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University of Iowa News Release

May 15, 2006

100 Great Iowa Nurses Honored

Outstanding Iowa nurses were honored May 9 at the 100 Great Iowa Nurses celebration in the Olmstead Center at Drake University in Des Moines.

This is the second year for the 100 Great Iowa Nurses event, which occurs during National Nurses Week. Inspired by a similar event in Louisiana, the University of Iowa College of Nursing, Iowa Nurses' Association, Iowa Nurses Foundation and the Iowa Hospital Association partnered to create this recognition program.

The 100 honorees represent 38 counties, and the initial pool of 310 nominees came from 42 of Iowa's 99 counties. The field of nominees was narrowed to 100 by a panel of judges, including nursing professionals and last year's award winners, who reviewed nominations from around the state.

Nurses selected for this honor represent many sectors of health care, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and school and office nurses. These exemplary nurses, selected by patients or peers, are chosen based on their concern for humanity and their contribution to the community and the nursing profession.

This year's event drew nearly 800 attendees, including family, friends and coworkers of the honorees. Dignitaries presenting the awards included Eric Crowell, president and CEO of Iowa Health System Des Moines; Melanie Dreher, the Kelting Dean at the UI College of Nursing; Donna Katen-Bahensky, president and CEO at UI Hospitals and Clinics; and David Vellenga, president and CEO of Mercy Health Network. 

The program has received the financial support of many health care organizations around the state, and donations have garnered enough support to initiate a scholarship for registered nurses in Iowa who want to further their education. Application forms will be available in September 2006. 

For more information, including a list of the 100 Great Iowa Nurses of 2006, and event photos, please visit or email

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Nursing, 101 Nursing Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

CONTACTS: Media: Michele Francis, 319-335-8960, Program: Liz Swanson, 319-335-7006,