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At every health care organization, nurses play an integral role in a patient’s health care journey. Their job often requires them to be an advocate for their patients, especially when patients can’t advocate for themselves. They are there to hold their patients’ hands and be a support system when their families can’t. Their hard work and dedication to their job often lead to patients having better health outcomes.

That’s why Moffitt Cancer Center celebrates nurses for the amazing work they do every day in helping patients in their cancer journey. This year, the cancer center honored its nurses during the eighth annual Honored Nurse and Nurse of the Year award ceremony.

The Honored Nurse program is a way for the cancer center to recognize and reward nurses who demonstrate excellence in nursing practice, leadership and achievement.

The awards are based on an Olympic-style system. Nurses placed into five categories: Inpatient, Outpatient, Partners in Patient Care, Perioperative and Treatment, and are awarded bronze, silver, gold or platinum medals. The top-ranked medalists from each of the five categories are named the Honored Nurse Program’s Nurse of the Year. For the first time in eight years, two categories were tied.

This year, 359 nurses were awarded medals, recognizing them for their compassion and commitment to patients and Moffitt.

Here are the 2021 Nurse of the Year recipients.

Inpatient Nurse of the Year, Anna Price 

What her colleagues said about her: Anna’s positive attitude is her superpower. Softly spoken, never rushed, compassionate and extremely knowledgeable brings her to the forefront of Moffitt’s finest role models. Her professional demeanor and personal moral compass depict an encouraging manner in all aspects of her work. She offers quick, critical thinking skills when needed and doesn't shy away from helping patients with any needs they may have. She is a strong patient advocate and collaborates with patients and families even during the most difficult time.

Treatment Nurse of the Year, Aubrey Golding 

What her colleagues said about her: Aubrey has many unique superhero qualities including strength in leadership, flexibility, dependability, compassion and genuine engagement just to name a few. She has an amazing dedication to Moffitt with a drive to stay engaged and strive for success. She offers attentive reassurance often through her advocacy and teaching with the chemotherapy class that is offered to Moffitt’s new patients. She takes the time to listen to the patients' fears and be present offering the emotional support they need. She is passionate about patients and making a difference.

Treatment Nurse of the Year, Jacqueline Kent 

What her colleagues said about her: Jacqueline has always looked for ways to contribute to the patient experience. She has a keen sense of professionalism as well as a determination to deliver safe and high-quality patient care to all of her patients and their families. Her positive can-do attitude greatly contributed to the success of Moffitt’s Curbside Clinic. She is recognized by patients and they have remarked on her caring attitude and human respect. 

Partners in Patient Care Nurse of the Year, Rhonda Musgrove

What her colleagues said about her: Rhonda is meticulous when it comes to providing the highest standards of quality care, and seeks to ensure that the most up-to-date standards are reflected in Moffitt’s policies and procedures. She provides hope and encouragement to patients, being open to their questions and concerns so that she can address them and offer support in their healing process. She displays caring behaviors that allow the patient and caregiver to feel safe and cared for, understanding their vulnerability at this point in their journey.

Perioperative Services Nurse of the Year, Jason Padula 

What his colleagues said about him: Jason is kind, funny and easy to approach. As a clinical expert, he is always willing to share his knowledge with new employees and interns. He is consistently recognized by peers and faculty for exemplary care and leadership. 

 Outpatient Nurse of the Year, Kelly Garvin

What her colleagues said about her: Kelly is always so jovial to Moffitt team members and patients. She is well respected throughout the cancer center. No matter what is going on she takes pride in her job of taking care of patients and making sure she is doing a great job. She is a strong advocate for her patients and collaborates with the interdisciplinary team to meet the needs of Moffitt patients. 

Outpatient Nurse of the Year, Gretchen MacMillan

What her colleagues said about her: Gretchen has a passion for her patients. She goes out of her way to make sure the patients feel heard. She always makes sure that patients have continuity in their care. She consistently works with her patients to determine what will best meet their needs when it comes to appointments, surgery, education and will seek out the assistance of others if she feels this would be beneficial to the patient.