VA Illiana Health Care System Celebrates National Nurses Week - VA Illiana Health Care System, Danville, Illinois
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VA Illiana Health Care System, Danville, Illinois


VA Illiana Health Care System Celebrates National Nurses Week

May 12, 2014

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the nation’s largest single employer of nurses, joins the American Nurses Association in honoring America’s nurses dedicated to saving lives and maintaining the health of millions of individuals during National Nurses Week, May 6-12.This year’s National Nurses Week theme is “Nurses Leading the Way” and VA health care facilities throughout the country will pay tribute to their 90,000 nurses who VA Illiana Health Care System Director Japhet Rivera describes “as the compassionate backbone of VA’s world-class health care system.”

Annually, National Nurses Week begins on May 6, marked as Nurse Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. During this week, nurses at VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS), which includes the hospital in Danville along with five Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC’s) in Decatur, Mattoon, Peoria and Springfield, Illinois and West Lafayette, Indiana was honored with several activities to highlight Nursing Week including the annual poster contest sponsored by Nursing Workforce and Workplace Enhancement Committee, wear your white uniform and/or nurses cap day, nurses week tea, pizza deliveries to nursing staff, nursing competency fair and finally the Excellence in Nursing Awards & Recognition Ceremony.

VAIHCS is proud to honor the Secretary’s 2014 Excellence in Nursing Award winners:
Registered Nurse in an Expanded Role: Diana Munson, BSN, RN, Local recipient
Registered Nurse in a Clinical Role: Karon Smithers, RN,Local recipient
Licensed Practical Nurse: Frances Hernandez, LPN, Local and VISN 11 Recipient
Nursing Assistant: Janetta Brown, NA, Local and VISN 11 recipient
Please see attachment with information on each award recipient  

National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health care profession, work to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is meeting the expanding health care needs of American society and its veterans.

In addition to the Excellence in Nursing Awards, VAIHCS honored Nursing Staff that completed new degrees and certificates and VA recognize national certifications.
New Degrees & Certificates
Omotola Danmole, DNP, University of St. Francis
Donette Gray, MSN, Benedictine University
Jennifer Park, MS, Nursing Administration, Indiana State University
Nancy Goodner, MSIDT, Walden University
Robin Boling, BSN, Indiana Wesleyan University
Stephanie Green, BSN, Chamberlain College of Nursing
Michael Baird, BSN, Lakeview College of Nursing
VA Recognized National Certification
Karon Smithers, RN, Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse
Ann Wagle, RN, Board Certified Gerontological Nurse
Amy Russian-Crist, RN, Certified Medical-Surgical Nurse
Debra Martin, RN, Certified Clinical Nurse Leader

For more information about VA nursing opportunities, contact VA Illiana’s Human Resources at (217) 554-3203 or check out the Web at

Secretary's 2014 Excellence in Nursing Award Winners

Pictured left to right: Secretary’s 2014 Excellence in Nursing Award Winners
Janetta Brown, NA; Diana Munson, BSN, RN; Frances Hernandez, LPN; Karon Smithers, RN and Alesia Coe, Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive