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7 local nurses earn top honors
Professionals will be honored at Masters of Nursing ceremony
0918nurses-Ann Addison
Ann Addison

Masters in Nursing Awards Ceremony

When: 8 a.m. to noon Thursday
Where: Brenau East Campus, Featherbone Communiversity, 1001 Chestnut St., Gainesville
Contact: 770-534-6283

2011 Masters in Nursing honorees

Ann Addison

Residence: Blairsville
What inspired nursing: An experience with the medical field and nurses lead her to discover her calling.
Education: Received a master of science in nursing from University of Florida. Certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives
Workplace: Worked at Longstreet Clinic since 1997 as a nurse midwife
On master honor: Said she was "completely surprised" by the honor. "Being a nurse midwife has been my life's work, it's been a lifestyle."

Cheryl Christian

Residence: Gainesville
What inspired nursing: "I think from the interest in medicine and just the basic impact of helping others."
Education: Associates degree of science from Medical College of Georgia, bachelors degree from Brenau University
Workplace: Executive director of Good News Clinics
On master honor: Said she was surprised by the honor. "Not all nurses are seeing patients, I am very honored to be named with this group."

Hannah Day

Residence: Gainesville
What inspired nursing: Said she has always had an interest in the health care field. She intended to become a dietician until she discovered how rewarding nursing can be."It's something that is more than just a job, but a job you feel good about because you're helping people."
Education: Received a bachelor's degree of science in nursing from Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.
Workplace: Diabetes Education Coordinator at Northeast Georgia Medical Center
On master honor: "I was shocked, very happy, very honored. It means a lot when someone nominates you for that."

Sandra Greniewicki

Residence: Gainesville
What inspired nursing: "Basically a wish to help mankind."
Education: Received a bachelor and a master of science in nursing from University of Alabama in Birmingham, then completed a doctorate in education and public administration from University of Georgia.
Workplace: Chair of the full time bachelor of science in nursing program at Brenau University.
On master honor: Said the honor is "very rewarding, extremely rewarding."

Heather Hayes

Residence: Gainesville
What inspired nursing: "I really like people and that was more attractive than anything being able to work with people."
Education: Bachelor's degree in nursing from Brenau University and a masters in nursing from North Georgia College and State University.
Workplace: Family nurse practitioner at Longstreet Clinic, and is the executive director of the Edmonson Tellford Center for Children.
On master honor: Hayes said she honored just to be considered a master among peers. "I like to think I was chosen because of the patients lives I've had a positive affect on, rather than what I've accomplished."

Priscilla Kyle

Residence: Dacula
What inspired nursing: She cared for her great-grandfather as his health started to decline when she was a young teenager. She thinks of him with every patient. "I want to treat everyone like they are my family."
Education: Northeast Georgia College and State University, received an associates degree and is currently seeking a bachelor's degree in nursing.
Workplace: Clinical educator at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
On master honor: "I feel very honored to be a part of the list of such accomplished professionals. It's very humbling."

Rachel Runyan

Residence: Gainesville
What inspired nursing: Several factors played into Runyan's decision to pursue a career in nursing. "I really loved helping people and I wanted a good job that so I could support myself."
Education: Associates degree from Region A Nursing Consortium in N.C.
Workplace: Swoop nurse at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Runyan floats the entire hospital and covers for all the other nurses.
On master honor: Said she was surprised when her supervisor and director asked her for a meeting. "It's an honor to be thought of in that regard. I wasn't expecting it at all."

Nurses are no longer the unsung heroes of the medical profession.

Seven local nurses will be honored Thursday at the second Masters in the Art of Nursing ceremony at Brenau University's East Campus at the Featherbone Communiversity.

The nurses were nominated by their peers and selected based on a list of criteria, including passion, respect, confidence and the ability to connect with people.

"These are practicing nurses who are still employed and working in health care in various ways," said Keeta Wilborn, director of the school of nursing at Brenau University.

Masters in the Art of Nursing began in 2010 as a way to recognize local nurses who demonstrate a deep understanding of nursing and health care.

"There are so many areas of nursing. Most people tend to imagine a nurse at the bedside taking care of a patient but there is more than that," said Hannah Day, diabetes education coordinator at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

The field of medicine and health care are constantly changing, and nurses must continue to learn throughout their careers to provide the best care, Day said.

"You're always adding to your knowledge, you never stop learning," Day said.

Thursday, the nurses will be recognized, then will teach in a panel discussion. The nurses will explain what their jobs require and how to give excellent care.

The university has invited a wide range of people of varying occupations and ages to the event.

Heather Hayes is one of the master nurses who will be honored Thursday. She works as a family nurse practitioner at Longstreet Clinic and is the executive director of the Edmonson Tellford Center for Children.

She said the difference between a skilled nurse and a master nurse is care and compassion.

"You can't necessarily teach about how to listen," Hayes said.

Clinical educator Priscilla Kyle's strategy in care giving stems from helping her great-grandfather in his later years.

"I want to treat everyone like they are my family," Kyle said.

Dr. Sandra Greniewicki has had a very full nursing career and now works at Brenau as an educator. Her secret to nursing is to "connect authentically" with every person whether it's a student or a patient.

With so many avenues to choose from in nursing it is important a nurse find an area that they enjoy and excel in.

Ann Addison knew she wanted to be a nurse after a medical experience. She now works as a nurse midwife for the Longstreet Clinic. She said providing prenatal care to women has been her life's work.

"I am completely honored to be with a woman when she gives birth. It's an amazing thing," Addison said.

The award ceremony was held in May of last year as part of Nurses Week. Wilborn said they decided to have the ceremony in September this year to "make this a very special week."