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University of Iowa News Release


May 6, 2008

'100 Great Iowa Nurses' honored in Des Moines

Outstanding Iowa nurses were honored Sunday, May 4, at the "100 Great Iowa Nurses" celebration at the Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines. Nearly 800 people attended the event, which is sponsored by the University of Iowa College of Nursing, the Iowa Nurses Association, the Iowa Nurses Foundation and the Iowa Hospital Association.

The 100 honorees represent 38 Iowa counties and were selected from a pool of more than 300 nurses nominated by colleagues, patients, doctors, friends and family members for their contribution to the community and the nursing profession. The field of nominees was narrowed to 100 by a panel of judges, including nursing professionals and previous award winners, who reviewed nominations from around the state.

Donations to the program have garnered support for three scholarships for registered nurses in Iowa. Scholarship applications and a list of 2008 honorees can be found at

Dignitaries presenting awards at the event included Rita Frantz, professor and the Kelting Dean at the UI College of Nursing; Carol Watson, senior vice president for clinical services and chief nurse executive at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids; Jan Neal, chair of the Iowa Nurses Foundation board of directors; Dave Hickman, vice president at Mercy Health Network; Julie Ploessl, chief nurse executive at Iowa Health System in Des Moines; and Elizabeth Swanson, professor and director of external relations at the UI College of Nursing.

Major monetary sponsorship of the "100 Great Iowa Nurses" program was provided by Iowa Health System, Mercy Health System, the UI College of Nursing, the Des Moines Register, UI Hospitals and Clinics and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Michele Francis, 319-335-8960,