National Nurses Month 2023 Nominees

Jennifer Adcox, Nurse Manager Surgical Services, Roane Medical Center

“Jenny is an excellent clinician and manager. She participates on several committees and actively gives input on how to make things better for the patients and staff. She maintains a close working relationship with her staff as evidenced by a low turnover rate. Jenny leads by example in showing her staff what great customer service looks like. She rounds on each patient that comes through her department to ensure they had a great experience.” -Brenda Gray, CNO

Johna Burks, Director CVICU, Jackson Madison County General Hospital

“Johna has been a nurse at JMCGH for 28 years. She is dedicated, loyal and leads with compassion. She has been instrumental in leading our Cardiovascular ICU with initiatives including ECMO, Intesivist Coverage 24/7, Impella, Cooling protocols and many more. She has also been leading along with our surgeons and anesthesia team, the success with our STS data and becoming a 3 star (highest rating possible) for our CABG program for 2 years straight. That puts this program at the top 6% on the country. She is the picture of servant leadership and is the example of what a strong nurse and leader should look like.” -Deann Thelen, Vice President and CEO

Caleigh Blair, RN, Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center

“Caleigh’s caring nature and thoughtfulness for her patients and co-workers makes her the epitome of what a nurse should be. Caleigh always has a kind word and shows a compassionate nature towards not only patients but patients family as well. I am honored to have her as a part of my team.” -Judy Franklin, ED Nurse Manager

Bolivar Hospital Nursing Team

Andrea Henson, RN - ER Clinical Manager, Hayden Dugger, RN - ER, Brandy Berg, RN - ER, Larry McCasland, RN, RT - ER, Brenda Fraser, RN - Med-Surg, Briana Hickman, RN - Med-Surg, Jennifer Stegall, RN - Med-Surg, Tonya Phinnessee Jones - RN - Quality, Rita Stegall, RN - Quality, Donna Anderson, LPN, Vanessa Rucker, LPN, Velma Williams, LPN, Brittany Allen, LPN

“Bolivar’s Best is just that – the best nurses in the county. They are here to serve our rural community. They are passionate about what they do and opted to serve here. My team collectively has a huge heart. You cannot solely recognize one nurse, because they function as a team.” -Erica M. Johnson-Lockett, CNO

Brenda Chapman, Infection Preventionist, CIC, Maury Regional Medical Center

Brenda Chapman (far right)

“Brenda has been an Infection Preventionist with Maury Regional for almost 24 years and in that time she has had an enormous impact on many people. Infection Prevention is not the first thing you think of when you think about nursing, however Brenda expertly embodies the qualities of both. Each day in addition to making sure our patients and employees are safe from micro-organisms that can otherwise be spread to other patients and our families, she cares for the employees she speaks with. I always hear being kind and encouraging while making sure every detail is addressed appropriately. And can we talk about Flu shots? Brenda is the most requested person to give the shots – she knows how to give a painless vaccine! I want her to give mine and if I have to be in the hospital, and I want her to take care of me as well. While being selfless and taking care of everyone around her, she just says it is the right way to act. She makes a difference to every person, every day.” -Lynnelle Murrell, Director, Infection Prevention

Nia Green, RN, Nursing Supervisor, Memphis Mental Health Institute

“Nia Green is an excellent team player. She eagerly volunteers to do anything she can to resolve issues in the hospital. She works overtime every week to fill necessary holes in staffing. Nia serves as treatment team nurse for two doctors and she fills in as admission’s nurse when needed. Nia is certified as a Handle with Care Instructor and works diligently with the Handle with Care coordinator to ensure that enough classes can be scheduled to meet the needs of our hospital. Nia is very dependable and serves our patients and fellow team members with a positive, can-do spirit that is contagious. She is always looking to learn more and to improve on current processes. She has stellar communication skills works well with our physicians. I know that when Nia is working, I can relax and trust that I have someone in place that is able to think critically and solve problems. Nia never brings a problem without well thought out solutions. She is a very valued member of our team here at Memphis Mental Health Institute.” -Bridget Hughes, Assistant Nurse Executive

Jody Johnson, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Chattanooga

“Jody is the “go-to” for all things Nursing. She has earned the respect of her peers, physicians, and direct reports by her work ethics and willingness to assist with whatever task in whatever role needed. Several times, Jody has functioned in the Nurse Supervisor role as well as continuing to do her duties as Nurse Manager. Jody has participated in several Performance Improvement projects throughout the last year, resulting in improving metrics for the hospital. Jody is often the first person to recognize an employee’s birthday or important milestones (i.e. successful certification exam, graduation, etc.). Jody is a vital member of the Nursing Leadership team and I personally would not be successful without her contribution.” -Trish Hollifield, BSN, RN, CNO

