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VA Honors Top Nurses Delivering Veterans' Care

WASHINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the nation's largest single employer of nurses, marked National Nurses Week, May 6-12, by honoring six of its top professionals.

"This week we honor the very special people who, each and every day, put the quality, compassion and care into health care," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said.

This year's Nurses Week theme was "Nurses: Building a Healthy America." VA health care facilities throughout the country paid tribute to their nurses who play a leading role in the transformation of VA into the "people-centric, forward-looking, results-driven" 21st century health care model envisioned by Secretary Shinseki.

With more than 70,000 nursing professionals providing the "best care anywhere" to America's Veterans, VA has one of the largest nursing staffs of any health care system in the world. The Department's 45,000 registered nurses, 13,000 licensed practical nurses and vocational nurses, and 11,000 nursing assistants provide comprehensive, complex and compassionate care to Veterans.

The four nursing staff members recognized by Shinseki with the "Secretary's Award for Excellence" were:

  • Nursing assistant Le'Shon Rivera from the Wilmington VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Wilmington, Del.;
  • Registered nurse Aneita Morgan from the James J. Peters VAMC in the Bronx, N.Y.;
  • Registered nurse Margaret A. Mikelonis from the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Fla.; and
  • Licensed professional nurse Michael A. Martinez from the Eastern Colorado VA Health Care System in Denver.

Recipients of the Secretary's award for advancing nursing programs, cited for their support for nurses, including their professional development, recruiting and retention, are:

  • Steven P. Kleinglass, director of the Minneapolis VAMC; and
  • Nurse executive Cecilia McVey from VA's Boston health care system.

The National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which nurses, the largest health care profession, work to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, the nursing profession is meeting the expanding health care needs of American society and its Veterans.

Traditionally, National Nurses Week begins on May 6 and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern-day nursing as a profession. For more information about VA's nursing program, go to

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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