This year’s recipient of the Judith C. Kelleher Award — ENA’s most prestigious honor — was presented to longtime emergency nurse and educator Cam Brandt, MS, RN, CEN, CPEN, at the Anita Dorr Memorial Luncheon and Lecture at Emergency Nursing 2023 in San Diego on Friday.
This award, named after one of ENA’s co-founders, honors a member of ENA who has consistently demonstrated excellence in emergency nursing and has made significant contributions to the profession and ENA.
ENA history came full circle as Judith Kelleher’s granddaughter, ED nurse Charlene Wilson, ADN, RN, had the honor of giving the award named after her grandmother to Brandt.
“I have loved the challenges and opportunities that I have seen in my career,” Brandt said. “You know what, there are a lot more challenges and opportunities to come, and I am so excited about it.”
After thanking her friends and mentors, Brandt put the spotlight on 2021 Kelleher Award recipient Sally Snow, BSN, RN, CPEN, FAEN, and 2020 Kelleher Award recipient Christine M. Gisness, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, ENP-C, CEN, TCRN, FAEN, who did not have an in-person presentation ceremony because the conferences were virtual.
“This is the highlight of a lifetime, and my sisters and friends in 2020 and 2021 did not have the opportunity to get up here and share in the love,” Brandt said.
Introducing Brandt, ENA President Terry Foster, MSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, CCRN, TCRN, FAEN, said the fact that Brandt put the spotlight on others was just another example of her caring and unselfish character.
“Cam Brandt might honestly consider herself a basic nurse, but her accomplishments over a 40-year career prove otherwise,” Foster added. “She is enthusiastic, passionate, knowledgeable, devoted, an advocate and a mentor. All were words that showed up multiple times in Cam’s nomination. It just goes to show how highly her colleagues think of her.”
Foster noted that Brandt has been involved in numerous pediatric education efforts and has served in many ENA roles on the state and national levels. Her passion for education and pediatric care has made her an integral part of ENA’s pediatric education efforts, he said.
“One of her nominators said it best, that there is no better champion for pediatric emergency nursing than Cam,” Foster said. “And with what free time she has, she can be found mentoring other nurses and nurse leaders, whether they are new nurses, nurses joining a professional organization for the first time, or those who are interested in a leadership position. As a result of this mentorship, she has contributed to a significant retention of nurses in the emergency department where she works.”