UAMS Nurses Number Half of Inaugural Great 100 Nurses of Arkansas List

By ChaseYavondaC

The UAMS nurses recognized encompass numerous backgrounds and specialties in research, administration and practice. To see the UAMS nurses honored, visit

The Great 100 Nurses Foundation has honored nurses in Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma. It was founded in Louisiana more than 30 years ago by P.K. Scheerle and advocates for nursing through support for nursing scholarships and research.

This is the first year the foundation has recognized Arkansas nurses. Honorees were selected based on their concern for humanity, their contributions to the profession and their mentorship of others.

“Our nurses are vital to UAMS providing excellent patient care,” said Mary Helen Forrest, M.N.Sc., R.N., chief nursing officer for UAMS Medical Center and who was included as one of the top nurses in the state. “It’s rewarding to see so many of them recognized for their hard work and dedication.”

The 2017 honorees were recognized at an April 11 dinner ceremony at Embassy Suites in Little Rock. Virginia Trotter Betts, president and CEO of HealthFutures Inc., was the keynote speaker.

Several UAMS nurses honored hold faculty positions in the UAMS College of Nursing, which plays a vital role in educating future nurses in the state.

The college provides undergraduate, master’s and doctorate nursing degree programs to more than 700 students. It offers the only Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program in the state for nurse researchers and educates the largest number of nurse practitioners in the state.

“The UAMS College of Nursing provides exemplary and comprehensive educational programs to nursing students, thanks to the efforts of our wonderfully talented faculty and staff,” said Patricia A. Cowan, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the College of Nursing. “I’m happy to see their tireless efforts to ultimately improve health care outcomes for Arkansans honored in such a prestigious manner.”

The UAMS nurses honored by the Great 100 Nurses Foundation are as follows:

Jocelyn S. Aguon
Traci F. Altman
Julie Atkins
Brittany Beasley
Tina L. Benton
Claudia Jean Beverly
Stephanie A.Blackwood
William S. Bratton
Cynthia J. Brown
Tammy Burr
Barbara D. Byrd
Hannah Cater
Melonese A. Clarke
Bennie J. Craft
Cynthia Crone
Susan T. Erickson
Mary Helen Forrest
Kimberly E. Gardenhire
Melodee L. Harris
Amy L. Hester
Tennille L. Hill
Edward H. Horton
Delia L. James
Cheryl F. Jones
Sara L. Rowe Jones
Christina A. Ketchum
Leanne L. Lefler
Cathy J. Lennartz
Lance K. Lindow
Amy L. Overton McCoy
Jean C. McSweeney
Christina L. Miller
Keith S. Moll
Angela D. Norman
Laura K. Phillips
Susan B. Porter
Librada A. Ramirez
Anja Rassmann
Sarah J. Rhoads
Christina L. Rone-Weaver
Samantha J. Rose
Pamela D. Royal
Sherrie A. Searcy
Judith E. Seidenschnur
Brook M. Scalzo
Kaylee C. Sisoukrath
Deborah A. Spadoni
Penny Ward
Jill C. Warner
Mary Jane Willard
UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.