Skip to main content

Chesapeake Regional Nurses Honored for Exceptional Service

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Chesapeake Regional Healthcare recently honored four outstanding nurses during its annual Nurse Exemplar Awards ceremony. An annual event since 2007, the awards recognize excellence in nursing. This year over 100 nurses were peer nominated for the four awards.

Nurse Exemplar
Haley Hammond, BSN, RN, a Labor & Delivery nurse, is this year’s Nurse Exemplar. This honor recognizes the most exceptional nurse in the organization. Leading by example and dedicated to both patients and co-workers, Hammond 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. 
A well-respected team player who works diligently to ensure laboring mothers have a safe and memorable delivery, she takes the extra time to discuss birth plans with patients and provides high-quality care. She is eager to mentor new hires and nursing students, encourages questions, and is known for her active listening and empathy for patients. In her nomination, a coworker describes her as, “The epitome of a compassionate nurse and a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.”

For her outstanding achievements, Hammond received a crystal award and a $1,000 scholarship, from the Chesapeake Hospital Auxiliary, to further her nursing education.

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

Rookie Award
The Rookie Award recognizes 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 Ashlynn Harnage, BSN, RN. 
Eager to learn since beginning her career less than two years ago, Harnage is an intensive care unit nurse who is always willing to take the most complicated patient. She speaks with kindness and compassion and is extremely empathetic and respectful when caring for her patients and families. Harnage is calm, confident, attentive, and focused even under the pressure of stressful events. She is professional, compassionate and innovative. From her first day at Chesapeake Regional, Harnage has been committed to being the best nurse possible. She received a $1,000 scholarship and a crystal award to commemorate her honor.

Outstanding Leadership Award 
Cathy Mason, BSN, RN, is the Nurse Manager of 5 West, a 28-bed high-acuity medical-surgical unit, and 6 West, a 30-bed telemetry unit focusing on neuroscience and stroke care. She is this year’s Outstanding Leader.
Mason is a selfless nurse leader who consistently demonstrates resilience and compassion—and adds humor to all she does. While managing two challenging units, she continues to pursue her master’s degree and professional certification. She is also an active member of a hospital committee promoting quality. To support stroke patients, she is spearheading a community walk, is building a stroke support group, and has created an Amazon Wish List, to collect items for patients in need. 

She intentionally plans family celebrations around the staffing needs on her units and takes patient assignments regardless of the shift, day, or holiday. Even with her administrative responsibilities, Mason has a strong knowledge of each of her 56 patients. She has a special relationship with her team and has a natural way of nurturing and improving, the way they work together.

For inspiring excellence by leading with honor, commitment, and integrity, Mason received a $500 scholarship and a crystal award.

Legacy Award 
This year’s Legacy Award recipient is Jennifer Schmitt, BSN, RN, a Labor & Delivery nurse since 2011, and a charge nurse who began as a care partner. She is a trusted colleague and an example to others. 
As a dedicated nurse, Schmitt ensures the nurses she manages are prepared for whatever the day brings. When an emergency occurs, she leads them through it confidently and is someone coworkers can go to for questions and concerns. She teaches and trains new nurses to be confident and knowledgeable and goes above and beyond for her patients. 

For the milestones she’s achieved and for giving her time with loyalty and dedication, Schmitt was honored with a crystal award and a $500 scholarship.


Thumbnail Image
2024 Nurse Exemplar Winners