The Panhandle Great 25 Nurses celebration originally stemmed from an idea by Dr. Valerie Kiper, a registered nurse and nurse leader in the Texas Panhandle after learning about the 25 year success of the DFW Great 100 Nurses. Several local healthcare facilities and professional nursing organizations were holding individual celebrations including Texas Nurses Association- District 2. In 2015, Dr. Kiper formed a local nurse leader group from several of the Texas Panhandle healthcare facilities, nursing organizations, local nursing schools and school districts to explore the creation of a similar event in the Texas Panhandle inspired by the DFW Great 100 Nurses, and to also carry on the rich tradition of TNA-District 2’s Hall of Fame banquet which began in 1999.

Richard Pullen, EdD, MSN, RN, CMSRN, CNE-cl, CNE, ANEF, Carolyn Witherspoon, BSN, RN, Sharon Brewer, MSN, RN, Ruth Whitehead, BSN, RN, Sharla Valdez, BSN, RN, Vicki Brockman, DNP, MSN , RN, NE-BC, Marietta Branson, DHSc, MSN, RNC, Ronda Crow, MA, BSN, RN and Valerie Kiper, DNP, MSN, RN, NEA-BC worked with TNA-District 2 and the community, including healthcare, academic and business partners to create the Panhandle Great 25 Nurses. Since its inception in 2016, the Panhandle Great 25 Nurses has always been about lifting up nurses for recognition of their contributions to the individual patient, families and communities in which they live and work and across the continuum of care including education. The organization’s ability to support the community of nurses includes not only recognition, but scholarships to assist nurses who are pursuing an entry level nursing degree or a higher degree in nursing.

Nurses have a great impact and this organization allows for the amazing stories of courage, strength, resilience, and the lives of each patient they touch to be told, not only at the bedside, but in the boardroom, schoolroom, and throughout the community. The Panhandle Great 25 celebration raises the awareness of the contributions of nurses to patient care, research, leadership, education and community service of more than 4000 nurses practicing in the Panhandle area. In addition, the celebration builds the image of nursing through positive reinforcement of the profession as a scientific art and the recognition of those who exemplify excellence. It is a special honor for a nurse to be nominated by family members, patients, peers, former teachers, physicians, and administrators. Over the three years, this award has become recognized throughout the nursing community in the Texas Panhandle as an esteemed honor and prestigious accomplishment, and it is our hope the event will continue for many more years to come.

Our Mission:

To recognize nurses for their caring, compassionate service in the Texas Panhandle

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