Vicky Hogue, Wellstar Paulding Hospital, receives Nurse Leadership Award

Nurses have always turned to Vicky Hogue for advice, because she stays calm and thinks critically in all situations, said co-worker Kimberly Knotts of Wellstar Paulding Hospital.

Hogue, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, is a “visionary leader” who “advocates for nurses to ensure they have the resources needed to serve patients,” Knotts said.

That was never clearer than during the coronavirus pandemic. Hogue implemented evidence-based guidelines to ensure patients would have competent nurses at their bedsides throughout the pandemic.

Before COVID-19 cases surged, she began to train skilled surgical and post-operative nurses to also work in the intensive care unit.

The crisis, Hogue said, was what she and her fellow nurses have trained for: “answering the call to care for the community.”

Hogue was selected for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Celebrating Nurses Leadership Award, given annually to an outstanding nurse director. Mercer University sponsors the award.

Chief Nursing Officer Vicky Hogue, Wellstar Paulding Hospital. Courtesy of Crew Atlanta

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Hogue, who will celebrate 41 years with Wellstar in August, said she entered the nursing field because she wants to serve people — to help families during the most critical times of their lives.

Now, as a leader, she said she is gratified most by “supporting nurses so that they can best serve patients.”

The nursing officer embraces a servant-leader role through “serving nurses, removing barriers to enable them to do what they do best, and providing excellent care to patients.”

Hogue has for years advocated for nurses at the local, state and national level,s and has led the team that designed the modern replacement Wellstar Paulding Hospital, which opened in 2014. She also does the little things, like volunteering to administer COVID-19 vaccinations and educate the community about upcoming clinics.

Hogue also volunteered many hours to vaccinate nurses so they could more safely care for patients.

“Vicky is a true servant leader and the first to put on her scrubs to work side by side with her team,” said co-worker Knotts, who nominated Hogue for the Nurse Leadership Award.

“Vicky inspires all to do more than (they) thought possible in the face of adversity,” Knotts continued. “Despite personal tragedy, losing a family member to COVID-19, and experiencing extensive hurricane damage to her home, she never failed to support her nursing team. She is humble, selfless, courageous and an amazing transformational leader.”

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Hogue was selected for the AJC’s Celebrating Nurses Leadership Award, given annually to an outstanding nurse director. Mercer University sponsors the award. Courtesy of Crew Atlanta

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Meet the nurses who received awards of excellence:

Rochanda Crawford, Grady Health System

Beth Dziczkowski, Northside Hospital Cherokee

Clayton Fowler, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital

Danielle Giaritelli, Emory Healthcare

Jody Leonard, Southern Regional Medical Center

Kathleen LePain, Piedmont Healthcare Athens

Tasneem Malik, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Laura Moss, Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital

Laurie Pazda, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital

Laura Toops, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta