Pueblo woman earns Colorado’s highest honor in nursing

Rhonda Lewis
Rhonda Lewis (left) and Jan Philson (right) / Parkview Medical Center

PUEBLO, Colo. — A local nurse was recently honored by the Colorado Nurses Foundation with a Nightingale award – the state’s highest honor in nursing.

Parkview Medical Center announced Rhonda Lewis, RN, BSN, CDE, also the director of the Diabetes Care Center and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, was one of 12 nurses throughout the state to receive the award during a gala May 13.

“It felt amazing to be in the company of so many nurses who do such amazing things,” Lewis said. “To think I was there and got this award, I was just stunned.”

Officials say Lewis has been with Parkview Medical Center since 2000 and has worked as a nurse since 1981.

“Rhonda is an example of our staff of dedicated, selfless professionals who are committed to providing extraordinary care to our patients,” said Parkview Medical Center President and CEO Mike Baxter. “Parkview is extremely proud of Rhonda and her achievement and of the work being done by our entire nursing team.”

At Parkview, Lewis has served as a diabetes care educator. Right now she leads a team in developing, implementing and evaluating a comprehensive diabetes education program for the community, as well as managing the operation of the department and maintaining its accreditation.

When asked what made her decide to pursue a career in nursing, she quoted Vincent Van Gogh.

“I quickly found out that this quote from Vincent Van Gogh was appropriate: ‘Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on Earth to do with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling,’” she said. “I love nursing because I have the opportunity to help people. I also love nursing because there are so many different types of nursing that the opportunities are limitless.”

This isn’t the first Nightingale in the Lewis family. Her husband Larry eceived a Nightingale award in 1997 for his work establishing a pediatric hospice.

Also honored at the gala was Jan Philson, a Parkview Mobile Nurse.

Philson was recognized as one of 57 Luminaries nominated for a Nightingale at the regional awards ceremony in March.

Philson helped rebrand the mobile nurses in 2010. Prior to her tenure as a mobile nurse, she worked in various nursing positions in the Denver metro area and moved to Pueblo in 1986 and worked from 186 to 1989 for Parkview Medical Center. She has been a nurse for 37 years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s