On Wednesday, health care facilities all across the nation took time out to honor those who care for the patients and help the doctors on a daily basis. National Nurses Day was also a time to celebrate the best of the best nurses at Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center.

WNJ Chief Nursing Officer Mandy Dick said the awards given out Wednesday have been presented for the past ten years. They are special because the nurses are nominated by their peers as the best of the best.

"It is a way to recognize those people that have really gone over and above in expanding their education and getting certifications," she said. She said some are nominated because of feed back the hospital gets from patients also and others are nominated for the work they do in mentoring students or serving on committees to better the hospital and its nursing staff. Either way, each of the people nominated, she said, have gone above and beyond what is required of a nurse during their normal 12-hour shift.

Kim Daniels, Philip Lefas, and Diana Landry each received the recognition this year.

"Kim Daniels is our discharge planner who works in the Case Management Department. She has been a registered nurse for (five) years and started her career as a nurse at WNJ. She has worked on the telemetry and med/surg floors and quickly developed the leadership and communication skills required to become a charge nurse. She has also served as a mentor to new graduates as well as many nursing students," were just some of the things written in Daniels' nomination letter.

Lefas' nomination letter stressed his continuing education and his commitment to sharing that knowledge. "Phillip has taken a personal interest in the hospital by becoming a member of the Nursing Round Table in 2018. He provides honest insight and feedback to help better the nursing units and the hospital as a whole. In addition, Phillip has is a skilled charge nurse for the nursing units and has strong leadership qualities."

Landry's nomination letter stressed her desire to mentor college students and her desire to help where ever she is needed. "She is kind, compassionate, and always has a smile on her face. She maintains a professional demeanor and strives to do excellent work in all aspects of her role. This is witnessed by her thorough documentation and attention to detail to ensure the patient receives the best possible care. She also has valuable clinical experience that allows her to be a resource for her peers and coworkers," is what the letter said about Landry.

Dick said often times nurses don't get the recognition they deserve because they are so busy taking care of patients.

“And sometimes that recognition is delayed. I didn’t want to wait months to do this,” Dick said. She added, “I want them to be happy. I want them to know that they are appreciated by their co workers, their families, their patients and the public.”