A Professional in Her Practice,
Nurse at Saint Peter’s University
Hospital Receives Prestigious Honor
It was no surprise to her colleagues at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, when Avril A. Keldo received the prestigious Divisional Leader Award from the Organization of Nurse Leaders of New Jersey (ONL NJ). With over 600 members from 90% of the hospitals in New Jersey, ONL NJ is the voice of nursing leadership.
Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System made the announcement recently citing Nurse Keldo’s exceptional qualifications, career and community service. Her resume mentions educational achievements giving her a series of letters behind her name including, DNP, MSN, ANP-BC, RN-BC, OCN. At Saint Peter’s, Keldo serves as director of Professional Practice, Clinical Education and Nursing Research, Simulation Lab and Medical Library.
“Throughout her career, Avril has always focused on mentoring other nurses and helping them achieve their professional goals,” said Linda Carroll, MSN, RN, RN-BC, vice president and Chief Nursing Officer at Saint Peter’s. “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.”
ONLNJ,an organization that engages and develops nurse leaders in advocacy, research, education, mentorship, and collaborative relationships clearly recognized Keldo’s many competencies and assets.
This year, she served the community as team leader fornSaint Peter’s COVID-19 vaccinationnclinics, resulting in 30, 400 + vaccines administered to date. She collaborated with multiple departments throughout the hospital including Pharmacy, Community Health Services, Child Life, and Information Technology, along with nurses and patient care technicians. Her comprehensive organizational skills facilitated the scheduling of the three vaccines—Moderna, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), and Pfizer—concurrently each with specific dates and times.
As the director of Professional Practice at Saint Peter’s, Keldo facilitates multiple initiatives within the hospital. She keeps the staff up-todate on best practices via workshops that focus on building acute care skills, promoting continuing education courses and ensuring competencies through training in the hospital’s Simulation Center for Interprofessional Learning. That center allows nurses to execute procedures on mannequins in a simulated environment without fear of actual harm.
Keldo also manages contracts with nursing schools to create an enhanced clinical experience and improve the relationships of nurse mentors with their students. In addition, she serves on the hospital’s Marketing and Mentoring Committee spearheading the Nurse Residency Program. This initiative supports, educates, and retains nurses during their first year of nursing.
Passionate about giving back tothe community, Keldo frequently organizes fundraisers. She coordinated with Saint Peter’s Foundation to raise funds in support of sending more than 25 nurses to the 2021 American Nurses Credentialing Center National Magnet Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and organized a kickboxing fundraiser for those with breast cancer. She also established the annual charity event held every December for the past 13 years. Funds raised provide gifts and scholarships to children who have lost a parent to cancer at Saint Peter’s.
Upon accepting the award and acknowledging the honor stated, “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. 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,” said Keldo