Tracy Cardin, ACNP-BC, FHM, has received the Society of Hospital Medicine’s Award in Excellence in Hospital Medicine for Non-Physicians, an honor that recognizes her national leadership among Advanced Practice Nurses in hospital medicine.
Cardin began her career as a staff nurse in 1989, and came to the University of Chicago Medicine about nine years ago in hospital medicine.
“Tracy is a true leader in her field,” said David Meltzer, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and chief, Section of Hospital Medicine. “She is an extraordinary clinician and has been a model for advance practice nurses in hospital medicine locally and nationally.”
Cardin earned her Fellow in Hospital Medicine designation from the SHM in 2013, but has been involved in hospital medicine for some time on many levels. Starting with poster presentations at the beginning of her career, she is now a ‘thought leader’ for NP/PA providers through her blog on The Hospital Leader, the official blog site of the SHM, where she hopes to influence how people perceive advanced practice providers.
“It so nice to be recognized, but there are so many great Nursing Practitioners/Physicians Assistants leaders in my field,” said Cardin, who is the current chairperson for the SHM’s NP/PA Committee and has been a member of the Society for eight years
The love of her patients, and the variety of challenges in caring for inpatients, keeps her in hospital medicine. And she said all nurses, in a way, are in hospital medicine with their delivery of care to patients.
“We need their partnership and value their input,” she said of UCM nurses. “A great nurse can make our break your day, or your patient. We have some fabulous nurses here.”
After more than 20 years of patient care, Cardin wants to branch out into the operations side, both within the Section of Hospital Medicine and the broader medical center.
“As a provider who has been in the trenches for a long time, I see patterns and areas that need “tweaking” in a way that is very patient-centric,” she said.
For instance, Cardin said the hospital medicine team noticed an opportunity to improve the management of diabetes by identifying a “disconnect” between what a diabetic patient should be eating and what they were able to order from dietary services.
“We are currently working on a quality project, a multidisciplinary intervention with nursing’s strong involvement, to improve the care of diabetics,” Cardin said. “I’m very interested in these types of interventions that can improve the safety and efficacy of the care we deliver.
”I’m also very passionate about advanced practice providers and feel I have a lot of information and expertise in how to deploy them in a cost effective way, utilizing their scope of practice to a maximum degree,” she added.
Cardin plans to begin her Doctor of Nursing Practice in health care leadership next spring, but she also wants to continue to care for patients in some capacity.