Four MHP nurses have been named to the 10th annual listing of “100 Great Iowa Nurses. They will be honored at a celebration on May 3 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The four honorees are, standing, from left: Tonya Johannes, BSN, RN, and Patty Waters, BSN, RN, both of Oskaloosa. Sitting, from left: Ashley Perkins, RN, of Montezuma, and Arlene Vonk, RN, of Oskaloosa.
Mahaska Health Partnership nurses Tonya Johannes, BSN, RN, Arlene Vonk, RN, and Patty Waters, BSN, RN, all of Oskaloosa and Ashley Perkins, RN, of Montezuma, have been named to the 10th annual listing of “100 Great Iowa Nurses.”
The Iowa Nurses Association, Iowa Nurses Foundation and the University of Iowa College of Nursing collaborate each year to create this list. Colleagues, patients, doctors, friends and family members submit nominations. Recipients will be honored at a celebration on May 3 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
According to MHP Chief Nursing Officer Darlene Keuning MS, BSN, RN, those chosen for this honor are to be commended for advancing the profession of nursing. “I am extremely proud of these four nurses and the fact that they were recognized by others outside of our organization.”
Johannes is the Education Coordinator at MHP and an adjunct clinical instructor, while also pursuing her master’s degree. She developed MHP’s first Education Fair, hosting area colleges that focused on health science related degrees.
Johannes works diligently to promote education through competencies and course development. According to her nomination, she is able to apply clinical knowledge and hold high expectations for future nurses in the LPN and RN programs. “I believe Tonya’s most significant impact is her determination and dedication to promote education. Tonya has the ability to help people identify their nursing passion.”
Vonk has worked in the MHP Birthing Center since 1987. Co-workers recognize Vonk as a key talent at MHP for her willingness to represent the department on several key committees, including the development of clinical documentation in the electronic health record (EHR).
Her nomination came from a first-time grandmother, who praised Vonk’s care. “Arlene was instrumental in helping (daughter-in-law) have the natural childbirth experience she desired. Staying by her side, Arlene had a very quiet, soothing voice, and she explained everything in detail. When I saw the tears in her eyes after my baby grandson was born, I knew that we were blessed to have her share this experience with our family.”
Waters is a night nurse on Inpatient Services. She had many years of experience as a critical care nurse at the Mayo Clinic before moving to Oskaloosa 13 years ago. She is meticulous about her work, wanting to make sure everything possible is done for her patients. Patient often comment on Water’s very good care, but also for going above and beyond the call of duty.
According to her nomination, she often says that those patients who are not sleeping through the night need extra attention and care. “Sometimes that just involves sitting down to talk with the patient. This is something Patty values and says it’s a benefit of working the night shift. She always treats her patients like family. She is attentive to their needs and in a crisis, stays calm and in control.”
Perkins works in MHP’s outpatient medical practice, spending the past three years serving beside Dr. Nick Messamer before his retirement at the end of 2014. This past year, she took on the roll of the Medical Group’s lead electronic health record (EHR) resource and has been instrumental in its roll out. She is an enthusiastic and eager resource for the entire practice.
Her supervisor said, “Ashley focused on improving efficiency, reducing costs and enhancing the quality of patient care. She is a compassionate leader who works at the front line and advocates on behalf of her peers and patients. She is also a true champion for the EHR, working alongside doctors and nurses to make the EHR a beneficial tool for patients.”
Keuning said that MHP’s four nurses honored as “100 Great Iowa Nurses” represent the best that the nursing profession has to offer. “Each nurse honored works in a different area of the health system, which shows we have excellent nurses throughout MHP. I am grateful for the compassion and caring they demonstrate each day in their various roles. They truly do exemplify nursing at MHP as they strive to make healthcare personal.”