Our Methodology

Methodology: Defining Our Gold Standard of Nursing

There are over 160 members of the faculty and staff at Hurst Review Services who have extensive experience in clinical nursing and nursing education and represent all geographic areas of the United States. This nursing expertise is available to provide valuable guidance to Hurst’s Ratings and Analytics division to define high patient satisfaction scores in today’s performance-driven healthcare environments.

The Ratings and Analytics division correlates quality indicators associated with nursing care from recent publicly available Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey data published quarterly by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Gold Standard of Nursing award is awarded to hospitals whose nursing staff  achieve top tier weighted scores, significantly above the national average.

The performance measures that we analyze include:


Who We Are

  • After many years of training and preparing nurses, Hurst Review Services felt it was time to acknowledge the impact that nurses have each day on the overall quality of healthcare.
  • In today’s competitive healthcare market, many rating services inform consumers on physicians, facilities, and quality of care – but NONE directly recognize the impact of nursing services.
  • Hurst stepped forward through the opportunity to form the Hurst’s Ratings and Analytics division.
  • We are the first rating service focused solely on correlating the role of nurses in patient satisfaction scores that affect consumers’ healthcare choices.
  • The Ratings and Analytics division includes staff experienced in statistics, data solutions, accounting, and healthcare reporting.
  • The division also has an independent peer review committee of well-known nursing professionals across the country, whose guidance helps division staff define the gold standard of nursing relative to patient satisfaction scores.
  • Additionally, the nursing expertise of over 160 faculty and staff members at Hurst Review Services, who have extensive experience in clinical nursing and nursing education and represent all geographic areas of the United States, is available to provide valuable guidance to Hurst’s Ratings and Analytics team.

What We Do

The Hurst Ratings and Analytics division was formed with three objectives:

  1. To track and analyze established healthcare industry key quality indicators that directly relate to specific dimensions of nursing care.
  2. From those key quality indicators, define the gold standard of excellence that professional nurses, and the facilities in which they work, should consistently aspire to attain.
  3. To publically acknowledge nursing staffs and facilities that achieve and sustain the gold standard of nursing care with the Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing Award.

Our vision is to encourage nursing services at recognized facilities to advance the standards of professional nursing and continue to achieve excellence in nursing care.

  • The Ratings and Analytics team collects data quarterly from the most recent publicly available Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey data published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • The team correlates key quality indicators from survey domains that are directly linked to nursing care which impact the patient experience and hospital patient satisfaction scores.

The key indicators include patients’ ratings on the quality of the nursing staff’s:

  • Communications on in-patient care, medication, discharge, and care transition
  • Friendliness and courtesy
  • Promptness in responding to patients’ needs
  • Nurses’ attitudes toward requests
  • Attention to special or personal needs
  • Nursing skills

How We Do It

  • Nursing services that achieve top tier weighted scores are eligible for the Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing Award.
  • Data for the 2017 Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing Award was based on HCAHPS data measurement period of January 1 – December 31, 2015.
  • The Peer Review Committee found Domains that reflect activities performed only by nurses should be given a full value. Domains with activities that nurses and other staff perform should be given a lesser value. Using this approach each qualifying hospital receives a weighted average score.
  • We launched the Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing Award by recognizing that any hospital nursing staff in the United States that meets the gold standard ratings criteria will qualify for the Gold Standard of Nursing.
  • Currently we are focused on hospital nursing services.
  • We hope to eventually expand the award to recognize nurse services by subcategories such as:
    • Type of facility (i.e., Nursing Home/Assisted Living, Rehabilitation Centers, Clinics)
    • Specialty nursing (i.e., ICU, ER, Oncology, Labor and Delivery)
    • Individual awards
  • The Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing is an annual award, with recipients announced after the first quarter each year.

Why The Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing Award Matters

  • It is the first award created to publically celebrate outstanding nursing care based on established measures in this industry.
  • The Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing Award and seal represent a meaningful tribute to nurses, who are the primary providers of patient care.
    • The heart and cross recognize nurses are the heart of healthcare.
    • The hand symbolizes nurses’ caring, hands-on work that touches people’s lives every day.
    • The circle represents nursing’s important role in the continuity of quality healthcare.
  • The Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing carries a message for all those special people who dedicate themselves to helping others and giving exceptional healthcare to patients and the families that love them. The award will:
    • Acknowledge the role of nursing services in achieving outstanding patient satisfaction scores.
    • Provide nursing services with a tangible symbol of accomplishment and appreciation.
    • Foster a positive and supportive environment that promotes better patient care.
    • Reinforce nursing service’s commitment to achieve and practice quality patient care.
    • Inform consumers of the quality nursing care they can expect at a Hurst-recognized facility.
  • The award recognition provides additional information for consumers who look to third-party ratings services to guide their healthcare provider choices.
  • The Hurst Gold Standard of Nursing Award is a symbol reassuring patients, their families, and the community of the quality of nursing care delivered at Hurst-recognized facilities.
  • The award will create a positive and encouraging environment among the winning facilities.
  • It will give nurses something tangible to be proud of and to share with friends, families, and their colleagues.
  • We hope it will ignite a positive nursing atmosphere that will lead to even better patient care.
  • We hope the award will set the bar and encourage other, “non-qualifying” facilities to aim to achieve the same Gold Standard of Nursing, which will only enhance the quality of care all around.

