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University of Iowa News Release


May 5, 2009

'100 Great Iowa Nurses' honored in Des Moines

Outstanding Iowa nurses were honored May 3 at the fifth annual "100 Great Iowa Nurses" celebration" held at HyVee Hall in the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The event is an annual prelude to National Nurses Week, which begins on May 6 and ends on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, May 12.

Nearly 900 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.

Nurses selected for the honor represent many hospitals and long-term care facilities, as well as school and office nurses. These exemplary nurses are selected based on their concern for humanity and contributions to the community and the nursing profession.

The 100 honorees represented 39 Iowa counties, and were selected from a pool of nearly 400 individuals nominated by colleagues, patients, doctors, friends and family members. The field of nominees was narrowed to 100 by a panel of reviewers, including nursing professionals and previous award winners.

Dignitaries presenting the awards included Rita Frantz, professor and Kelting dean, UI College of Nursing; Jan Neal, chair of the Iowa Nurses Foundation board of directors; Dave Hickman, vice president, Mercy Health Network; Bill Leaver, president and CEO, Iowa Health System; and Elizabeth Swanson, professor and director of external relations, UI College of Nursing. Speaking at the event were Jeri Babb, director of emergency trauma services at Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, and Rekha Basu, columnist with the Des Moines Register.

The program has received the financial support of various health care organizations around the state. Donations provide support for two scholarships for registered nurses in Iowa who want to further their education. Application forms for the scholarships are available at

For more information, including a list of the 100 Great Iowa Nurses of 2009, visit or e-mail

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

CONTACT: Leslie Gannon, 319-335-7003,