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RMC's Nurse of the Year honored
Sherrie Williams, RN, center, was honored as the nurse of the year at Rockdale Medical Center. Left, Stuart Downs, Chief Nursing Officer, and CEO Bryan Dearing, right. - photo by Robert Porter

2010 Nurse of the Year Nominees
(Nurse of the Year nominees were selected from among the Nurse of the Month winners in the previous year)

Joy Morrow, Medical Oncology, April 2009
Yoshi Bruie, Intensive Care Unit, May 2009
Hal Hildreth, Emergency Department, June 2009
Inez Young, Neonatal ICU, July 2009
Wendy Heilsen, Medical Telemetry, August 2009
Rebecca Thrower, Intensive Care Unit, September 2009
Sherrie Williams, PACI/Day Surgery, October 2009
Yvette Lee, Medical Telemetry, November 2009
Eloise Baker, Medical Telemetry, December 2009
Connie Burnett, Medical Telemetry, January 2010
Lillian Smith, Medical Oncology, February 2010
David Pacheco, Emergency Department, March 2010

For once Registered Nurse Sherrie Williams was speechless after learning she was Rockdale Medical Center's 2010 Nurse of the Year.

As she was showered with flowers and compliments at a ceremony Monday in the East Tower atrium, she jumped up and down when she received a placard for a year-long VIP employee parking spot. She also received a plaque and surprise cruise trip.

"Anyone who knows me is probably shocked that right now I'm embarrassed," she told the crowd of about 75 people, holding back tears. "I'm very blessed I come to a job every day that I love, so thank you very much for doing this."

Williams has worked at RMC for 15 years and is a nurse in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit - Day Surgery.

She considers nursing a calling from God and is grateful her late mother was her biggest advocate. Her daily aspiration is to treat people as if she, or her family, were in their shoes.

"Nursing school is extremely difficult and one of my instructors told me I'd never make it," Williams said. "Obviously she was wrong. I'm really in awe right now."

She was selected from 12 nominees, one for each month of the year, who were DAISY Awardees. The award recognizes nurses nominated by patients, their families, co-workers and physicians for exemplary work. A colleague nominated Williams.

"We have one of the best nursing care teams in the country," Chief Nursing Officer Stuart Downs said.

Before announcing Williams as the winner, he described her as highly skilled, a perfect role model for nurses, patient advocate and team player.

As guests left, they took with them a program that included the "Blessing of the Hands," which Downs read for the national Nurse's Week event.

Its last line reads, ‘Blessed be these hands, for we hold the future in these hands.'