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Left to right: Jennifer Wollert, Rhonda Guse, Michelle Fuss, Adrienne Benbrooks and Kimberly Vanevenhoven.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing and the College of Nursing Board of Visitors recognized five Wisconsin nurses at the annual Nightingale Awards ceremony held at the Culver Family Welcome Center on April 7, 2022.

For almost 30 years, UW Oshkosh has hosted this prestigious event to honor individuals who embody the spirit of Florence Nightingale and demonstrate excellence in nursing practice, as well as nurse leaders who work in mid-management, supervisory roles.

“Everyone’s life is touched by a nurse,” said Morgan Bailey ’12 DNP, who served as master of ceremonies at the event. “Today nurses do things that Nightingale might never have imagined, but the legacy of Nightingale binds all nurses with a common thread: dedication and commitment to the patient above all things.”

The 2022 Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice recipients included two UW Oshkosh alumni: Adrienne Benbrooks ’99, of ThedaCare Regional Medical Center – Appleton, and Jennifer Wollert ’07, of the Wisconsin Resource Center.

Benbrooks serves as registered nurse for the family birth care unit within ThedaCare Regional Medical Center – Appleton and provides expert labor, delivery and postpartum care for patients. She has become the unit’s postpartum hemorrhage expert, preparing the team by running emergency drills and educating new employees on best practices and protocol to save lives. She also is the co-chair of the OB Local Nursing Council and the hospital birthing units representative for the System Nursing Council, where she helps to identify opportunities for improvement within nursing practice and patient care.

As a nurse clinician at the Wisconsin Resource Center, Wollert cares for mental health patients from the department of corrections and county jails. Although there are certain challenges involved with caring for mentally ill patients from the legal system, she is able to navigate these situations with compassion and objectivity. Viewed as a leader in her field, many of her fellow staff members look to her for guidance in ensuring patients are cared for to their fullest potential.

The 2022 Nightingale Nurse Leader Award recipient also was a UW Oshkosh alumna: Kimberly Vanevenhoven ‘10 and ’14 MSN, of ThedaCare Medical Center – Waupaca.

Vanevenhoven has dedicated over 13 years to nursing excellence and leadership. Currently serving as RN clinical manager at ThedaCare Medical Center – Waupaca, she manages the family birth center, medical/surgical department and intensive care unit. Though brimming with leadership and administrative duties, she never loses sight of the value nurses play in direct patient care. She values every member of her staff, encouraging them to reach their goals and helping them to learn and grow as a team.

Additional Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice recipients include Michelle Fuss, of Children’s Wisconsin – Fox Valley; and Rhonda Guse, of Waupun Memorial Hospital.

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