Saint Peter’s Keldo honored by Organization of Nurse Leaders of N.J.

Avril Keldo, a nursing director at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, was recently given the Divisional Leader Award from the Organization of Nurse Leaders of New Jersey.

As the director of professional practice at Saint Peter’s, Keldo facilitates multiple initiatives within the hospital. She keeps the staff up to date on best practices via workshops that focus on building acute care skills, promoting continuing education courses and ensuring competencies through training in the Simulation Center for Interprofessional Learning at Saint Peter’s. The Simulation Center allows nurses to execute procedures on mannequins in a simulated environment without fear of actual harm.

Keldo also manages contracts with nursing schools and coordinates scheduling with instructors for students to have an enhanced clinical experience and improve the relationship of nurse mentors with their students on dedicated education units at Saint Peter’s.

ONL NJ awards

The Organization of Nurse Leaders of New Jersey presented a number of awards during a recent event:

  • Excellence in Advanced Practice Nursing Leadership Award: Susan Boyle, Morristown Medical Center
  • Aspiring Nurse Leader Award: Austin Crowe
  • Divisional Leader Award: Avril Keldo, Saint Peter’s
  • Innovations in the Continuum of Care Award: Rochelle Husband, Inspira
  • Nurse Executive Award: Kathleen Devine, Cooper University Health Care
  • Nurse Leader Award: Sharmine Brassington, Monmouth Medical Center
  • Professional Recognition Award: Ann Marie Leichman, the Valley Hospital
  • Impact Award: New Jersey Nursing Initiative
  • Distinguished Service Award: Nursing Workplace Environment and Staffing Council

In addition, she serves on the hospital’s marketing and mentoring committee, spearheading the Nurse Residency Program, an initiative designed to support, educate and retain new nurses during their first year of nursing, and coordinating the annual nursing graduation ceremony that celebrates the educational achievements of Saint Peter’s nurses.

This past year, Keldo has served the New Jersey community by being a team lead for Saint Peter’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics, which has resulted in 30,400-plus vaccines administered to date.

Linda Carroll, the chief nursing officer at Saint Peter’s, said she was delighted that Keldo was honored.

“Throughout her career, Avril has always focused on mentoring other nurses and helping them achieve their professional goals,” she said. “If someone has a question or needs advice, she never turns them away. In addition, she is a staunch advocate for higher education, advising colleagues as they navigate the many possibilities a career in nursing can offer.”

Keldo said she was humbled by the honor.

“I believe in championing the nursing profession and am committed to creating an environment that fosters nursing education and professional mentorship at Saint Peter’s,” she said. “I am extremely proud that Saint Peter’s continually provides opportunities for nurses to expand their knowledge base as a means to better care for a diverse population. As a result, our nurses will continue to provide the best health care to our patients.”

ONL NJ is an organization that engages and develops nurse leaders in advocacy, research, education, mentorship and collaborative relationships. With over 600 members, from 90% of the hospitals in New Jersey, ONL NJ is the voice of nursing leadership.