Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) honors Jonathan Bartels, BSN, RN with the 2018 AACN Pioneering Spirit Award.

This AACN Visionary Leadership Award recognizes significant contributions that influence high-acuity and critical care nursing and relate to the association’s mission, vision and values. The presentation will occur during the 2018 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Boston, May 21-24.

Bartels is a palliative care nurse liaison at the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System, Charlottesville, where he has worked in various roles for the past 20 years. He is best known as creator of “The Pause,” which is a way to honor the death of a patient by having the care team present at the end of life take a moment for silent reflection.

“As an ER nurse, Jonathan created ‘The Pause’ to help deal with his own feelings and  help his colleagues after the death of a patient. That moment of reflection and compassion has grown into a movement that has profoundly impacted caregivers around the world,” said AACN board president Christine S. Schulman, MS, RN, CNS, CCRN-K.

Since 2009, Bartels has worked in collaboration with UVA School of Nursing as an original member of the Compassionate Care Initiative, which helps promote and educate nursing students, nurses, medical students and physicians in practices that promote resiliency and compassionate care. He also serves as a facilitator for introductory resiliency retreats for undergraduate and graduate nurses.

He has written several articles and done podium presentations related to resiliency and self-care for nurses, physicians and first responders. 

In 2011, Bartels introduced a practice that he calls “The Pause.” This practice serves as a means for healthcare staff to stop and communally honor the loss of life. It has initiated a paradigm shift in how death is approached both nationally and internationally.

AACN’s clinical practice journal, Critical Care Nurse, published one of the first articles about “The Pause” in 2014. In the article, Bartels wrote that after a patient died in the UVA emergency department where he worked as a nurse, “I would ask each to, in their own way, offer silent recognition of the lost human life — someone’s mother, father, sibling or child — to remember that the person who had died loved and was loved, to understand that the person’s passing deserved recognition, and to acknowledge that our own efforts, too, were worthy of honor.”

Bartels earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Canisius College, Buffalo, New York and pursued graduate studies in religion at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, before moving into healthcare. He earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York.

Bartels is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association.  


About the AACN Pioneering Spirit Award: The annual AACN Pioneering Spirit Award recognizes significant contributions that influence high-acuity and critical care nursing regionally and nationally, and relate to AACN’s mission, vision and values. Recipients of this Visionary Leadership Award come from business, academia and healthcare, and receive a plaque and $1,000 honorarium at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition. Other Visionary Leadership awards, AACN’s highest honor, include AACN’s Lifetime Member Award and the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career.

About the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition: Established in 1974, AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI) represents the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. Bedside nurses, nurse educators, nurse managers, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners attend NTI.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and has more than 200 chapters throughout the United States. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109;  949-362-2000;;;




Journal Link: Critical Care Nurse