Marybeth McManusMarybeth McManus, MPA, BSN, RN-BC
2017 Award for Excellence in Leadership – RN


Marybeth McManus finds a way. As the Chief Nursing Officer and Associate Executive Director of the Zucker Hillside Hospital (ZHH), she finds a way to reduce restraint usage, staff injuries, and constant observation. She finds a way to collaborate with CNOs and psychiatric-mental health nurses in her community to ensure the delivery of evidence-based care. And she finds a way to balance patient advocacy, providing quality care, and mentoring other nurses to give as much as she can. “I consider myself to be an extremely fortunate person in that I am in a position to do what I love. I would not have been able to find a way to accomplish what we have at ZHH without the support of the nurses, doctors, administrators, and staff throughout the health system who had faith in my ability to set a vision and go after it wholeheartedly,” she says. For her innovative leadership across disciplines within her hospital, Marybeth McManus is the recipient of the 2017 APNA Annual Award for Excellence in Leadership – RN.

At a Glance
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Passion:
Patient Advocacy; Nurse Leadership

Words of Wisdom to Future Nurses:
“Maintain relentless optimism and apply continuous gracious pressure until we are satisfied the mental health care of all patients takes center stage!”

Psych Nursing Light Bulb Moment:
“I was given the opportunity to do a full semester rotation with a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist at a VA Hospital…the Clinical Nurse Specialist taught me how to empathize, how to partner, how to respect and understand each patient to help them make their world a better place. I was sold on the spot.”

Twenty-five years ago, Marybeth began working at Zucker Hillside Hospital, part of Northwell Health. Drawn by its reputation as a comprehensive provider throughout the continuum of care, Marybeth wanted a role that would combine all of her nursing passions. When she first joined the team, Marybeth was rapidly promoted to Assistant Director of Nursing. Immediately she took on more responsibility, becoming a master trainer for TeamSTEPPS and beginning an initiative to incorporate psychiatry into TeamSTEPPS at all hospitals in the Northwell Health system. “During my undergraduate studies at Fairfield University...I learned very quickly that mental health is absolutely and unequivocally essential to overall health,” Marybeth says. Marybeth spearheaded active use of the Behavioral Health Patient Care Services Dashboard, a system-wide tool to track each outcome on the patient’s behavioral health journey. “Marybeth is truly the transformational leader that hospitals look for,” says Kristy Loewenstein, who nominated Marybeth. “She has pursued the improvement, enhancement, and revolution of ZHH to a safe working environment for staff and a therapeutic healing environment for patients with relentless optimism and continuous gracious pressure.”

Marybeth serves on the Nurse Executive Council and Nursing Research and Evidenced Based Practice Council within Northwell Health and has been a part of promoting nursing research, improving practice, and increasing patient satisfaction. Her efforts led to the establishment of hospitality training for staff to guarantee respectful care for all behavioral health patients. As an advocate, Marybeth isn’t afraid to embrace unconventional roles to ensure patient wellness – even if it means conducting a construction site visit. “Marybeth was the leader in the opening and transition to a new inpatient hospital,” says Loewenstein. “She spent many hours walking through the construction site in a vest and hardhat, making difficult decisions and assuring the new building would be a safe environment for our patients.”

Marybeth’s strong leadership and innovative programs within ZHH have led to measurable improvements. “Ms. McManus’s tireless efforts to promote the well-being of the behavioral health patient, coupled with strong teamwork and greater visibility of metrics led Zucker Hillside Hospital to realize a 10% reduction in falls, 18% reduction in falls with injury, 12% reduction in seclusion minutes, and 18% reduction in constant observation hours from 2015 to 2016,” says Maureen White, one of Marybeth’s recommenders. “This not only exemplifies her ability to act as a change agent to promote safe, quality care, but demonstrates that she truly is a patient advocate.” Marybeth’s positive attitude and resilience is reflected in her words to future nurses: “My advice to all nurses is to remain life-long learners, stay acutely aware of what is happening in our industry, and get involved in organizations, like APNA, that serve as advocates for our patients. Maintain relentless optimism and apply continuous gracious pressure until we are satisfied the mental health care of all patients takes center stage!” We look forward to celebrating Marybeth’s leadership at the APNA 31st Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

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The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.