, just as mammography is for breast cancer. She is empathetic, compassionate and an advocate for at-risk and lung cancer patients, as screening and diagnosis may accompany a stigma and preconceived outcomes. Lally is also on the Lung Screening Network's steering committee and the Tobacco Oversight Committee at RUSH. Her current program manager role benefits from partnering with other specialties, such as oncology, interventional pulmonology, and thoracic surgery, to motivate people to get a lung cancer screening at RUSH. This fall, she is leading the launch of RUSH’s Pink and Pearl Campaign, which aims to increase awareness and knowledge of lung cancer screening for patients undergoing mammography and their primary care providers. Pink and Pearl will run through October and November, which are breast (pink) and lung cancer (white/pearl) awareness months. Five years from now, Lally hopes to advance the field of lung cancer screenings so that more people can live longer, healthier lives.

“Working with the best inspires me to continue to push myself. Everyone, from environmental services to the director of The Lung Center, is doing their best for every RUSH patient.”

Michael L. Liwanag, DNP, MBA, RN-BC, NEA-BC

Unit director, RUSH University Medical Center

Michael Liwanag

Liwanag has a passion for nursing and health care leadership and is honored to be recognized by the Illinois Nurses Foundation as a 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leader. At RUSH University Medical Center, Liwanag serves as the unit director for a medical-surgical unit, interim unit director for RUSH Rehabilitation and the Director for RUSH Rehabilitation and Select Medical’s joint venture. He also is the Nursing Operations Council chair within the organization, leading efforts among the nursing unit directors to improve quality and operational outcomes. Dr. Liwanag completed his nurse leader fellowship through the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders in 2017 and was a Young Professional Voices Honoree from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership in 2022. He holds board certifications from the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an advanced nurse executive and in medical-surgical nursing. He completed his Doctor of Nursing Practice from RUSH University, a Master of Nursing and a Master of Business Administration from Lewis University and his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bradley University. Liwanag holds professional memberships with the American Organization of Nurse Leaders and the Philippine Nurses Association of America.

“RUSH sets the gold standard for nursing quality. This accomplishment is due to our leadership philosophy at RUSH that supports its leaders to innovate, implement best practices and collaborate across services and disciplines so that our patients are at the center of excellence.”

Shannon O’Shea, MSN RN CNE CNL

Instructor, RUSH University College of Nursing

Shannon O'Shea

O’Shea earned a Master of Science in Nursing, known as an MSN degree, from RUSH University, and began her career as a registered nurse in labor and delivery for the neonatal intensive care unit. She took the lead in developing a comprehensive safe sleep protocol. This included crib cards to serve as reminders for health care providers and parents, promoting safe sleep strategies for newborns. Programs like this one and others that involved education sparked a fire in O’Shea to pursue a career in teaching, guiding and mentoring nursing students and new nurses. O’Shea has worked with the nursing learning lab team, also known as NLL, at RUSH, collaborating with the MSN students. O'Shea also teaches classes in pathophysiology, the study of how a disease, injury, or other condition affects a patient, including both the physical and functional changes that occur. She fosters an understanding of the "why" behind body processes, thus bridging the gap between theory and practice for new nurses. O’Shea inspires beyond the classroom with both published work such as with the Neonatal Network journal and presentations at the University of Cincinnati and Duke University. Her passion for knowledge is further demonstrated by her pursuit of a PhD in nursing science, focusing on the bidirectional relationship between breastfeeding and maternal mental health.

“RUSH nurses are unique. You can feel it when you’re here. It’s a strength, leadership, innovation, ownership and inclusivity culture. For this legacy to live on, we need to continue to mentor and educate our new nurses to this level of excellence  my passion is to do just that. I strive to be someone new nurses can look to for nonjudgmental knowledge, insight, guidance, and mentorship. Seeing students I’ve taught graduate and become nurses on the other side of the hall in the medical center brings me so much joy and pride. I feel confident these new nurses will lead the nursing force for years.”

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