The South Plains Great 25 Nurses (SPG25N)
began in October of 2016 when
a group of nursing leaders across Lubbock County held a meeting to
discuss the possibility of duplicating a registered nurse (RN)
recognition program that has been active in the Dallas-Fort Worth area
for 26 years. The program is called The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Great
The original founder of the community nurse recognition events was P.K.
Scheerle, a RN and successful entrepreneur. Ms. Scheerle created the
first event to recognize nurses in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The initial 13 RN leaders for SPG25N were;
The Deans from the four local Nursing Schools:
Alicia Anger (Covenant School of Nursing), LaNell Harrison (Lubbock
Christian University), Sue Ann Lopez (South Plains College), and Michael
Evans (Texas Tech Health Sciences Center):
The Presidents of the four nursing associations: Patricia
Francis-Johnson (Texas Nurses Association), Rosalinda Jimenez (Sigma
theta Tau International), Daniel Hatch (Texas Nurse Practitioners
Association) and Barbara Cherry (Texas Organization of Nurse
The four Chief Nurse Officers from the local acute care hospitals:
Karen Baggerly (Covenant Medical Center), Marla Daniels (Grace Medical
Center), Carol Cates (Lubbock Heart and Surgical Hospital) and Tim
Howell (University Medical Center).
In February of 2017, Jeannie Bennett, the President from the Critical
Access Hospital Nursing Directors was invited to join.
These 13 Nursing Leaders established our mission to “Select and publicly
recognize professional RNs who live and work in District 1B of the South
Plains, to provide nursing scholarships and promote the positive image
of the professional registered nurse”.
The DFW Great 100 toolkit provided example documents to help guide us
with the startup tasks. We created four committees to get the work done
and this structure worked well. The initial committees are listed below;
1. The Communication and Marketing Committee created a Facebook page and
spoke to the local news media to get the word out.
2. The Sponsorship Committee created the donation recognition levels and
assigned Board members to contact registered nurse employers throughout
the 16 counties in the South Plains.
3. The selection and nomination committee set up an e-mail address to
collect RN nominations, select the document reviewers and created the
process of notification.
4. The Event Committee secured a venue for the event and created the
Our inaugural event was held on October 3, 2017 and was attended by all
of the 25 awardees along with their 200+ supporters. The SPG25N
celebration event emphasized the contributions of nurses to patient
care, research, leadership, education and community service of more than
4,500 nurses practicing in the South Plains area.
from the South Plains were recognized for demonstrating service,
achievement and abilities within five scored categories. The categories
were role model, leadership, community service, compassionate caregiver
and significant contributions.
Our initial financial support came from Board member’s organizations.
Most of those donations were used to establish a bank account for event
expenses. Some donors wanted the 501c3 option which was accommodated by
the contract with the Community Foundation of West Texas (CFWT). The
CFWT account was designated as the fund to provide scholarships to
nursing students in schools of nursing on the South Plains.
While our local organizations compete for students, nurses and patients,
this program has pulled us together to celebrate the value of RNs and
recognize the positive effect nurses have on the health of our
community. It is a distinct honor to have been nominated by family,
patients, former teachers, physicians and/or administrators and then to
be recognized as exemplary by the community one serves establishes a
role model for us all.