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Dedicated to Patient Safety

Dedicated to Patient Safety

“Stacie Boston accepts her Safety Star Award from MCV Hospitals CEO John Duval.”

Stacie Boston was not a typical undergraduate nursing student. A VCU 2001 Magna Cum Laude graduate in Spanish and Biology, Boston taught preschool and high school Spanish and volunteered in Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba through Habitat for Humanity, Pastors for Peace, and Global Crossroads. She had also been enrolled in medical school prior to becoming a nursing student, but found she wanted a more direct connection to patients.

“The hands on aspect of nursing is what I love,” Boston said.  “I’m able to make and see the difference immediately.”

Boston has already experienced first hand what it’s like to make a difference in nursing. During her clinicals on the neuroscience unit at the VCU Medical Center in spring 2013, she discovered a manufacturer error in IV packaging. While gathering supplies to start an IV, she noticed that there were 20 gauge IV catheter needles in blue packaging instead of the correct pink color. This posed a threat to patient safety as it could easily be confused with the 22 gauge IV needles that come in standard blue packaging. The wrong gauge needle could be used on a patient unknowingly leading to problems in medication administration or increasing the risk of patient injury or infection, Boston said. The discovery led to her being awarded the VCUHS Safety Star this summer, the first time a nursing student has received this award.  

“Stacie's discovery of this manufacturing error speaks volumes about her ability to pay attention to details and why it is important to do so,” said Daphne Terrell, RN, CNRN (M.S. '10/N), clinical instructor in the Department of Adult Health and Nursing Systems. “This discovery was early in the semester and it is just one example of how thorough she is.  I'm so proud of her and it was a pleasure to have her in my group.”

A 2013 December graduate, Boston desires a career in pediatric nursing.  Her background has prepared her well to work with children.

The recipient of a master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Phoenix, she has served as a camp counselor at the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s summer program in Wakefield, Va. Boston has also completed a nursing student externship at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk—the same hospital where her nephew gets treated for sickle cell. As an extern, she worked alongside nurse preceptors in the short procedure and rehabilitation units. 

“The externship at CHKD was a wonderful opportunity to truly experience what it is like to be a nurse. I was responsible for providing complete nursing care to the patients under the guidance and expertise of my nurse preceptors,” Boston said.  “Working a full time nurse’s schedule for 10 weeks really showed me the importance of proper nutrition and rest! The externship improved my skills in the nursing process, reinforced my critical thinking, and exposed me to a multitude of pediatric illnesses, conditions, and treatments.”

“I was able to form therapeutic relationships with the patients and their families. It helped to give me more confidence and motivation that pediatric nursing is right for me,” she added.

Currently, Boston volunteers at the Cross-Over Clinic in Richmond assisting with Spanish/English interpretation and medical services, and also teaches English classes to Spanish-speaking adults with the Bridge CDC. She works as a care partner in the pediatric emergency department of VCU Health System Medical Center. Adding to her diverse background, Boston is also a certified nurse’s aide, certified phlebotomy technician, and certified open water scuba diver.

Boston said she values the knowledge, confidence and experience of VCU’s nursing faculty.

“The many resources and tools, like the simulation patients, are true assets,” Boston said.

She said her goal in nursing is to support children, underserved communities and provide international medical outreach in a humanitarian way.

“Preventative health education and access to medical care and supplies are the major contributors to improving the health of children,” Boston said.

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