Rob Lee, Emergency RN, TriStar NorthCrest Medical Center

“He consistently takes excellent care of his patients, always has a positive attitude and always willing to help his teammates.” -Bri O’Neill, CNO

Jessica Lucas, Ambulatory Clinic Coordinator, OBGYN, Regional One Health

“For more than 25 years, Jessica Lucas has cared for and advocated for patients at Regional One Health. When it comes to health care, women’s services holds special place in Jessica’s heart. Over the years she has worked in numerous departments throughout women’s services including antepartum, postpartum, well baby nursery and currently the OB/GYN clinic. Jessica is a role model to nurses both new and experienced. She helps acclimate new nurses, residents and physicians in the clinic so they can quickly get up to speed and are ready to go. With her generous nature, she wants everyone to succeed and is always available and eager to answer any questions co-workers may have. Nursing is absolutely Jessica’s calling. Her first workplace out of nursing school was at Regional One Health, and she jokes she’ll have to be carried out of the building. Jessica is doing the job she loves and was born to do. With her generous heart, Jessica is a leader who works every day to ensure patients receive the best care they deserve.” -Angie Golding, Director, Communications

Jessica Candice Muse, MSN, RN, CNO, Tennova LaFollette Medical Center

“As a seasoned nurse, Jessica Muse, CNO, began her career at Tennova LaFollette Medical Center as the relief weekend house supervisor and then progressed to departmental director for multiple departments. In addition Jessica has furthered her education by obtaining a Masters of Nursing Administration degree from Western Kentucky University and is currently working on her doctorate. Among the many accomplishments Jessica has implemented at Tennova LaFollette Medical Center include enhanced staff continuing education and an innovative way to improve patient satisfaction…

Jessica, along with nurse leaders, implemented a new continuing education program for clinical staff that takes the place of the traditional annual review. This includes a focus on an educational topic of the month with all clinical staff rotating through stations every other month on every Friday of that month. This allowed all staff on all shifts to attend easier and retain for importation. The review concentrates on patient safety and focuses on industry best practices. Patient Satisfaction – Jessica is the champion of increasing patient satisfaction at LaFollette. Some new ways she has helped improve patient satisfaction has been organizing a select team of daily patient rounders who have an emphasis on face to face conversation. The team has a standing meeting everyday M-F to meet briefly and review all visits. If there are any issues they are addressed that day and communicated to staff. When there is recognition of staff for great care, this too is communicated to those staff members and highlighted in internal media sources of the facility. Through this effort patient satisfaction scores are dramatically improving. On top of all the CNO administrative duties, Jessica is consistently attentive to all the clinical managers needs to balance work and home. This includes even working as a staff nurse if an emergency arises. A few years ago Jessica even came to work by boat with the help of the emergency crew when a massive flood had cut off the routes to the hospital and other staff could not get to work. We treasure Jessica Muse’s passionate dedication to the nursing profession, living the compassionate care model, and vigorously working to improve all aspects of care for the patients and staff.” -Melissa Turner, Facility Compliance Officer/Risk Manager

Lindsey Old, RN 2, Memphis Mental Health Institute

“Ms. Old is passionate about her job and providing quality care for the patients she works with at MMHI. She exemplifies the concept of providing quality care, compassionate care, and culturally appropriate care to those persons in a mental health crisis which are being evaluated for possible admission to the MMHI facility.” -Debra Dillon, RN 3

“Lindsey is dependable, works hard, very knowledgeable, works well with the team, and communicates well with the team as it relates to patient care.” -Nia Green, RN

Michelle Pruett, RN, OCN, BSN, Director of Oncology Services and Nurse Intern Program, Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital

“Ascension Saint Thomas is pleased to nominate Michelle Pruett, Director of Nursing for Oncology and the Nurse Intern Program at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown, for recognition during National Nurses Month. Michelle has been an integral part of the Ascension Saint Thomas community for more than two decades and she has made tremendous contributions to the fight against cancer in Middle Tennessee and beyond. She has served in a wide range of nurse leadership roles throughout her 22 years with the health system and she has regularly acted as lead clinical advisor for key expansion projects, including the new 36-bed ICU at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown. Michelle helped launch the Ascension Saint Thomas Blood Cancer Program in 2020 and subsequently helped design the expanded dedicated leukemia space at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown…

In her current role, Michelle leads nursing teams in inpatient GYN Surgical Oncology, Blood Cancer, and Medical Oncology. She is responsible for the Blood Cancer program, Surgical Oncology Observation, the Outpatient Infusion Center and Radiation Oncology at the Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown and West campuses. Michelle serves on the Cancer Committee as nurse representative and acts as liaison with Tennessee Oncology, an important partner to the health system’s efforts to fight cancer across Middle Tennessee. Her commitment to preparing the next generation of nurses is evidenced by her thoughtful stewardship of the nursing intern program. Michelle’s work consistently results in exceptional quality outcomes and she is beloved by her colleagues.

