Brynne Delaney Calleran, MSN, BSN, BS, NE-BC, IN/RN-BC, PMH/RN-BC
2019 Award for Excellence in Leadership – RN

Brynne CalleranBrynne Calleran believes that we are living in a time of great opportunity for psychiatric-mental health nurses. “What is so beautiful about this era is that the field is ripe and eager for change agents – and as PMH nurses, we already are change agents,” she says. “The challenging nature of what we are up against makes the work we do that much more rewarding…If you are engaged, if you truly want to be doing this, there is no limit to what you can make happen.” And Brynne is making things happen: For her leadership as a change agent in psychiatric-mental health nursing, Brynne is the recipient of this year’s APNA Annual Award for Excellence in Leadership – RN.

At a Glance
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Passion:
Engagement, suicide prevention

Words of Wisdom to Future Nurses:
“Get involved, try new things, take risks, lean in.”

How She Connects:
“Every which way!”

As a Nurse Clinician at New York-Presbyterian/Westchester Division (NYP/WD) and a Nurse Educator at Gracie Square Hospital (GSH), Brynne balances clinical and administrative roles, but her passion lies in driving change within her organizations. “Watching your ideas come to tangible fruition and hopefully make a difference – that feeling absolutely never gets old,” she says. “I am inspired by the difference nurses can make behind-the-scenes, so much so that it led me to switching graduate degree programs from a clinical track into nursing informatics.” Brynne’s enthusiasm for nursing is infectious, as her reference Stephanie Verdeflor explains: “Brynne is always searching for more to learn personally and professionally…She is so committed to everything that she puts her mark on. Whoever has the honor of working with her will learn so much about everything – organization, meticulous work, strength, you name it. You will be encouraged to push harder like her.”

Brynne emerged as a leader during NYP/WD’s Journey to Magnet initiative. ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program awards Magnet Recognition status to hospital nursing departments that have demonstrated exceptional patient care and innovations. Brynne facilitated NYP/WD’s efforts to achieve this designation. “Brynne worked with a small team to coordinate and spearhead numerous hospital Magnet initiatives and improvement projects,” says Janette O’Connor, who nominated Brynne for this award. “She created various educational guides, resources, and tools for frontline staff – most notably, she led the innovation of the Nursing Suicide Risk Inventory.” New York-Presbyterian’s Nursing Suicide Risk Inventory (NSRI) is an electronic tool now in use at NYP to improve the identification, documentation, and communication of risk factors for suicide. The tool was designed specifically for the inpatient psychiatric setting and aligns with many of APNA’s evidence-based recommendations for suicide risk assessment and management. Following the tool’s rollout, Brynne went on to become a certified facilitator of APNA’s Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention. With the help of Brynne’s careful leadership and innovative spirit through numerous initiatives, NYP/WD became one of the first freestanding psychiatric hospitals in the world with Magnet Designation status in December 2018.

Within her local community, Brynne continually seeks out ways to further her engagement and learning. She serves as Secretary on the APNA New York Chapter Board, collaborating with her team to coordinate chapter events throughout the year, and supports the chapter’s social media presence. She has also served on her local Mental Health Association’s Board of Directors, where she organized community-based suicide prevention events with organizations like Do it for Daron, a movement dedicated to youth suicide prevention. A current graduate student in Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Brynne is looking forward to working with inmates at Westchester County Correction this spring. She will be marrying her love of mental health promotion and writing by facilitating therapeutic creative writing groups for young adult offenders. Her hands-on involvement with her community reflects her advice to future psychiatric-mental health nurses: “Involvement introduces you to people, and, frankly, it introduces you to yourself,” Brynne says. “Get involved, try new things, take risks, lean in…You can’t really know how one opportunity will lead you to the next – keep following the bread crumbs!”

Brynne’s breadcrumbs will next lead her to the APNA 33rd Annual Conference, where we will celebrate her achievements as she connects with the leaders who most inspire her: her fellow psychiatric-mental health nurses. “Being recognized within a community of leaders [like this one] is an honor I won’t soon forget, and one which will continue to motivate me well into the future,” she says.

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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.