VA nurse receives VA Secretary’s top award

Jul 17, 2020 at 05:15 am by WGNS


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced Kelly Drumright, MSN, RN, CNL, CCRN-CMC, CSC, as the national winner of the 2020 VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and Advancement of Nursing Programs.

The VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing is the highest award for nursing within VA.  This achievement is given to individuals who have been nominated by their colleagues for outstanding service to Veterans and demonstrate excellence and the highest level of dedication to their profession.

“Ms. Drumright is an outstanding nurse,” said Jennifer Vedral-Baron, health system director of Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS). “We are exceptionally proud of her accomplishments at TVHS, and this award is a direct reflection of her excellence in clinical care to our Veterans.”

As an established clinical nurse leader at TVHS, Drumright focuses on quality improvement, interprofessional communication, evidence-based practice and care coordination in the medical intensive care unit and cardiac intensive care unit. She evaluates anticipated risk to patient safety and pursues opportunities to provide point-of-care education that is timely, appropriate and evidence-based.

“I was surprised and humbled to be this year’s recipient,” said Drumright. “There were so many individuals who I thought were more deserving. I couldn’t have achieved this award and implemented best practices without my team, mentors and different clinical professionals. What we’ve done has changed the meaning and purpose of what I do.”

Drumright has been at the TVHS Nashville VA campus since 2006. She is a thirteen-year member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), a twelve-year member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) and a volunteer for the Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System. Drumright has earned prestigious national and international awards, which include the 2020 AACN Circle of Excellence Award, the 2018 SCCM ICU Hero Award, and she and her unit has earned the AACN Silver Beacon Award (2017-2020).

TVHS is an integrated tertiary health care system comprised of two hospitals, the Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro and the Nashville Campus, as well as more than a dozen community-based outpatient clinics located in Tennessee and Kentucky. TVHS provides ambulatory care, primary care, and secondary care in acute medicine and surgery, specialized tertiary care, transplant services, spinal cord injury outpatient care, and a full range of extended care and mental health services.