Excellence in Nursing Awards

Excellence in Nursing is an award bestowed upon those who have been recognized by their peers for providing exemplary, high-quality patient care, compassion and community service. Modeled after the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing, Excellence in Nursing at North Mississippi Medical Center was developed over 30 years ago. The award celebrates and elevates our nurses who go “beyond the call.”

Nurses at North Mississippi Medical Center unite behind a vision of becoming the provider of the best patient- and family-centered care and health services in America. Excellence is an expectation in our nursing practice. Our organization celebrates those who advocate for our patients at an elite level, combining clinical excellence with outstanding personal service.

2022 Winners

Unit Coordinator Excellence

Tammy SmithTammy Smith
6 South

Tammy Smith has served as a unit coordinator and certified nursing assistant on 6 South since 2015.

“Tammy can effectively multitask and prioritize her responsibilities. She never leaves her desk unattended and relays messages appropriately and promptly,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She always takes ownership of her phone calls and call light requests. She ensures the right message is given to the right person. She does all of this with a smile and great attitude!”

“Tammy is cross trained as a nursing assistant and excels in this role as well,” a coworker wrote. “Our patients love having her as their nursing assistant because they know she will take excellent care of them!”

Smith serves as a Safety Coach on 6 South. “With Tammy’s help, we have been able to make some effective changes on our unit that resulted in better outcomes for our patients and a safer environment for our employees,” her nomination states. She also participates in performance improvement projects, assists with chart audits for nursing assistants, and volunteers for the unit’s Feed the Families and charitable projects.

Smith graduated from Saltillo High School in 1989 and completed Itawamba Community College's nursing assistant program in 2009 and phlebotomy program in 2011. She has two sons, Justin Hutson and Jimmy Smith. She lives in Saltillo and attends Friendship Baptist Church in Baldwyn.

Nursing Support Staff Excellence

Lori CurryLori Curry
3 Central

Lori Curry has served as a certified nursing assistant, monitor technician and unit coordinator on 3 Central since 2014.

“During the pandemic, nurses as well as nursing assistants are worn out and drained. Lori Curry has been here during her regular schedule and has even picked up extra shifts to help her floor and other floors that are low with staff,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “During the snowstorm in 2021 Lori chose to stay at a hotel leaving her two children home with her mother so her floor wouldn't be without a nursing assistant.

“Lori’s experience and attention to detail and orders puts her a step above the rest,” another wrote. “Lori shows the utmost professionalism always. Lori performs her job duties (and then some) with such grace and humility and deserves recognition.”

A 2001 graduate of Calhoun County High School, Curry completed her CNA training at Holmes Community College and phlebotomy training at Itawamba Community College. She and her husband, Forlando, have two children—Harmony and Shane.

Rookie Excellence

Jeremy MurphreeJeremy Murphree, RN
3 Central

Jeremy Murphree, RN, joined 3 Central in July 2021 after serving an externship and internship at NMMC.

“Jeremy hasn't been a nurse long, but you wouldn't know it if you'd work with him,” a coworker wrote in his nomination. “Patients sometimes ask for Jeremy by name wanting him for their nurse especially if they've had him before.”

One patient asked to see Murphree before he was discharged home from the Rehabilitation Institute after a stay on 3 Central. Murphree drove to Tupelo on his day off to visit the patient. “He was so elated to see Jeremy, he cried,” the coworker wrote. “Jeremy shows compassion and loves his job.”

“Jeremy portrays nursing judgement far beyond his experience and this is relayed in his daily work,” another wrote. “He also consistently demonstrates compassion and professionalism with his patients, their families and fellow staff.”

Murphree attended Houston High School and worked in manufacturing and construction for 15 years before pursuing his associate degree in nursing from Itawamba Community College. He is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and TB skin testing. He and his wife, Misty, have four children—Peyton, Kaitlynn, Alyssa and Reagan. They attend First Pentecostal Church in Houston.

Non-Traditional Nursing Excellence

Lindsey PutmanLindsey Putman, RN
Director, Safety & Process Improvement

Lindsey Putman, RN, serves as director of Safety and Process Improvement for NMMC’s Department of Organizational Performance.

Infection prevention, which became even more crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, is one responsibility the Department of Organizational Performance.

