Nurse of the year

“Naming a Nurse of the Year is kind of like giving out a prize for the most wonderful human being,” said Garrison Keillor to the very first group of Nurse of the Year nominees in Minnesota. More than 400 people were gathered that night in 2010 to hear Garrison’s kind, funny words. The room was filled with nurses gathered to honor the best among them. It’s a magical night. It’s a night you can contribute to by nominating a nurse who has touched your life.

There are so many wonderful nurses here in southwest Minnesota. From the emergency room staff at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, to the hospice nurse in Hendricks, to the school nurse in your child’s elementary or high school, nurses touch our lives from birth to death and every major stage in between.

The March of Dimes is accepting nominations for the fourth annual Nurse of the Year Awards. The event recognizes and honors distinguished nurses for their outstanding contributions. Patients, friends, family and colleagues can nominate nurses in 15 categories including Distinguished Nurse of the Year. It’s easy to submit a nomination online by visiting

This is a very special year for the event because it is also the March of Dimes 75th anniversary. Nurses have played an integral role for the organization. From the 1950s when more than 40,000 nurses participated in the Salk polio vaccine trials through today, the March of Dimes has always recognized that partnering with nurses is essential to achieve our mission.

In addition to the Nurse of the Year awards, the March of Dimes has developed an educational program devoted to supporting the work of nurses.

Components of the program include a series of continuing nursing education activities in print and online, scholarships and research awards.

2013 Nurse of the Year winners will be announced Oct. 26 at a gala in downtown Minneapolis. That’s a night Minnesota will honor what Keillor calls “deities in scrubs.” Contribute to this wonderful honor by nominating a nurse who has touched your life. Visit today. Nominations are due by July 15.