MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Six nurses and a transport respiratory therapist who supports nursing efforts won the top awards at the WVU Medicine-WVU Hospitals (WVUH) 2023 Nurses and Interprofessional Colleague of the Year ceremony held May 12.
“We had a record number of nominations this year – 81 total – from all areas of our hospital. The nominations this year are a true testament of the impact that our nurses and interprofessional colleagues make at our organization, the community, and to all those we serve. All the nominees exemplify excellence, and their contributions are clearly defined within the nursing professional practice model, with the majority focusing on teamwork, milieu, and advancement,” Jennifer Strait, M.S.N., R.N., N.P.D.-B.C., O.D.C.P., director of WVUH Clinical Education and Development, said.
“This celebration is sponsored by the Nursing Recruitment and Retention council and is a way to give gratitude and recognition our nurses and interprofessional colleagues who are part of our teams making sure every patient gets the high-quality care they need and deserve.”
This year’s winners are:
Inpatient Platinum Nurse of the Year – given to any direct care nurse with 20 or more years of experience who exemplifies excellence in nursing and patient care
- Winner: Marian Longstreth, D.P.N., M.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., C.C.R.N., T.C.R.N., Resource Pool, Rapid Response Team
Inpatient Gold Nurse of the Year – given to any direct care nurse with 10-19 years of experience who exemplifies excellence in nursing and patient care
- Winner: Kristin Smith, A.S.N., R.N., 10 East/Neurosciences Unit
Inpatient Silver Nurse of the Year – given to any direct care nurse with one-to-9 years of experience who exemplifies excellence in nursing and patient care
- Winner: Brett Boyce, A.S.N., R.N., P.C.C.N., 10 Southeast/WVU Heart and Vascular Institute
Inpatient Bronze Nurse of the Year – given to any direct care nurse with less than one year of experience who exemplifies excellence in nursing and patient care
- Winner: Rachel Howard, A.S.N., R.N., Medical-Surgical Unit, Fairmont Medical Center
Ambulatory Nurse of the Year – given to a nurse who works in the ambulatory areas of the organization
- Winner: Becky Richards, B.S.N., R.N., Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Ambulatory: Trauma/Critical Care/Surgery
Nurse Educator of the Year – given to any nurse who has the job title clinical preceptor, college coordinator, or any nurse educator role
- Winner: Mary Edwards, B.S.N., R.N., Clinical Preceptor, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital
Interprofessional Colleague – given to a non-nurse employee who exemplifies excellence in patient care by collaborating with the nursing staff to meet patient needs and provide patient-centered care
- Winner: Dakota Jones, R.R.T., R.R.T.-N.P.S., N.R.P., M.C.C.P., C.-N.P.T., transport respiratory therapist, WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital
The ceremony coincided with Florence Nightingale’s Birthday to conclude National Nurses Week, which is May 6-12 annually.
National Nurses Week is a time for individuals, employers, other healthcare professionals, community leaders, and nurses to recognize the vast contributions and positive impact of America’s registered nurses. The first national week of recognition for nurses was celebrated Oct. 11-16, 1954, to observe the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. National Nurses Week was first observed on the current dates, which coincide with Nightingale’s birthday on May 12, in 1991, and it became an annual event in 1994.
To learn about nursing opportunities at WVU Medicine, visit WVUMedicine.org/Careers.