Kathryn Lee appointed to national panel

Kathryn “Kitty” Lee never thought she’d have to sit for two Gastroenterology Registered Nurse Certification exams in her lifetime.

About 17 years after the first exam, this Davis Memorial Hospital Specialty Practice Nurse found herself faced with answering the 175 questions again. Only this time it was an honor and privilege to again take the exam.

Lee, RN, CGRN, was appointed to the Passing Point Panel for the American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses.

“I was one of nine gastroenterology nurses from across the United States to sit on a panel of experts and help set the passing point for gastroenterology nurses who test for certification,” Lee said. “I didn’t know we would have to take the current exam in order to set the passing point for the next five years.”

Every five years the American Board of Certified Gastroenterology Nurses appoints a panel of nine expert nurses from diversified backgrounds and states. The group spends two days together at Castle Worldwide, a testing company in North Carolina. Using a method called the “Modified Angoff Technique,” the experts review, judge and score each question of the exam based on the relative difficulty.

“After we take the exam and it is scored, we discuss each question based on our individual background and work expertise,” Lee said. “If the group’s score was within 40 points, from high to low, we moved on to the next question. If our scores differed by more than 40 points we discussed the question and came up with an appropriate score.”

Lee has been involved at the state and national level with the Society of Gastroenterology and Associates. The organization is dedicated to the safe and effective practice of gastroenterology and endoscopy nursing and assists in administering the certification exam. Entry-level gastroenterology nurses who have two years of practice and good references qualify to sit for the exam.

Currently Lee serves as the secretary-treasurer of the West Virginia Society of Gastroenterology and Associates. Michelle Streets, RN, clinical coordinator of Day Surgery at Davis Memorial Hospital, serves as president of the state chapter.

“The hospital and our gastroenterology unit have a long tradition of working with the Society of Gastroenterology and Associates at the state level,” Lee said. “We have held two state meetings in Elkins.”

Lee was surprised to receive the prestigious appointment. She said that Janet Hannah, who serves on the national board and education committee, appointed her.

Lee works as the Specialty Practice Nurse for Dr. Nitesh Ratnakar, MD, FACG. She joined the gastroenterology unit at Davis Memorial Hospital in the early 1980s. She took a little time off when she had her children. In 1989 she served as the charge nurse of Day Surgery, a position she held until just two years ago.

“I’m pleased that Kitty was appointed to this national committee and is able to share her knowledge and experience with others in the field. It is a reflection and acknowledgement of the high quality care that patients receive at Davis Health System,” Ratnakar said.

For information on the Gastroenterology Unit and Endoscopy services at the hospital, call 304-637-2360 or visit