Fairmont nurse honored by WVU Medicine

May 19—MORGANTOWN — A nurse at Fairmont Medical Center is among a group of six nurses and a transport respiratory therapist who won the top awards at the recent WVU Medicine-WVU Hospitals 2023 Nurses and Interprofessional Colleague of the Year ceremony.

Rachel Howard, a registered nurse in the medical-surgical unit at Fairmont Medical Center, was named Inpatient Bronze Nurse of the Year, an award given to any direct care nurse with less than one year of experience who exemplifies excellence in nursing and patient care.

"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," WVUH Clinical Education and Development Director Jennifer Strait 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:

Rapid Response Team nurse Marian Longstreth was named Inpatient Platinum Nurse of the Year, which is given to any direct care nurse with 20 or more years of experience who exemplifies excellence in nursing and patient care.

Neuroscience unit nurse Kristin Smith was named Inpatient Gold Nurse of the Year, which is given to any direct care nurse with 10-19 years of experience who exemplifies excellence in nursing and patient care.

WVU Heart and Vascular Institute nurse Brett Boyce was named Inpatient Silver Nurse of the Year, an honor given to any direct care nurse with one-to-9 years of experience who exemplifies excellence in nursing and patient care.

Clinical Nurse Coordinator nurse Becky Richards was named Ambulatory Nurse of the Year, which is given to a nurse who works in the ambulatory areas of the organization.

WVU Medicine Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Clinical Preceptor Mary Edwards was named Nurse Educator of the Year, which is awarded to any nurse who has the job title clinical preceptor, college coordinator, or any nurse educator role.

WVU Medicine Children's Hospital Transport Respiratory Therapist Dakota Jones was named Interprofessional Colleague, which is awarded 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.

The May 12 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 health care professionals, community leaders, and nurses to recognize the contributions and 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.