Southern Alum Receives 2016 Nurse Excellence Award
In her nursing career, Heather Magee goes out of her way to share God’s love, and her coworkers at Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have noticed. During its National Nurses Week, Erlanger awarded Magee the 2016 Nurse Excellence Award for her exceptional service in the pediatric emergency department.
Magee received both her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from Southern Adventist University (2010 and 2015 respectively). During her time at Southern, Magee’s professors described her as happy, upbeat, and energetic. She was always ready to learn and had a good time while she was doing it.
As the semesters flew by, Magee fell more and more in love with her profession. While still a student, she had a burning desire to be a witness to others and fulfill God’s calling for her life, and she could tell that she was right where God wanted her. During clinicals, Magee realized that her patients would be seeking her help during their darkest hour. It struck her that they needed to know about God’s grace, which inspired her to strive to reflect Jesus’s character through her interactions with patients each day.
“Nursing is the perfect opportunity for ministry and for showing others His love,” Magee said.
Now, whether she’s giving rides to parents and patients who don’t have a car, taking extra time to be kind and loving to psychiatric patients, or even befriending a single mother and offering to babysit for her, Magee’s caring nature stands out.
She feels very honored to receive the 2016 Nurse Excellence Award, which recognizes nurses who have demonstrated the highest levels of care, compassion, competency, commitment, and service excellence. Although she feels grateful to be acknowledged for her hard work, she recognizes that her success has little to do with her own efforts and a lot to do with God using her as His instrument.
Rick Norskov, MD, professor of Biology at Southern, taught Magee’s anatomy and physiology class. “I’m not a bit surprised that Heather was given the Nurse Excellence Award,” he said. “She is always pleasant and engaged when meeting others and has great interpersonal skills.”
Magee recognizes the School of Nursing’s role in cultivating her successful career.
“The prayers offered by professors before classes and clinicals were blessings for the nursing students, that they might be sent out into the world to be a light to their patients,” Magee said.
She firmly believes that the emotional presence of her teachers helped lay a foundation and prepare her for her future career. As Magee explained: “My nursing professors set a tone for what my career would be like, and I have been able to keep that tone in my job at Erlanger.”