“As we tried to keep our heads above water and stay on top of all challenges and changes, Lindsey stepped up,” wrote a coworker in her nomination. Putman conducted research for the leadership team, created spreadsheets, handled mandatory reporting seven days a week, worked COVID-19 testing centers and urgent care clinics on evenings and weekends, helped on nursing units and more.

“Lindsey came in each day willing to do whatever was needed to support our system,” another wrote. “She understands that everything we do is to provide the best patient- and family-centered care, and she filled whatever need we had to ensure that was done.”

Putman joined the NMMC staff in 2004 and worked in several nursing jobs including Pediatrics, Surgical Services, Women’s Hospital, Outcomes and Safety before assuming her current role. A 2002 graduate of Mantachie High School, Putman earned her associate degree in nursing from Itawamba Community College in 2004.

Putman earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing (2007) and her master’s degree in nursing leadership (2015), both from the University of North Alabama in Florence. She holds numerous nursing and performance improvement certifications. She attends Bethel Baptist Church and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Excellence in Education

Pam RobbinsPam Robbins, RN
Clinical Nurse Educator

Pam Robbins is the clinical nurse educator for 4 South, 4 West and the Bariatric Center. “Pam works on our unit in a variety of roles, including as a caregiver, team leader, instructor and counselor,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “She is never too busy to answer questions for staff or family members, and if she does not know the answer, she will find it out and ensure that we are well informed.”

“I have learned, and continue to learn, so much from her. She eagerly supports and encourages each of us on a daily basis,” wrote a coworker of 11 years. “This educator not only supervises, teaches and keeps us up to date on what we need to know, but she takes the time to offer hands-on assistance with IVs, discharging patients, helping put patients on bedpans and even helps wheel patients out to their car when the Ambassadors are busy, making her an excellent team player as well.”

Robbins joined the NMMC staff in 1988 and previously served as charge nurse and nurse manager for 6 South. A 1985 graduate of Itawamba Agricultural High School, Robbins holds an associate degree in nursing from Itawamba Community College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of North Alabama in Florence.

Robbins received NMMC’s RN Excellence Award in 2002 and a DAISY Award in 2019. She and her husband, Chris, live in Saltillo and have a daughter, Sloan.

Excellence in Mentorship

Jennifer GriffithJennifer Griffith, RN
Labor & Delivery

Jennifer Griffith, RN, joined NMMC in 2017 and works in Labor and Delivery at Women’s Hospital, where she was also recently honored with a DAISY Award.

“Jennifer consistently demonstrates excellence by creating a safe environment for patients and families,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “Her strong leadership, knowledge, and professional approach are attributes that set her apart.”

“She inspires others to work together in pursuit of one common goal, enhanced patient care,” another wrote. “Jennifer is the epitome of what a nurse should be.”

“Jennifer has a big heart for novice nurses and wants to ensure all nurses can appropriately meet challenges when caring for obstetric patients,” her nomination states.

Griffith graduated from Lynn High School in Lynn, Alabama, in 1996. She earned her associate degree in nursing in 2011 from Central Carolina Community College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City in 2016.

She is certified by the National Certification Corporation in external fetal monitoring and teaches Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) Intermediate Fetal Monitoring. She and her husband, Greg, have two children—Ryan Griffith and Ashlyn (Wesley) Upchurch.

Nurse Manager Excellence

Lynda HerseyLynda Hersey, RN
Nurse Manager, Labor & Delivery, OB Emergency Department

Lynda Hersey, RN, serves as nurse manager for Labor and Delivery and the OB Emergency Department at Women’s Hospital. She joined the NMMC staff in 1978 and previously served as a staff nurse and nursing supervisor. A 1975 graduate of Shannon High School, she earned her associate degree in nursing from Itawamba Community College in 1978. She completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mississippi University for Women in 1990.

“New nurse managers at Women’s Hospital always find a friend and mentor in Lynda,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “Lynda is a go-to for many in our community seeking the nursing profession. They know she will encourage them and assist them on their journey.”

“Lynda is approachable, a good listener, compassionate, holds employees accountable, treats everyone with respect, manages her unit with excellence in mind and has distinguished herself as a true servant leader,” another commented. “Lynda has an open door policy and always makes time for her employees. She is a great listener and sometimes that is all you need—to just feel that you are being heard. You leave feeling better and albeit with some words of wisdom ringing in your ears. I know this because she has invested her time and energy to help me grow as a leader and as a person.”

