The Great 100 Nurses Foundations seeks nominations
story and photo by James Coburn, Staff Writer
The Great 100 Nurses Foundation is seeking nominations to honor that great nurse, said Carol Robison, RN and owner of the Robison Medical Resource Group, located in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Robison is the chairperson for the event.
“This is an event to honor the bedside nurse and those nurses that are making a difference in the profession,” Robison said. “We are looking for the top 100 nurses in Oklahoma to represent the state.”
The award celebration date will be determined, but it will probably be set in early fall. Last year, the event was in Tulsa, but Robison is looking for a location to appeal to the western portion of the state this year, she said.
This is the second time the event will be in Oklahoma. The Great 100 Nurses Foundation was founded in New Orleans 29 years ago and since then has honored thousands of nurses across Oklahoma, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas, Robison said.
“These exemplary nurses are selected based on their concern for humanity, their contributions to the profession and their mentoring of others,” Robison continued. “The foundation helps each registered nurse to walk taller and recognize themselves as nurse heroes,” Robison said.
Honoring the bedside nurse is very important, Robison continued. The foundation was created by P.K. Scheerle, a registered nurse.
Scheerle saw a need to recognize those nurses that are outstanding in their profession, Robison said. They’ve done things that go over and above to help people and the nursing profession.
“Some of them are doing continuing education type things that are related to their certification,” Robison said. “They are concerned for humanity. Some of them may have been recognized by a patient or a fellow nurse. The contribution to their profession can be anything that promotes nursing. They may participate in their governance boards of nursing.”
The program specifically honors registered nurses. Individuals may nominate as many registered nurses as they want based on their contribution to humanity and mentorship.
“It’s a beautiful way to honor them and to have excitement about the nursing profession,” Robison said.
Participating nurses may represent any field of nursing ranging from hospice, home health, research, long-term care and hospitals, among others. All of those areas are important, Robison said. One of the beautiful aspects of the nursing profession is the ability to be involved in so many avenues of success, she said.
“You can be a researcher. You can be a hospice nurse and be a quality improvement nurse. You can be all those things within the confines of being a nurse,” she said.
Donations are raised to cover the cost of the event. What is left over is utilized for nursing education or scholarship.
“We have a website, too, at g100nurses.org. So there’s a lot of information on there,” Robison said. “I’m trying to get people to start thinking about what a neat program it is. It’s a call to action that our year was a great success and now we need more volunteers who are interested in being on the committee.”
The honorees are always invited back to the event and have become their own community of people concerned for the welfare of others. They get to know people and see other committed professionals in the nursing profession.
“We need people who are interested in promoting the nursing profession and are interested in getting out and talking about the event and taking it back to their work area, having the posters put up to remind people to nominate,” she said. “That’s a big challenge, to get people to nominate in the beginning.”
Several anonymous judges from across Oklahoma will determine those nurses who will be honored at the event. Those judges will convene in July and the names will be announced a couple of weeks after the judges meet, Robison said.
“It gives us a little time to get everything ready for the event,” she said.
Volunteers are helpful at that time by telling people that the nominees have been selected and to promote the event the best way they can.
There will be a well-known speaker involved in the nursing profession to address the audience. Recommendations are also being sought as to who will be the key-note speaker, Robison said.
“Volunteers will come and work at the event which includes a sit-down dinner,” she noted. “It’s a celebration. It’s really neat. All of the honorees are in the front of the stage, a lot like a graduation. A lot of their peers are there.”
“I never dreamed they would have people who would be nominated from the Department of Health, because a lot of times with the things going on, they don’t always look at the smaller subsets. It’s usually an acute care nurse or academic. A lot of times the chief nursing officer will be recognized.”
Anyone can nominate a nurse, including patients, coworkers or a friend, she said.