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The Georgia Chapter of the March of Dimes, in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, honored 16 outstanding local nurses at the 2013 Nurse of the Year Awards. Amy Nichols, BSN, RN,CMSRN, of WellStar Douglas Hospital received top honors in the General Medical category at the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards.

Through Nurse of the Year Awards, the March of Dimes recognizes nurses who demonstrate exceptional patient care, compassion and service. Whether serving as a health care provider, educator, researcher, or chapter volunteer/advisor, these nurses have played a critical role in improving the health of Georgia’s residents.

Nichols works as a unit based educator with WellStar Douglas Hospital and is the hospital’s Total Joint Replacement program’s patient class educator and coordinator. After receiving her BSN from Georgia Baptist College for Nursing in 1996, she began her career as an RN at WellStar Cobb Hospital. She transferred to Douglas in 1997 and has served as both a staff and a charge nurse.

The event, co-chaired by Kim Sharkey, Independent Leadership Consultant, and Linda A. Streit, Dean and Professor of Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University, had over 600 attendees and raised over $160,000, making it one of the top Nurse of the Year events in the country.

More than 800 nurses were nominated from across the state and from those, over 300 finalists emerged. The award recipients were determined by a distinguished selection committee comprised of health care professionals who screened the nomination forms in a blinded review process. All finalists represented the March of Dimes vision for a healthier, stronger generation of babies and families.

“Nurses are the unsung heroes of the medical community and Nurse of the Year is a chance to honor those in the nursing profession who have dedicated their lives to ensuring that Georgia’s citizens have the best healthcare possible,” said Sheila Ryan, State Director for the March of Dimes. “The accomplishments of this year’s winners were incredible and highlighted the commitment to their respective fields and communities.”

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