Clinical Nurse Specialist Laura Kitch, an advanced practice nurse in the Emergency Department at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center, has been recognized with a national award. The Emergency Nurses Association selected Kitch as its 2018 Clinical Nurse Specialist award winner. She'll be honored at an awards ceremony in September.

"The award is a national honor that recognizes excellence as a clinical nurse specialist in the emergency care setting. Laura has been an integral part of the Emergency Department and is absolutely phenomenal," said Vicki Scheer, nursing director in the St. Mary's Emergency Department.

Kitch said she's honored to be recognized by her colleagues.

"It's a privilege to be able to serve our patients and to be a part of the health care team in the Emergency Department," she says. "As the ED clinical nurse specialist, I have the ability to impact patient care and nursing practice through clinical expertise and implementation of evidence-based practice at the unit and the entire Essentia Health system. ED consultation and research projects are also components of my role."