Jessica Darnell, Chief Nursing Officer for Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown says, “Michelle is one of the hardest working people I know. She has an internal drive charged by the Energizer Bunny himself. Joking aside, she truly loves leading hospital operations and when you have a passion for your work, it energizes you. Michelle finds joy and happiness in building teams, growing leaders and finding solutions to complex patient care problems. She is especially passionate about oncology-specific patient care.”

Alan Wood, a Clinical Nurse Manager at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown, says, “I have worked for or with Michelle for more than 9 years. She is one of the main reasons I still have hope when things at times seem desperate. She was such a shining light when nursing was bleak over the past few years and she still treads on and keeps the boat afloat. I and so many others appreciate her for all she does and how she has helped us all grow and become better.”

-Anjali Bright, Senior PR Specialist

Stacy Stacey, RN, Bristol Regional Medical Center

“Stacy is an extraordinary person and nurse. She is a highly skilled, extremely knowledgeable, compassionate team player who consistently displays and promotes the highest ethical standards. Stacy receives many shout-outs from her patients and staff or her extraordinary and compassionate care.” -Britney Edmiston, CNO

House Supervisor Team, Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center

Pamela Rogers RN- Director, Gloria Clevenger RN, Denise Lodwick RN, Linda Buck RN, Ryan Hensley Pendleton RN, Jenny Stephens RN, Andrea Worsham RN, Linda Helton RN, Tonya Bales, Staffing Coordinator

“Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center has a phenomenal House Supervisor team. They are responsible for ensuring safety and security of patients, visitors and employees, and quality of care for patients, staffing the facility and many other high-level tasks and duties particularly after hours and on the weekends and holidays. They are the eyes, ears, and hands of our administration and directors during these times. They are all extraordinary problem solvers, with the highest level of critical thinking skills. They are amazing nurses and leaders. We salute them during Nurses Month 2023!” -Laura Franklin, CNO

Katrina Jackson, BSN, CIC, Infection Preventionist, Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital

Vicki Maddox (left), Katrina Jackson (right)

“Since 2018, Katrina Jackson has been the Infection Preventionist at the hospital now known as Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital. She is devoted to patient safety and preventing patient harm. Her approach to infection prevention is steadfast and no-nonsense mixed with creativity and exuberance. For World Hand Hygiene Day (May 5) she designed a Star Wars themed Hand Hygiene celebration complete with life sized Darth Vader, Storm Trooper and Yoda cutouts and even light sabers. She created a giant coronavirus model using golf tees as the protein spikes. Participants could pull a spike to see if they could win a “prize.” The staff loved this unique avenue to education and the day was viewed as quite a success. She has worked to reduce device days in her institution specifically targeting urinary catheters. She has lobbied to obtain a unique male external catheter to decrease the need for indwelling urinary catheters. All of this has been accomplished while currently pursuing her master’s of nursing degree in Healthcare Quality and Safety.” -Vicki Maddox, MSN-IP, CIC, FAPIC, IP Regional Director

Shelley Lawson, RN, Clinical Manager, Pathways Behavioral Health-WTHC

“Shelley works with patients with mental illness and drug/alcohol addiction issues. She has great attendance, knowledge (recently completing her Masters) and treats every patient with respect. She is always willing to go that extra mile to provide the service that the patient needs. Most of all, she listens to the patients and the staff. She is what a nurse should be.” -Paula Terry, CNO

Kenneth Justin McGehee "Justin", Director of Nursing, CHI Memorial Hixson

“Justin leads the nursing team at CHI Memorial Hixson. Justin’s energy and passion for patient care and patient safety is unparalleled and contagious! He is creative and innovative with a can-do mind-set. Justin’s emergency department charge nurse background and recent house administrator role plus his inherent natural ability have poised Justin for being an outstanding leader. He is the epitome of humankindness. Justin has the skills which cannot be taught – heart, emotional intelligence and critical thinking. He learns quickly and excels at all new work. He is confident and speaks up for best patient care. Justin has a ministry not just a job. Patient scores at this campus are improving under his leadership. He is well respected by all colleagues and physicians.” -Karen Frank, Market Director, Quality

Rachel Meier, RN, Williamson Health

Lori Orme (left), Rachel Meier (right)

