College of Nursing Recognizes Exceptional Brazos Valley Nurses with Legacy Awards

To recognize the nursing profession and honor leadership, innovation and compassion in nursing practice, the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Nursing hosted the inaugural presentation of The Legacy Awards on May 14 at Pebble Creek Country Club as part of “Building a Legacy – The Nurses’ Ball.”

“The College of Nursing is thrilled to recognize nurses from the Brazos Valley who daily demonstrate excellence in nursing practice,” said Sharon Wilkerson, Ph.D., RN, dean of the TAMHSC-College of Nursing. “Nurses touch the lives of so many people; we are proud to recognize their accomplishments and their legacy.”

Nurses were recognized in the following categories:
• Nurse of the Year – Linda Parker, The College Station Medical Center. A nurse for 26 years, including 23 years in critical care, Parker is the lead charge nurse in the intensive care unit. The only certified sexual assault nurse examiner in Bryan-College Station, she serves as a resource for the district attorney’s office, area sheriff’s departments and local law enforcement agencies.
• Nurse in a Hospital Setting – Charlotte Ferguson, director of performance improvement at St. Joseph Hospital System. A nurse for more than 30 years, Ferguson is responsible for all aspects of performance improvement in the hospital system, from deployment to outcome monitoring.
• Nurse in a Community Setting – Jennifer Weltens, Abundant Life Family Practice. The only registered nurse in a small private practice, Weltens served in a free health clinic on a medical mission trip to Guatemala and also is active with the Upwards Sports organization.
• Nurse as an Educator, Preceptor or Mentor – Cindy Manning, nursing program assistant director, Blinn College. Part of the nursing faculty since 1997, Manning is an advocate for evidence-based practice and works diligently to develop lectures, activities and clinical experiences for students.
• Student Nurse – Rachel Williams, Blinn College. Williams, who graduates this month, is president of the College Student Nursing Association and strives to perform both in the classroom and in the clinical setting.

Each award recipient received a $1,000 cash prize and statuette to commemorate their achievement. All nominees were recognized with a certificate and a lapel pin.

The event also featured a VIP reception, dinner, auction, dancing and raffle. Raffle prizes included the Legacy Grand Prize, a signature diamond and white gold pendant from Montelongo’s Fine Jewelry valued at $7,000.

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