Gwen Fields, RN, has been named Bothwell Regional Health Center’s Nurse of the Year, it was announced during a ceremony held Monday afternoon in the hospital’s cafeteria.
Fields said she was really surprised to hear her name called out of seven candidates.
“I kind of just jumped a little bit,” she said of her reaction. “I’m really flattered, though, and it’s nice to be recognized by your co-workers and other nurses that I respect a lot.”
Nurse Fields began her career at Bothwell in 1994. She left, working PRN during that time, coming back full–time in 2007. “I work in the Emergency Department, but I sometimes help out with other things, like house supervisor if they need me, and stuff like that,” Fields said.
“I love my job; I’ve been a nurse since 1985,” she added. Fields has one daughter who lives in Sedalia, and one in Kansas City, her mom lives in KC and her son lives in Jeff City. “They’re going to be very excited; I can’t wait to tell them.”
The other candidates nominated for the 2014 award included MeLisa Balke, LPN; Kendra Baumgartner, RN; Cassie Kindle, RN; Rita Mergen, LPN; Brenda Rowland, RN; and Julie Snow, RN. Deb Clemmer, vice president of Human Resource at Bothwell, presented the candidates for the award, while Chief Nursing Officer Ginny Crow, MS, BSN, RN, announced the winner.
In addition to the Nurse of the Year award, which takes place on the anniversary of Nurse Florence Nightingale’s birthday, two others were recognized and rewarded with Bothwell Foundation’s Pat Gaunt Leadership in Nursing Scholarship, presented by Bothwell Foundation Director Lisa Church. Stacey O’Donnell and Bart Kuhns were this year’s recipients of the scholarship, named after the late Patricia Gaunt, who was a registered nurse at Bothwell from 1969 until her retirement in 2001. Her bequest provides resources for other nurses to have the training they need to better serve the patients they care for each day.
Mary Nell Strautman, a member of the Bothwell Board of Trustees, urged the nurses to better use their eyes, ears and touch in their profession in the face of all the new technology that has directly affected their field of endeavor. “All of those skills are very, very important going forward to every relationship we’re involved with and certainly involved with the delivery of quality care,” she said. “Technology is fun, but let’s get back to basics.”
The event was the culmination of the celebration of Nurses Week, May 6-12, with the theme, “Nurses Leading the Way.” Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia Weekly Observer.