She is married to Steve Hersey and lives in Shannon, where she attends Pine Grove Baptist Church and participates on the pastor’s aide committee, program committee and choir. Hersey is a member of Mississippi Nurses Association and Eliza Pillars Registered Nurses of Mississippi. She has three children, Malcolm Cox, Taurean Cox and the late Travis Cox.

LPN Excellence

Hannah-Beth CrudupHannah-Beth Crudup, LPN
6 South

Hannah-Beth Crudup, LPN, joined NMMC’s staff on 6 South in July 2021.

“She is competent, compassionate and energetic. She is always looking for ways to help her teammates,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “Hannah-Beth is loved by coworkers and patients as well! She is always mentioned by name during leadership rounds and I have witnessed her interactions with her patients. She is always patient and kind.”

“She is a professional, educated, competent and caring nurse,” another wrote. “She is patient, efficient and has great organizational skills, with the ability to prioritize tasks.”
“Hannah-Beth is frequently mentioned positively by patients and coworkers,” her nomination states. “She is never rushed with her patient care and always takes time to sit and talk with them.”

A 2015 graduate of South Pontotoc High School, she earned her LPN diploma from Itawamba Community College in 2019. She is certified in Basic Life Support and Advanced Stroke Life Support. Crudup lives in Houlka and attends Church of God in Christ.

RN Excellence

Angie BrownAngelia Brown, RN
Okolona Medical Clinic

Angelia Brown, RN, has worked at Okolona Medical Clinic since 1993 after a brief stint on NMMC’s Pediatrics unit. A 1985 graduate of Pontotoc High School, she earned a degree in secretarial technology from Itawamba Community College in 1987 before completing her associate degree in nursing at ICC in 1993.

“Angie has been my nurse for 29 years. She is an asset to the nursing field,” wrote Dr. Donald K. Smith, who nominated Brown for the award. “She is dedicated, dependable and loyal. She is always early to work and walks in the door with a smile and positive attitude.”

“She is knowledgeable and professional. Angie is a team player and offers her help wherever it is needed,” wrote Dr. Joseph F. Jackson, who has worked with Brown for 21 years, in his nomination. “It is a pleasure working with her daily. She is a true asset to our clinic.”

Brown was named North Mississippi Medical Clinics’ Employee of the Month in November 2017 and has been recognized in Stars Online. She is certified in TB skin testing and is a member of Mississippi Nurses Association. She and her husband, Greg, have a daughter, Alex, and attend West Heights Baptist Church.

Advanced Practice Excellence

Kimberly RemmersKimberly Remmers, CRNA
Surgical Services

Kimberly Remmers, CRNA, joined the NMMC staff in 1992 and worked as a registered nurse in the Critical Care Unit before assuming her current role.

Among other accolades, Remmers was cited for successfully implementing a COVID-19 testing site for patients scheduled for surgery. “Patients needed to feel safe, and our staff needed to be protected. Kim networked with laboratory staff and clinics to assure smooth transitions,” a coworker wrote in her nomination. “Kim met patients and providers early in the morning and on weekends to get them tested to make sure the surgery scheduled flowed as well as possible while preventing patients from making another trip to Tupelo. She made many after-hours calls to patients informing them that they are COVID positive so that they would not come for a procedure the next day. She spent many hours in phone conversations assuring patients when they get this news at a very scary time. When infusions became a life-saving measure, Kim started facilitating these infusions for patients that were found to be positive.”

“Kim has worked hard over the years at NMMC, furthered her education and advanced into a confident and professional person who is committed to providing safe, quality patient care as well as a healthy work environment for others,” wrote another. “I am so proud of Kim and her accomplishments over the years, and I am truly blessed to know her.”

A 1988 graduate of Tupelo High School, Remmers earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mississippi University for Women in 1992 and her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2000. She earned a master’s degree and completed CRNA training at the University of Tennessee-Memphis in 2002. She is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support and as a Critical Care Registered Nurse.

She attends West Jackson Street Baptist Church, where she is involved with the women’s, kitchen and prayer ministries.