Thursday, May 9, 2019

Norman Regional Health System is happy to announce the 12 winners of the 2019 Spirit of Nursing Award!

Healers had the opportunity to nominate a nurse who they thought exemplified #TheNormanWay and goes above and beyond in their daily work as just another way to celebrate our nurses during #NursesWeek! There were 42 nurses nominated in total.

Out of the 42 nominees, the 12 winners are:

  1. Tracy Biggs
  2. Marzi Khandani
  3. Heather Morrison
  4. Terri Davis
  5. Sarah Wiebelhaus
  6. Michelle Petty
  7. Jamie Roberts
  8. Nate Foster
  9. Ron Currie
  10. Vern Ramsey
  11. Johnny Grandstaff
  12. Jackie Anderson

The 12 finalists, referred to as the “Dazzling Dozen,” were all declared winners because Chief Nursing Officer Brittni McGill said they all should be rewarded for their excellent work instead of choosing just one winner.

Tracy Biggs was nominated for the Spirit of Nursing because she exemplifies teamwork and professionalism, is responsible and knowledgeable, always helps others, and is engaged within the health system, both in her unit and outside of it. She has been with Norman Regional since becoming a nurse about two years ago. She chose to work at Norman Regional because she has lived in Norman for 11 years and wanted to work in her community to help improve the lives of those around her. She said she also loved how much Norman Regional gives back to help its surrounding community.

“I fell in love with the role of the nurse,” Tracy said. “To be able to see someone at their worst and be able to help, encourage and educate them to aid in improving their health and wellbeing is the most rewarding career in my opinion.”

Marzi Khandani was nominated because she is positive, compassionate and responsible and always treats patient, visitors and coworkers with kindness and respect. She is a great patient advocate and has a “can do” approach when any patient needs anything. Marzi received her Associate Degree in nursing 31 years ago and her Bachelor in Nursing 26 years ago, but when she moved to the United States in 2005, she was unable to work as an RN due to US regulations of the nursing board. She worked her way back up in her career, starting by receiving her CNA and CMA then her LPN then her RN then finally her Master of Science in Nursing Education. She has been working for Norman Regional since 2012 and currently works as a part time instructor for Metro Technology Center and as a fulltime charge nurse in Norman Regional’s Rehabilitation unit.

“I was in an accident at age 11 and had to stay in the hospital for three months. Nurses were my hope and happiness during that hospitalization. It changed my opinion from loving to be a flight attendant to being a nurse,” Marzi said. “I love what I do and I try to my best. Providing bedside care, advocating for patients, and providing a safe and comfortable environment for them gives me a good feeling.”

Heather Morrison was nominated because she has a positive and encouraging attitude and is always available to help with any situation or just be a listening ear to her peers. Some of her peers on the Mother Baby unit referred to her as a role model and a friend and said the night shift is benefited by her presence. Heather has been working at Norman Regional for her 5-year career as a nurse. She has a Bachelor’s in education and taught first and second grade before realizing nursing was her true passion.

“I have always had a passion for helping people and I knew early on that I either wanted to be a teacher or a nurse. My girls were babies when I started teaching and I quickly realized that I wanted to be able to stay home with them while they were little. After staying home with them, I decided to go to nursing school and quickly realized that this was what I was meant to do,” she said. “Once I started [at Norman Regional], I realized how lucky I am to have started my nursing career here.”

Terri Davis was nominated because she is kind and courteous to staff and her patients and is always very supportive and helpful toward her team members. She is also always willing to step up when needed. Terri first worked at Norman Regional as a pharmacy technician for six years before going to nursing school. She then came back to the Norman Regional family in 2014.

“I decided to become a nurse because I had a wonderful role model in my father who was also a RN, and I have a strong passion for assisting patients to live life as their best self. I wanted to feel like I was making a positive impact on the world at the end of the day,” she said. “When I moved back to Oklahoma, I knew that NRHS was exactly where I wanted to be.”

Sarah Wiebelhaus was nominated because she “has been the definition of The Norman Way since her first day at NRHS,” her nominator wrote. She goes above and beyond her duty for both her patients and her peers with a smile on her face and is always available to help wherever she is needed. She has been working as a RN for 12 years and has been at Norman Regional for a little over a year. For most of her working life, she has worked in the healthcare industry – starting as a CNA and health unit secretary working her way up to a RN.

“Deep in my heart I knew [nursing is] where I wanted to be, but my mind always won because I would tell myself that I wasn’t good enough or smart enough to be there. That changed one day after an emergency situation with my mother-in-law. I was able to assess the situation and realize that she needed emergency help. After she returned home from the hospital, she convinced me that I needed to go back to school and pursue a nursing degree,” Sarah said.