Peer Review Committee

Rebecca A. Brumfield, MS, RN

Rebecca Brumfield has extensive clinical experience from her over 30 years of supervising nursing students. As a nursing educator at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, MS, she has supervised students in various clinical units at multiple healthcare facilities. Rebecca has also worked in the curriculum department at Hurst Review Services for eight years. She received both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her master degree focused on nursing education and mental health wellness.

Cynthia Crockett, MSN, RN-BC

Cynthia Crockett is a Nursing Education Specialist in both clinical and patient education. She has 33 years of experience in nursing, with a clinical background in cardiology. Since 1999, Cindy has been an Assistant Professor in Nursing at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, AZ, where she is responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating a wide variety of education programs. She holds a Master’s in Nursing and is board certified in Nursing Professional Development.

Ashley Autman Griffin, MSN, RN

Ashley Autman Griffin has held nursing positions in almost every area of the specialty, including NICU, Postpartum, and Pediatrics. Her clinical area of expertise is Maternal-Child. She gained the majority of her experience as a staff nurse at Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, MS, and as Charge Nurse and Preceptor in the Family Birthplace at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, MS. She became the youngest Nursing Educator (to date) in the Practical Nursing program at Antonelli College in Hattiesburg, MS, where her areas of teaching expertise were Maternal-Child Health, Medical Math, Communication and Culture, and Adult Health. She has been an instructor with Hurst Review Services since 2014, and created NursingForAll.com, a nursing education and lifestyle blog. Ashley graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi’s School (now College) of Nursing, and earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing Education from William Carey University.

Barbara Miller, MSN, RN

Barbara Miller has extensive experience in both clinical nursing and nursing education. She began her nursing career at The Toledo Hospital, where she worked in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, before moving on to staff positions at the University of Michigan Hospital and ABC Health Care, Inc. The focus of her clinical expertise has been in ICU and ER units, including Burn, Cardiac Care, Medical, Neurological, Surgical, Trauma, and Thoracic. She began teaching in 2004 as Clinical Teaching Instructor at Owens Community College, where she is now a full-time Associate Professor of Nursing. She has also held faculty positions at METI Company, St. Anne Hospital in Toledo, OH, and Hurst Review Services. Barbara has served on several committees, including most recently as Chairperson of the Standard 1/ACEN Committee and a member of the Rules Nursing Committee. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Lourdes College, and a Master of Science degree in Nursing and Health Care Education from the University of Phoenix. She also received certification in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

Jan Peek, MSN, RN

Jan Peek is a member of the Hurst Review Services faculty. She serves on the Curriculum Committee and CE Development Committee, and assisted with the development of Elevate. Jan brings to her role 43 years of experience in nursing education administration and teaching. As Chairperson of an Associate Degree Nursing Program, she had administrative responsibilities for 22 full-time faculty and 50 part-time Associate Degree and Practical Nursing faculty. Jan served as a National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission Evaluator for 28 years and served on the Advisory Council for The Center for Nursing, Alabama Board of Nursing for two years. Her clinical experience includes Medical-Surgical, Critical Care, and Labor and Delivery. Jan received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL, and a Master of Science degree in Nursing from The University of Alabama as a Maternal-Infant Clinical Specialist.

Melanie Elswick Pfennigwerth, BS, RN-BC

Melanie Pfennigwerth is an instructor for Hurst Review Services, bringing to her role 28 years of professional nursing experience encompassing clinical, leadership, and management expertise. She began her career at Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee in Knoxville, where her clinical experience included working as Charge Nurse, Referral Coordinator, MDS Coordinator, and Staff Nurse in the Medical Surgical, Transitional Care, and Cardiopulmonary Units. Before coming to Brookhaven, MS, she also gained experience in Knoxville as an RN, PRN working for a private-practice orthopedic clinic and as a staff nurse for the Medical Surgical and Orthopedic/Oncology Units at Turkey Creek Medical Center. Melanie holds two Associate of Science degrees from East Tennessee State University, one in Medical Assisting and one in Nursing. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Arts from the College of St. Francis, Joliet, IL. During her career she has also received certifications in CPR, EKG, Medical-Surgical Nursing, and ONS Chemotherapy and Biotherapy.

Mary Louise Ross, RN

Mary Ross is an instructor for Hurst Review Services and serves as a Committee Member in the Curriculum Department and Faculty Services Department. She has 17 years’ experience in clinical nursing with a background in Operating Room nursing (General, Orthopedic, and Neurological Surgery) and Medical-Surgical nursing. She began working in nursing education in 2005. She was a Nursing Instructor at Southwest Mississippi Community College for six years in the Practical Nursing Program.

Donna Scoggin, PhD, MSN, RN
Curriculum Consultant and Faculty Member

Dr. Donna Scoggin works on a contractual basis with Hurst Review Services, both in the Curriculum Department and as a faculty member for the student NCLEX® reviews. In addition, she serves as an adjunct instructor at William Carey University in the PhD program in nursing. She began her career as a Charge Nurse at South Central Regional Medical Center, and later became a Nurse Educator at Jones County Junior College (JCJC). She was named Chair of the Associate Degree Nursing Program and retired from that position having over 26 years of service at JCJC. Donna received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from The University of Southern Mississippi, her Master’s in Nursing from the University of South Alabama, and her PhD in Higher Education Administration from The University of Southern Mississippi.