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OSF nurses honored with Illinois 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award

Shown from left are Megan Kupferschmid and Shana Freehill with their Illinois 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Awards. (Courtesy OSF HealthCare)


Two OSF HealthCare nurses have been honored with the Illinois 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award. The pair were honored along with other nurses from across the state at a reception on Sept. 21, 2023, in Naperville, Ill.

Shana Freehill, DNP, RN, NPD-BC, is a clinical education specialist at OSF HealthCare. During the COVID pandemic Freehill quickly switched gears and played a vital role in developing COVID education with OSF leaders. She leads the Ministry Education Council and coaches educators to develop metrics and goals, creating an environment of ongoing growth and improvement. Freehill recently earned her certification in Nursing Professional Development.

Megan Kupferschmid, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, NE-BC, is a nursing education and research scientist at OSF HealthCare. Kupferschmid has played a significant role as the principal investigator for two research projects. The first project explores the impact of extended pediatric critical care-specific education on self-confidence, anxiety reduction in clinical decision-making and its potential effect on nursing turnover. The second project delves into using an in-bed cycle ergometer to improve functional outcomes when compared to standard rehabilitation therapy alone.

“OSF HealthCare is very proud of the work that Shanna and Megan do as nurse leaders in education and research, and we are thrilled that that their endeavors have led to this recognition by the Illinois Nurses Foundation,” says Sheryl Emmerling, PhD, RN, director of clinical practice and research. “These nurses are truly inspirational and serve as role models for other nurses as they use their skills and knowledge to advance health care and the nursing profession.”

The Illinois Nurses Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports nurses through several programs, promoting excellence and advancing the nursing profession while recognizing remarkable achievements. The Emerging Nurse Leaders Award was established in 2015 to celebrate young nurse leaders impacting the profession.

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