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Chesapeake Regional Nurses Honored for Their Exceptional Service

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Chesapeake Regional Healthcare (CRH) honored four outstanding nurses during its Nurse Exemplar Awards ceremony held Monday night. The annual ceremony is held during Nurses Week each year and was established in 2007 by Chesapeake Regional Medical Center’s Professional Nursing Council to recognize excellence in nursing.

Nurse Exemplar

Sharon Blackwell, RN, an Emergency Department nurse, is this year’s Nurse Exemplar. The Exemplar nurse is among the most exceptional nurses in our organization. Leading by example and dedicated to both patients and co-workers, she has excelled as a role model and is a pillar of knowledge and expertise. Her devotion to patient care and excellent work ethic have made her a standout nurse within the organization. 

Blackwell leads the Emergency Department’s information exchange efforts, coordinating care for the highest users to provide them better care. Her compassionate efforts have decreased the number of high users by helping patients find additional community resources, including mental health needs and assistance with transportation. She also serves on the homeless coalition taskforce and has helped many in the community find permanent housing. Her kindness toward others has had a direct impact on quality and safety in the Emergency Department. For her selflessness, constant devotion to nursing and commitment to excellence, Blackwell was awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the Chesapeake Hospital Auxiliary to further her nursing education, a personal parking place and a crystal award.

In addition to the Nurse Exemplar Award, three additional awards were given to nurses who serve as role models to others, are patient advocates and who display professional excellence in their nursing careers. 

Rookie Award

The Rookie Award was created to recognize a nurse new to the profession who displays a commitment to professional growth, compassionate care and teamwork. The winner of this year’s Rookie Award is Jessica Darden, RN. 
Jessica began her career as a care partner while also enrolled as a full-time nursing student. As a single mother of three now working toward her bachelor’s degree, her positive attitude, endless energy, and ability to make others laugh have endeared her to coworkers. She is a wound care nurse, provides orientation for new hire nurses and works as a relief charge nurse on the night shirt. Jessica says she just wants to be where she is needed the most and to help her team and patients. For being an inspirational example and successful so early in her nursing career, Darden received a $1,000 scholarship and a crystal award to commemorate her honor.
Outstanding Leadership Award 

Valerie Jordan, RN, Nurse Manager of the Stepdown Unit and Nursing Support Team is the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award. Jordan leads by example and embodies the meaning of teamwork. She is an approachable, hardworking manager who is a role model to many. Her leadership style provides comfort and earns the respect of her peers. She is dedicated to professional development, encouraging her team to obtain additional certifications as she also continues her education. Jordan shows kindness and understanding when working with patients and staff. For inspiring excellence by leading with honor, commitment, and integrity, she was awarded a $500 scholarship and a crystal award.

Legacy Award 

This year’s Legacy Award recipient is Virginia Stone, RN, a nurse with 35 years of service in the Nursery, offering decades of nursing experience to everyone from her tiniest patients and their families to fellow nurses. The Legacy Award was created to recognize the most exceptional nurse in the organization, one who is committed to patient experience, quality and safety. 
Stone is committed to service. Her kindness is known to all in all of Women’s Services because she always asks, "How can I help?" Likewise, she often asks parents, "How can I help you?” 

She is recognized as a leader on the unit and is often approached about concerns. She helps to resolve problems with calm patience and grace. She is gracious with her experiences, sharing even her mistakes to help others learn from them. As a preceptor to new nurses, she often allows them to share her favorite part of the job, ‘catching the baby’ as she puts it. She often comes in on her day off if the nursery is busy and collects donations to assist single mothers and their children so they can become self-sufficient and delivers them to a local charity.

She is an example to many and truly a legacy at Chesapeake Regional. For the milestones she’s achieved and for giving her time with loyalty and dedication, Virginia Stone, RN was honored with a $500 scholarship, a personal parking place and a crystal award. 

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Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare’s hospital, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, is the only independent, community-based hospital in the Hampton Roads region. Built in 1976 to provide quality health care close to home for its community, Chesapeake Regional continues to grow and provide innovative, technologically advanced health care for the residents of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. With nearly 40 practice locations and over 600 physicians on staff, the organization offers comprehensive cancer care and has a nationally accredited Chest Pain Center, Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, state-of-the-art Neurosciences program and one of the busiest emergency departments and maternity wards in the area. Visit ChesapeakeRegional.com to learn more.