ANCC Announces 2022 Pathway Nurse of the Year Award™ Winners

Keziah Overseer, 301.628.5197
[email protected]

Shannon McClendon, 301.628.5391
[email protected]

SILVER SPRING, MD—The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) today announced the recipients of the 2022 Pathway Nurse of the Year Award™. Winners were presented at the ANCC’s 2022 National Magnet Conference® and the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference® in Philadelphia.

The rewards recognize the outstanding contributions of a nurse leader and a direct care nurse from all designated Pathway to Excellence® organizations worldwide. The winners have had a positive impact on their practice environment and demonstrated outstanding skills while working collaboratively with team members. They have also successfully found ways to integrate clinical expertise with compassionate interactions with patients. The ANCC is sincerely grateful to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) for sponsoring the Pathway Nurse of the Year, Direct Care Nurse Award and to WellSpan for sponsoring the Pathway Nurse of the Year, Nurse Leader Award :

Pathway Nurse of the Year, Nurse Leader: LaTarya Gulley, ACCNS-N, MSN, RN, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR), Nurse Corps, United States Navy, Naval Portsmouth Medical Center (NMCP), Portsmouth, Virginia

LCDR LaTarya Gulley is an exceptional and versatile nurse leader, whose humility, teamwork and commitment to excellence commands the utmost respect from her colleagues. Graduated as a clinical nurse specialist in neonatology, LCDR Gulley supports NMCP’s high-volume, high-acuity neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), providing training and additional staffing. At the same time, she voluntarily left her area of ​​clinical expertise to run the medical center’s 32-bed inpatient mental health unit, one of the busiest in the country.

LCDR Gulley is a strong advocate for improving clinical skills and professional development for nurses. She directs the Nurse Residency Program at NMCP, the Navy’s largest training center for new Nurse Corps (NC) officers. Under his leadership, the program recently gained re-accreditation from the NACC’s Practice Transition® Accreditation Program. She also co-chairs the Navy NC Development Board, which provides focused career guidance to NMCP’s 355 NC officers.

As an expert in neonatal care, LCDR Gulley worked with NMCP staff to design, implement and lead an evidence-based practice project focused on standardizing patient positioning devices to improve the results. This evidence-based program received a $10,000 grant from the Tri-Service Nursing Research Program. In addition, she led efforts to establish neonatal safety and quality standards at Branch Health Clinic’s new maternal and child care center in Iwakuni, Japan. Her duties included training nursing and auxiliary staff in basic resuscitation, stabilization and transport, and coordinating care for vulnerable infants at the nearest NICU 600 miles away.

LCDR Gulley was nominated for the Pathway Nurse of the Year Award by Commander, U.S. Navy Melissa Troncoso, PhD, NP-C, CHWC, and endorsed by Laura McMullen, RN, MSN-Ed, MHA, SANE-A, Nurse Chief and Director, Nursing Services, at NMCP.

“LaTarya is an exceptional nurse leader who embodies the spirit of the Pathway to Excellence program,” said Troncoso. “She inspires her staff to consistently provide safe, high-quality care and manage their well-being. Due to its commitment to the professional development of nurses, the Navy maintains a diverse and talented nursing workforce.

Pathway Nurse of the Year, Direct Care Nurse: Marika Widmann, BSN, RN, MS-BC, South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS), Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital Division, San Antonio, TX

Marika Widmann is a talented direct care nurse who embodies a passion for shared governance, quality improvement, and staff well-being through her advocacy for women and LGBTQ+ veterans’ rights. Widmann works in the Medical-Surgical Unit at Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital and is an active participant on several hospital committees.

As a member of the Women Veterans Health Committee, she has taken action to address knowledge gaps and improve care for the LGBTQ+ veteran community. She collaborated with the LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator to develop an anonymous assessment of nurses’ knowledge of providing unbiased and culturally appropriate care. After collecting questions from nursing staff, she organized ongoing training to improve staff knowledge and ensure the unit fosters an environment of well-being and inclusion.

His advocacy doesn’t stop with patients. As Chair of the Health and Wellness Committee, she implemented unit wellness challenges to reduce work-related stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Her commitment to the well-being of nurses is reflected in the creative ways she encourages her peers to refocus on self-care. These efforts have helped recharge and re-energize team members to meet their own needs, which helps them provide exceptional care and support to their patients.

Widmann was nominated by Angel Louder, MSN, RN-CMSRN, Nurse Manager, and endorsed by Valerie Rodriguez-Yu, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, Associate Director of Patient Care Services/Executive Nurse at STVHCS.

“Marika embodies the Pathway standards of shared decision-making, professional development, and well-being,” Louder said. “His efforts keep staff engaged and excited to provide the highest quality care – physically, psychologically and socially – to every patient.”


About the American Nurses Credentialing Center
The mission of American Nurse Certification Center (ANCC), an affiliate of the American Nurses Association, is to promote excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs. ANCC’s internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialized areas of practice. The ANCC recognizes healthcare organizations that promote excellence in nursing care and quality patient outcomes while providing safe and supportive work environments. Additionally, the ANCC accredits health care organizations that provide and approves continuing nursing education and accredits transition-to-practice programs that prepare nurses for new practice roles. For more information on the ANCC, visit and follow us on Twitter. The ANCC is the only nursing credentialing organization to have successfully achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification.

About the Pathway to Excellence® Program
The Pathway to Excellence® program recognizes health care and long-term care organizations for positive practice environments where nurses excel. To qualify, organizations meet Pathway standards essential to an ideal nursing practice environment. Nurses trust Pathway-designated organizations to respect their contributions, support professional development, and foster optimal work environments.

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