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University Medical Center’s Rachel Nickel, RN, honored with Excellence in Nursing award from Modern Healthcare

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Rachel Nickel

University Medical Center New Orleans is proud to announce that Rachel Nickel, RN, was recognized by Modern Healthcare as a Rising Star in Nursing winner, one of three awards in the 2018 Excellence in Nursing Award program. The profiles of the winners are featured in the January 15, 2018 issue of Modern Healthcare and at

Modern Healthcare launched its Excellence in Nursing Award to shine a spotlight on the diverse and critical roles these clinicians, managers, and executives play in delivering high-quality, compassionate care.

“Whether it is helping patients with Down syndrome become more independent or empowering people in vulnerable communities, this year’s honorees exemplify what it means to strive for patient-centered, compassionate care,” said Modern Healthcare Managing Editor Matthew Weinstock. “These nurse leaders are making huge differences not just for patients, but the profession by serving as mentors and role models for their peers.”

As a charge nurse in the University Medical Center’s Medical Intensive Care Unit, Nickel provides care to patients with complex medical conditions and serves as a compassionate resource for all of the families she encounters. As a preceptor, she serves as a mentor and teacher to new and experienced nurses alike.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Rachel at University Medical Center,” said Chief Nursing Officer Denise Danna, DNS, RN. “Not only is she a phenomenal nurse, mentor, and teacher, but she is also a natural leader who is making an impact in many areas of our organization.”

Nickel is active on a number of committees, including the Medical ICU’s Shared Governance Council, the Engagement and Retention Committee, Standards and Practice Committee, and Research Committee. She participates in University Medical Center’s Steps nursing program for continuing professional development, retention, and recognition and also is involved on the committee for University Medical Center’s new B-Well program, which is dedicated to physician and staff wellness.

Nickel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Loyola University New Orleans and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD.

She is a national member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and an active member of the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

She began her nursing career in 2007 at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, then worked at the NIH Heart Center at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD. In 2013, She joined University Medical Center in the Medical Intensive Care Unit, taking care of patients with complex medical conditions.

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For information on the Modern Healthcare Excellence in Nursing Award Program, contact:

Jodi Sniegocki