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Category: Awards and Recognition

CaroMont Health Recognizes Top Nurses

GASTONIA, NC - Six nurses from CaroMont Health were recently honored for their outstanding contributions and commitment to excellence in nursing practice. Five were named to the Great 100 Nurses of North Carolina and one earned CaroMont Regional Medical Center’s highest nursing honor, the Nightingale Award.

Each year, health systems across the state submit hundreds of nominations for the Great 100 Nurses of North Carolina. From those applications, only 100 are recognized for their professional accomplishments, excellence in nursing practice, commitment to the nursing profession and service in their community. This year’s honorees at CaroMont Health are: Shannon Branch, RN, CNOR; Arlene Flowers, RN, PCCN; Angela W. Lee, RN, CNOR; Susan Murphy, BSN, CCRP and Sheri Ortiz, MSN, ACNS-BC, CCRN.

"Shannon, Arlene, Angela, Susan and Sheri are outstanding nurses, and their recognition at the state level is a reflection of their contributions to the nursing profession,” said Scott Wells, RN, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. “Their expertise, leadership and compassion truly impact all they encounter – patients and peers alike.”

Shannon Branch, RN, CNOR – Branch has been a nurse for more than 17 years and works as a perioperative nurse at CaroMont Outpatient Surgery and CaroMont Specialty Surgery. She is a member of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses and serves as a preceptor for new nurses. Branch also volunteers as a team captain for The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and assists with local health screenings for adults and high school athletes.

Arlene Flowers, RN, PCCN – Flowers has been a nurse for more than 40 years and currently lends her expertise to the Cardiovascular Short Stay Unit at CaroMont Regional Medical Center. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and serves as a leader among her peers, both in modeling exceptional care practices and sharing her expertise with new nurses. Flowers’ heart for service extends to her life outside of the hospital as she plans and participates in mission trips to a Native American reservation in South Dakota.

Angela W. Lee, RN, CNOR – Lee has been a leader in the nursing profession for 30 years and is a Certified Perioperative Nurse with CaroMont Outpatient Surgery, where she is frequently recognized by patients for providing exceptional care. A member of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses, she also serves as a mentor overseeing orientation training for students from several local colleges and encouraging her peers to continue their education. Additionally, Lee volunteers her time to lead multiple wellness initiatives, including the mental health symposiums at Tabernacle Baptist in Gastonia, where she attends church.

Susan Murphy, BSN, CCRP – Murphy currently serves as the team lead registered nurse of the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department at CaroMont Regional Medical Center. She was the 2015 recipient of CaroMont Health’s prestigious Nightingale Award and continues to demonstrate her commitment to nursing excellence through her work in helping patients return to health following heart surgery and treatment. She is involved with the North Carolina Cardiac Rehabilitation Association and was instrumental in establishing the nationally-recognized Gaston County Chapter of Mended Hearts.

Sheri Ortiz, MSN, ACNS-BC, CCRN – Ortiz is an active member of two professional organizations, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She works as a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist at CaroMont Regional Medical Center, and helped establish the Critical Care Residency Program for new graduate registered nurses. As a volunteer, Ortiz served as the Head Camp Nurse for Least of These Carolinas “Bridge Camp,” an annual summer camp for children in foster care, coordinating medical support for 140 children and 80 camp staff members and volunteers. She also volunteers as Head Nurse for Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp that provides a summer camp experience for 40 children in foster care.

This year’s cohort of Great 100 nurses helped push CaroMont Health to another milestone – having more than 100 nurses named to the Great 100 since the program started in 1989.

In addition to the Great 100, CaroMont Health recognizes one nurse annually who has gone above and beyond the normal call of duty. Emily Queen, BSN, RN, CMSRN was named the 2019 recipient of CaroMont Health’s Nightingale Award. This prestigious honor is inspired by the ideals set forth by Florence Nightingale, the founder of nursing as a modern profession. The Nightingale Award recognizes a nurse who has distinguished themselves through nursing excellence, professionalism, community service and commitment to continuing education.

Emily Queen, BSN, RN, CMSRN – Queen became a nurse as an adult after two mission trips to Ethiopia where she witnessed, first hand, the lack of medical care that existed. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Queens University of Charlotte in 2012. She now works as a Discharge Planning Specialist at CaroMont Regional Medical Center.

“Emily Queen is not only an exceptional nurse, she is an exceptional individual,” stated Ashley Long, RN, Senior Director of Patient Care at CaroMont Health. “She serves patients with the same care and compassion with which that she serves her community. Her expertise and commitment to others is the true spirit of nursing.”