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We have all met at least one outstanding nurse whose courage, competence, and commitment to patients and the nursing profession stands out above all others. Each year, 100 Great Iowa Nurses are honored at a ceremony, created for the state of Iowa, by nurse and community leaders.

This year's 100 Great Iowa Nurses were honored on May 4, 2014 - the beginning of Nurses Week - at the 10th annual celebration in Des Moines. Recipients from prior years were recognized, and the 2014 awardees invited family, friends, and colleagues to share in the recognition of their outstanding achievements.

Nurses selected for this honor represent many sectors of health care, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and school and office nurses. This is a statewide event that belongs to the people of Iowa, and is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors. Similar celebrations are held in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas.

Selection Process

Once all nominations are collected, they are "blinded" (names of individuals, organizations, cities, etc. are blacked out or abbreviated) for anonymity. They are then sent to a panel of reviewers - all past honorees - from around the state. Every attempt is made to geographically separate the nominee from the reviewer to preserve anonymity; each nomination is read by three reviewers.

The nominations are given a score of 1 (do not select), 2 (consider for selection), or 3 (definitely select). Reviewers look for very specific examples of qualities that demonstrate efforts beyond those expected of the nominee within his/her normal duties, such as:

Concern for humanity
• Tireless work efforts
• Creative efforts to promote health and comfort of others
• Support of iinitiatives to promote equality
• Beating horrendous odds and demands

Most significant contribution to the nursing profession
• Contribution to quality care
• Implementation of cost-effective intervention
• Implementation of interventions across the facility
• Life-saving experience (physically or psychologically)
• Impact on a number of persons

Leadership and mentoring
• Within institution
• Within the community
• Within the state
• Other health professionals within the facility and across the state

The scores are averaged, and those scoring a solid 3 are pre-selected as honorees; all scoring below a 2 are removed from consideration. The remaining nominations are reviewed by the Great Nurses Committee, consisting of members of the Iowa Nurses Association, the Iowa Nurses Foundation, the Iowa Hospital Association, and the University of Iowa College of Nursing, who then select the remaining honorees.