Call for Nominations!

Here is your chance to get more involved in your local ENA Chapter. We are now taking nominations for President-Elect and Membership Chair. If you or someone you know is interested or if you want more information, e-mail

If you are nominating someone else please check with that person first to make sure they are willing to accept the nomination.

Message about Hurricane Michael

December 12, 2018

Dear ED Colleagues,

On Monday, I went to the Panhandle of Florida to participate in an event honoring the emergency nurses that were there and working through Hurricane Michael. In that area, there are three hospitals that received the brunt of force from Michael – Sacred Heart on the Gulf in Port St. Joe and Bay Medical Sacred Heart and Gulf Coast Regional, which are both in Panama City. Most of the nurses that attended the event were working at those hospitals when Michael made landfall. National ENA President, Jeff Solheim also attended accompanied by Robin Campbell, the senior manager of publications, who was recording their stories for an upcoming issue of ENA Connections.

Those of us who have lived in Florida long enough have been through hurricanes. Many of us have stories we can tell from Frances, Jeanne, Wilma and Irma. Many of us sustained personal damage (I know I did) and had to work in conditions that were less than optimal. Believe me when I tell you that the stories coming from our Emerald Coast colleagues made my heart break to think of having to face what they did. I am not going to scoop Connections, but I do want to give a few examples. Almost everyone of those nurses sustained damage to their homes and/or vehicles; some lost everything. Because ALL forms of communication, including sat phones, were not working and roads were impassible, many were unable to communicate with family outside the hospitals for 3 days. They did not know if their loved ones were okay, alive or dead, and were unable to let them know how they were. They had to go outside the hospital to use the bathroom in the parking lots, because they had so much damage to their buildings it was not safe to use the indoor toilets. They also could not communicate with other facilities or services. When the roof started collapsing on the OB floor, the ED had to bring those patients into their already damaged, crowded space on the first floor and pray the doors they had barricaded with stretchers would hold against the water and wind that had already destroyed the front part of the ED. One of the nurses relayed how they decided they would have to start color coding bracelets for patients left in the hospital to determine who was viable for rescue and who they might have to leave behind if conditions deteriorated further. Can you imagine that? Bay Medical went from 323 usable beds to 70 because of damage. 800 of their employees are being laid off. The other two hospitals sustained major damage and staff are having to work in challenging circumstances in addition to dealing with stresses at home.

The days following have been just as challenging. It has been two months now and life is no where near normal or even predictable. So, I would like to propose a challenge to my ED colleagues here in Palm Beach county. We’ve been there and done this to some degree. Our emergency nurse cohorts in the Panhandle need some emotional support. This being the holidays I would like to ask each emergency department that receives this to take the time to send a message of hope and support to these nurses. Please take the time to get some cards and have your staff write messages to their fellow ED nurses at each of these facilities. I really think it would mean so much to them.


Penny Blake

Bay Medical Sacred Heart
615 North Bonita Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center
449 W 23rd St
Panama City, FL 32405

Sacred Heart on the Gulf
3801 US-98
Port St Joe, FL 32456

President Welcome Letter

Hello fellow ED nurses!

I would like to take a moment of your time and introduce myself. My name is Debbie Ferraro and I am the Palm Beach County ENA President for 2018-2019. I have been a member of the ENA since its early years when it was known as EDNA! I practiced ED nursing for 31 years, most of that time was in a busy ED in Philadelphia. I’ve worked in the ED’s at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Martin Health System in the Treasure Coast after my move to Florida. I have been a CEN since 1981.

Our chapter is hoping to have more participation with our membership. Please feel free to reach out to me with any ideas, suggestions you may have that will help improve our Chapter. I have begun to visit our local ED’s at staff meetings to help encourage membership and participation. We will be holding our meetings at rotating locations to make it easier for members to attend.

Please come to our next meeting being held at Boca Regional ( Dawson Theatre) on 03/21/18 at 1900. Our presenter is speaking about venomous snake bites and Crofab. Come and meet your colleagues. Share stories, laughs, good food and a great venue for education as well.

Debbie Ferraro BSN, RN, CEN