Michelle Petty was nominated because she is brave, compassionate and always available to lend a hand to anyone. She praises her healers and gives them accolades. She mentors, mothers, consoles, directs, corrects and listens, and she puts patients and her staff at ease. Michelle has been a RN for 20 years, four total at Norman Regional – she’s been back here for one year.

“I have always loved caring for people. [Nursing] was a calling of my life. I followed God’s plan for my life and 20 years later, I still love nursing,” Michelle said.

Jamie Roberts was nominated because she is always available to lend a helping hand or her shoulder to anyone in need. She not only exudes a can-do attitude, but a let’s do attitude. Jamie leads her staff and will also roll up her sleeves and do the actual patient care with them when needed. “When it comes to purposeful, heartfelt, worthwhile work, she sets the standard, nothing too small or challenging,” one of her nominators wrote. She has worked at Norman Regional for more than nine years, her entire career as a nurse. She started her nursing career in the CVICU and spent her first six years at the bedside, both as a staff nurse and a charge nurse before being promoted to nurse supervisor.

“I am extremely passionate about serving others, specifically those in need or who are vulnerable. I am equally as passionate about teaching, communication and having empathy for others, all of which are vital in nursing,” Jamie said. “I believe it is a privilege to care for and be trusted by our patients in their most vulnerable moments.”

Nate Foster was nominated because he is positive, kind, knowledgeable, hardworking, and sets an example for the rest of his team to follow. He acts as a resource to everyone on his unit, and he also serves as an advocate for patients and is always willing to help whenever someone needs it. Nate has worked at Norman Regional for almost 13 years. He has been a RN for almost 10 years, and has also served as a CCRN and an instructor for multiple areas.

He chose to become a nurse because he already had a Bachelor’s degree and the accelerated BSN program was a good option for him and his family.

“It has been a great vocation,” he said. “Norman Regional has been very good to my family.”

Ron Currie was nominated more times than any other nurse for the Spirit of Nursing nominations. He was nominated because he is always friendly and eager to help anyone in his department – from the secretary to the director. He takes great care of not only his patients, but also any other patients who need assistance. He also promotes a positive atmosphere for both patients and his coworkers by always staying calm, cool and collected in any situation. He is very knowledgeable and always offers his support when others need it.

“Ron is someone who makes a big difference, but does it in such a way that isn’t always noticed. He improves the wellbeing of every patient up here because he is a part of all of us being better nurses,” one of his nominators wrote.

“He exemplifies the kind of nurse I want to be,” another nominator wrote. “Quite simply, he is one of a kind.”

Vern Ramsey, like Ron Currie, was nominated multiple times because he is amazing, passionate about what he does and gives the best patient care while also running the radiology department smoothly. He is also positive, a hard worker and always willing to help whenever anyone needs it.

“We would be completely lost without him,” one nominator wrote.

Johnny Grandstaff was nominated because he always goes above and beyond in his work. As a registered nurse working in HIT, his desire is to produce a product or workflow that assists the staff in achieving quality patient care. He is detail-oriented, always listens to the needs of his customers and continually wants to learn and grow. Johnny started his professional career as a civil engineer but after doing that for several years, he returned to college and obtained his BSN. He worked as a staff nurse in Ada for almost 10 years before coming to Norman Regional in 2009. His wife, Darlene, is also a RN.

“When I was working as an engineer, I enjoyed working with the technology. However, I was always interested in the work Darlene was doing as a nurse. It seemed challenging but very fulfilling with regards to having a direct impact on the quality of lives of others. So when the opportunity arose, I was able to go to nursing school and then get my license and start practicing,” Johnny said. “When I got the job in HIT, it was the best of both worlds. I am back to working with technology and assisting with the care of our patients.”

Jackie Anderson was nominated because she goes above and beyond for each of her clinic’s patients. She is never too busy to take a phone call or talk with a patient who walks in with concerns. She also always does her best to get patients in the same-day they call, no matter how full the schedule is. Jackie has been a nurse since 2005 and has worked at Norman Regional since 2013. She said she enjoys her office and all the staff because they make a great team.

“I decided to become a nurse because I always wanted to help people in one way or another. In my younger days, my youth group would go to different states and help less fortunate people with fixing their house or helping raise money for them. I loved doing that so nursing was always in the back of my mind,” she said.

Congratulations to all of our winners and nominees! We’re thankful for each and every one of you and we encourage you to always #CelebrateNursing!