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Meet the Great 100

A monthly update of 10 honorees.

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Each month, ADVANCE will be introducing readers to 10 of the 2010 Great 100 Nurses of Dallas/Fort Worth. Be inspired by their stories and get to know the passion behind each individual's nursing career. To read more about the Great 100 Nurse program, click here, where you'll also find an audio interview with Sandi McDermott, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, president of the Dallas/Fort Worth Great 100 Nurses Inc, and a photo gallery of the 20th anniversary gala.

Jeanne Reeves, MA, RN, SN, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center
Jeanne Reeves is chief nursing officer at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and has been a role model for new and experienced nurses for more than 23 years, according to her nominators. She began her nursing career in critical care as a staff nurse and advanced through nursing leadership roles, serving various hospital systems. Her professional, helpful, patient-focused, "can-do" attitude has influenced nursing students, graduates and experienced nurses, officials said. She consistently focuses on what is best for her patients and staff. Reeves said she believes in promoting from within and "growing our own." She volunteers year-round in the Mansfield community and serves on the board of the Mansfield ISD Education Foundation.

Lee Lee, RN, Methodist Dallas Medical Center
As a nurse in the NICU at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Lee Lee has cared for critically ill infants for 28 years. She shows young mothers how to love and care for their babies, helping them to connect and bond, her nominators report. Lee approaches each day with enthusiasm, brightening the lives of everyone she meets. Her smile, sincerity and warmth make her approachable, and she often brings cheerful poems, cartoons, informative articles and optimistic stories to share, according to her nominators. Lee's passion for her career is also evident in her advocacy efforts with the annual Methodist March of Dimes Campaign, in which she helps raise funds to reduce premature births.

David Lyons, BSN, RN, ED, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center
An emergency nurse at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center for the past13 years David Lyons is still answering the call to serve the nursing profession. He is known for his wealth of knowledge, both clinically and professionally, and handles problems and difficult situations with ease, his nominators said. Lyons also plays a vital role in the community by contributing his skills through weekly involvement with his children's school activities, which include assisting the school nurse with student evaluations, eye exams and other wellness checks. Lyons also provides CPR training in the community and medical service assistance to his church congregation.

Nanci Nagel, MSNc, BSN, BS, CEN, CFRN, Parkland Health & Hospital System
Nanci Nagel has served as a flight nurse in the burn unit at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas for the past 9 years. She cares for critically injured burn patients, which includes wound debridement, temperature regulation, oxygen requirements and specialized mechanical ventilation support for inhalation injuries. Nagel is also a member of a medical flight team for initial resuscitation and management during traumas in North Texas. She serves as planning and operations officer in the 214th Medical Response Unit/Texas State Guard, where she develops and maintains a training program to prepare soldiers to provide healthcare in disaster settings.

Carol Pearson, BSN, RN, Parkland Health & Hospital System
One could say that the road to nursing beckoned Carol Pearson to travel down its path. As a student, Pearson initially wanted to become a teacher, but when she discovered there was no line to register for the school of nursing, she decided to "give it a shot." Thirty-six years later, Pearson has established a successful career in the profession. She currently serves as unit manager of the hematology/oncology outpatient clinic at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, where she is responsible for the daily management of unit activities, including staff supervision and development, as well as planning and coordinating patient services to ensure high quality patient care. She loves caring for patients and their families, and believes it is the journey with them that makes nursing worthwhile.

Kim Ramsey, RN, Medical Center of McKinney
Kim Ramsey says that her compassion for her patients is "put to the test" as she works closely with parents who are grieving over the loss of a child. As a labor and delivery supervisor, helps family members cope through a monthly bereavement program she developed at Medical Center of McKinney. Her work with the program has been recognized in the community and throughout the Hospital Corporation of America. Ramsey's nominators say she is a true patient advocate, an ideal employee and community volunteer. Helping, caring and saving lives are Ramsey's natural instincts, and Medical Center of McKinney is grateful to have such a unique individual on the team, her nominators said.

Sonja Aker, BSN, RN, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
A nurse for 22 years, Sonja Aker has always enjoyed taking care of people. At age four, she started practicing her nursing skills when she visited her grandfather in the hospital. She remembers caring for him as best as she could and wanting to help him feel better. Her compassion is a great attribute for her current work as an emergency department nursing supervisor. Aker is known as an exemplary leader who puts her patients and staff first in her very busy and demanding role, her nominators said. She is a patient advocate as well as a role model for her staff.

Donna Bertram, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital
As chief nursing officer for a 417-bed acute care medical center, Donna Bertram leads from the front with enthusiasm, energy and vision. When she was a child, Bertram saw a picture of an Army Nurse Cadet tending to wounded soldiers, which reminded her of the wounds her father received in World War II. The image of the caring nurse inspired Bertram to pursue what would become a 45-year nursing career. She inspires her staff to go the "extra mile" through her willingness to listen with an open mind, embrace new ideas and demonstrate excellence, her nominators report. Aside from being named to the Great 100, Bertram was also recently named one of 22 "Healthcare Heroes of 2010" by the Fort Worth Business Press.

Nettie Davis-Geistweidt, BSN, RN, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
Nettie Davis-Geistweidt started working in hospitals as a lab secretary and then as a phlebotomist. However, she wanted more "hands-on" work with patients so she decided to become a nurse. A quarter century later, Davis-Geistweidt is living the dream as an emergency department charge nurse at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne. Her nominators say that she personifies "grace under pressure" and frequently takes time to educate and explain situations to patients which provides great comfort to them. Davis-Geistweidt believes nurturers are drawn into healthcare because of the ability and empathy to take care of others. Along with her ED duties, she is a certified childbirth educator and instructor for the hospital's "Safe Sitter" program.

Jill Day, BSN, RNC, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
As a labor and delivery staff nurse, Jill Day says she "feels privileged to witness miracles every day." Her colleagues consider her an exceptional role model with a solid work ethic and strong interpersonal relationship skills. She is known as a strong leader in her department and in the hospital, where she serves as the chair for the perinatal loss awareness committee. Day has also served for years as the department resource person for families who are experiencing a pregnancy loss. She goes above and beyond to ensure that families' emotional needs are met and that the staff understands how to care for them.

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