Sherman Hospital ER manager named Advocate Health Care's Nurse Leader of the Year
When Daniel Haslett started as an emergency room nurse, he knew he was where he wanted to be.
"ER nurses, they walk into people's lives at the worst possible time for them and their family, and they immediately show care and kindness," he said. "I saw that I can go to work each day and do something good and be proud of it."
More than 15 years into his career, Haslett is now the clinical nurse manager for the emergency department and trauma services at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. He also has been named the hospital chain's first Nurse Leader of the Year.
Haslett was selected from 240 leaders nominated from across Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care's 27 hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin. More than 1,000 employees were eligible for the new award, which recognizes nurse leaders who demonstrate exceptional professional practice, leadership, influence and impact.
To say he was surprised is an understatement.
"To be honest, it was overwhelming," he said. "You usually don't get acknowledged that way when you're a leader or manager."
Haslett, who grew up in Algonquin and now lives in Cary, started at Advocate Sherman two years ago. He said his transition to management hasn't changed his approach to job.
"As a nurse, you focus on giving your patients really high-quality care and a great experience. As a leader, you do that for your team," he said. "I look at the nursing team and say, 'How can I make this environment safe for them? How do I give them the best quality of materials and resources to keep them sharp, so they want to come to work and have a great experience? And then it's reflected in the care they provide.'"
Haslett, a second-generation emergency room nurse, says the Sherman ER cares for about 60,000 people annually. At any given time, there are about 15 nurses providing care to 50 to 60 patients at the hospital.
While it's not like you see on TV, you still never know what you're going to get.
"That's the best part about it," he said. "You don't prepare for work. You just show up and hit the ground running."
Trauma Nurse Coordinator Belinda Hardy, who has worked as a nurse for 19 years, was one of three people to nominate Haslett.
"He is so easy to work with, and he really cares not only about our staff and our department but our community," she said.
Hardy said Haslett isn't the kind of manager who works behind a closed door.
"He doesn't just tell us what to do," she said. "He's really in the trenches with us. It's nice to work with somebody who really works hand in hand."
Haslett had a chance to read the nominations, though he didn't know who had written them.
"To hear your team give you praise and are grateful that you're their leader, it is definitely one of those moments that really grounds you and reminds you why you're here," he said. "It was very touching."