Nurse Manager Receives Leadership Award


Manager Award Nurse Munson Medical Center Kathy Stutzman, left, and Marina Andriyakhova outside Munson Medical Center's Webber Heart Center.

Munson Medical Center’s heart surgical floor nursing manager recently received a 2020 nursing leader award from the Michigan chapter of the American Nursing Association. Kathy Stutzman, M.S.N., R.N.-BC, CCRN-K, has been honored with the Dorothea Milbrandt Nurse Leader Award which recognizes nurses who demonstrate excellence in building mentoring relationships with other nurses and/or nursing students. 

Getting Nominated for an American Nursing Association Leadership Award

The ANA states nominees must be a member of their organization and meet the following criteria:

  • Exemplify integrity and fairness
  • Participate in professional nursing organizations
  • Model the skills of listening, negotiating, and collaborating within an interdisciplinary team
  • Demonstrate creativity, management skills, and a passion for excellence

Inspired to Become a Nurse at a Young Age

Stutzman said she was surprised by the award – the nomination came from a nurse on her unit. The oldest of six children, she said she became a nurturer early in life and by second grade decided she would become a nurse.

“Just knowing my team is happy and feels empowered to give great patient care is all the thanks I have ever wished for,” she said. “If the team suffers, patient care suffers.  I am here to advocate for both and make sure all have the necessary support needed.  It is my team that makes me successful, not the other way around. If I can leave this world knowing I have influenced someone to love this profession as I do, I will know I have succeeded.”

Nurturing Leadership Style

Surgical heart care nurse Marina Andriyakhova, B.S.N., B.S.P.H., R.N., counts herself among those who have been influenced by Stutzman’s nurturing leadership style. She nominated Stutzman for the award.

“Kathy has precepted and mentored nearly every single employee on A2 for over a decade,” she said. “This unit would not be what it is now without her excellent gift of leadership and emotional intelligence, as well as the skills of an experienced bedside nurse that enabled her to grow herself professionally while ‘raising’ others.”

Stutzman’s leadership has also included leading the COVID-19 isolation unit at Munson Medical Center during the current pandemic.

History of the American Nursing Association Leadership Award

The award is presented on behalf of the late Dorothea Milbrandt, M.P.S., M.S.N., R.N. During her 40-year career she served as interim and associate executive director of the Michigan Nurses Association, course director at Lansing Community College, board member at Ingham County Health Education Coalition, appraiser ANA Magnet Hospital Recognition Program, associate professor at Michigan State University, and vice president for Nursing at Ingham Medical Center in Lansing, Michigan. In 2005, she was instrumental in the founding of the Registered Nurses Association in Michigan, now known as ANA-Michigan.