“Rachel Meier has worked at Williamson Health as a registered nurse in the float pool for five years. Rachel has a wealth of nursing knowledge and is often the ‘go-to’ when anyone has questions about nursing skills, hospital policies, or using the computer system. Her dedication to the hospital is exemplary, including a willingness to pick up extra shifts when needed. Even stronger than Rachel’s dedication to the hospital is her dedication to her coworkers. When the staff finds themselves disheartened and overwhelmed, especially since COVID, Rachel is always there to provide her quiet support and good listening skills. In addition to providing emotional support, she is also the first to volunteer for whatever needs to be done…

When a patient arrives from the ER, Rachel never has to be asked to help transfer or admit the patient; she is often the first person in the room, even when the patient is not assigned to her. Whenever Rachel sees one of her team members behind or struggling, she is happy to offer to help without being asked. Rachel’s dedication to patients is the trait her coworkers admire the most about her. She is often seen in patients’ rooms just listening to them share their stories, worries, or even complaints. Her kindness, compassionate nature, and patience are always part of the care she provides. She accomplishes all this without ever looking hurried or annoyed. Even in the rush of things, her joy in spending time with patients who need her care shines through. Rachel has been awarded the 2023 Nurse of the Year for Williamson Health. She is so appreciated for who she is and what she does for our patients. We are so proud that she is a member of our healthcare team.” -Lori Orme, CNO

Nashville General Hospital Sepsis Committee

Nathan (Cas) Megibben, MSN-Ed, RN, Jennifer Melendez, DNP, RN, Tasheba Buckner, BSN, RN, Ashley Midkiff, BSN, RN

“The Nashville General Hospital Sepsis Committee launched fun and innovative initiatives for improving sepsis care within their organization after a nurse resident patient safety project identified opportunity. These initiatives, led by nurse educators and nurse managers, resulted in significant reduction in sepsis mortality, leading THA to invite the NGH Sepsis Committee to share their successes in a presentation to the THA Sepsis Collaborative earlier this month.” -Nathan Megibben, Critical Care Educator

Jamie Smith, 5 North LPN, Blount Memorial Hospital

“Jamie Smith, 5 North LPN at Blount Memorial Hospital, was our most recent DAISY Award Honoree for her extraordinary patient care. She was the first LPN to receive the DAISY Award at BMH. Jamie was honored for her caring nature and love for the nursing profession. Her kindness, compassion and observation played an important role in the care she provided. She went above and beyond and included the immediate family member as the patient’s caregiver. She was described as a poster nurse of what nurses should be. We are so proud of Jamie!” -Brooke Huddleston, Nurse Recruiter, DAISY Coordinator at BMH

Glenda Smith, RN, Indian Path Community Hospital

“Whether you have walked the halls of Indian Path Community Hospital as a patient or an employee, you have undoubtedly been greeted with smiles from Glenda Smith, RN. Miss Glenda (as her patients and many of her peers refer to her) works night shift on the med surg floor. She has been here for 28 years. We won’t share her age but let’s just say, Glenda could have retired several years ago. Instead, she continues to be committed, dedicated, and passionate to providing excellent patient care. Glenda says she has no desire to retire. Glenda precepts our new hires and management practicum students. She is such a wealth of knowledge and loves sharing it with others…

Glenda participates in our PACE program (career ladder for nursing). She is a level 3 out of 4 levels. This requires hours of precepting, extra education hours, and volunteering. Recently when submitting her portfolio for renewing her PACE, she shared a story where she had a made an extraordinary difference in a patient’s progress and recovery. The patient was here for bilateral mastectomies due to a recent cancer diagnosis. Glenda shared her own history of breast cancer and mastectomies. She shared her coping strategies and outcomes. The patient was very thankful and was able to pull from Glenda’s strength and story and have a more positive outlook on her own prognosis. This is just one of many stories we’ve heard where Glenda has made a difference. Glenda is an inspiration for all nurses, young or old and novice to expert. She deserves recognition for the positive impact she makes every day at IPCH.” -Stephanie Rhoton, CNO, Associate Administrator

University of Tennessee Medical Center Labor and Delivery

“We had a patient on New Years Day experience an Amniotic Fluid Embolism right after delivery. This is a rare and unexpected birth complication with a very high mortality rate. This patient was in cardiac arrest, and because of extremely high-quality CPR from the L and D nurses, and then working extremely collaboratively with the Code team when they arrived, after 30 minutes, this patient’s heartbeat returned, and 5 days later walked away from the hospital with her beautiful baby girl. The team felt they were part of a miracle and we are all so grateful.” -Rebecca Morrison, Exec. Director, Women and Infants