Atlanta Journal-Constitution celebrates nurses for 17th straight year

We applaud these front-line workers for their acts of courage and devotion

Credit: AJC

Credit: AJC

Almost two decades ago, when The Atlanta Journal-Constitution began its celebration of nurses, no one could have imagined the world would be turned topsy-turvy by a pandemic. COVID-19 put many of them in daily personal peril and at the forefront of heartbreak and death.

For the 17th consecutive year, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Celebrating Nurses Awards honors exceptional nurses from across metro Atlanta.

We applaud them for their selfless acts of courage and devotion. Their bravery, kindness and perseverance are inspiring and always worth celebrating.

This year, we again honor 10 registered nurses who stood out from the crowd of hundreds of heartfelt nominations sent in by patients, families, colleagues and supervisors. An independent panel of judges selected these nurses to receive an AJC Nursing Excellence Award. During an intense five-week period, the judging committee read more than 800 nominations and selected the winners.

Additionally, a recipient of the Nurse Leadership Award, sponsored by Mercer University School of Nursing, also is recognized. More than 50 nurse supervisors were nominated for this competitive trophy.

The Atlanta nursing community was celebrated during an in-person luncheon May 10. Keynote speaker was filmmaker, photographer and author Carolyn Jones, who has produced award-winning documentaries on nursing and health care.

She has spent the past 10 years interviewing, photographing and filming nurses across America.

This year’s judges for the nurse awards were Beth Reilly, MSN APRN ACHPN, advance practice registered nurse, Empath Tidewell Hospice; Cherissa Jackson, chief medical executive, AMVETS, U.S. Air Force nurse veteran; and author Jo Shuford-Guice, MSN NP, nurse practitioner, River Region Dermatology & Laser, and immediate past president of the Advanced Practitioners for the River Region.

The judges who selected the winner of this year’s Nurse Leadership Award were Tammy Barbé, Ph.D., RN, CNE associate professor, associate dean for graduate programs at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University; and Omolara Fyle-Thorpe, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, clinical assistant, professor at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University.

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Read more about the nurses honored at this year’s ceremony:

Shannan Browning, Piedmont Healthcare

Lauren DePietro, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital

Sarah Harper, Wellstar Cobb Hospital

Rose Horton, Emory Healthcare

Damar Lewis, Northside Hospital Duluth

Gina Papa, Clarkston Community Health Center

Deepa Patel, Wellstar Shared Services

Andrew Perea, Kaiser Permanente

Cherish Ramirez, Piedmont Healthcare

Julie Singleton, Northeast Georgia Health System

Denise Ray, Piedmont Healthcare: Nurse Leader Award