Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
March of Dimes Honors JCMVAMC Nurse
The March of Dimes Oklahoma Chapter selected VA registered nurse Rachel Colina as the Critical Care Nurse of the Year for the state of Oklahoma during the organization’s Nurse of the Year Awards Gala in Oklahoma City on Sept. 6.
The March of Dimes, which is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies, holds the annual Nurse of the Year Awards Gala to recognize exceptional nurses in Oklahoma and promote the future of the nursing profession.
Colina, who is the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Charge Nurse at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, was one of three finalists for the March of Dimes award and said winning was a great honor.
“To be named Critical Care Nurse of the Year is a tremendous honor,” said Colina, who has worked as an ICU nurse for 7 ½ years including 4 ½ years at JCMVAMC. “To think that they chose me out of all the critical care nurses (in Oklahoma) is pretty awesome.”
Along with caring for patients, Colina is the ICU team leader and is responsible for staff scheduling. In addition, Colina has researched and written several medication protocols for the ICU.
“Rachel is a leader in the ICU,” said ICU Nurse Manager Judy Antonioni, who nominated Colina for the award. “She’s very focused on the Veteran and the Veteran’s family. She’s just a real asset. She’s very knowledgeable and has a real love for the critical care area.”
Colina, who has a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma (OU) Health Sciences Center, passed the Critical Care Registered Nurse certification in August. She is also pursuing a master’s degree - Clinical Nurse Specialist: Acute Pathway - through OU.
Colina lives in Muskogee and said working at VA is a chance for her to give back to those who served our nation.
“I like the fact that I’m giving back to Veterans,” she said. “They made a sacrifice for me and now I’m trying to give back to them. They deserve the best care that I can give them.”