DENVER -- The annual 10-month journey to the Statewide Nightingale Luminary Awards and Gala ended May 13, 2017, with the awarding of Luminary medallions to 57 Colorado registered nurses, of which 12 were chosen to receive the Nightingale Award,  the state's highest nursing honor. 

This was the 32nd installment of the annual awards, which is a fundraiser for the Colorado Nurses Foundation. 

A total of 266 nurses were nominated for the 2016-2017 awards. Local Area Health Education Centers and independent Nightingale Committees in 10 regions of the state designated 57 as Luminaries, qualifying them for a trip to Denver for the state event. 

In Denver, 42 of the Luminaries attended a Luminary Networking Tea, followed by a dress rehearsal, a reception and their time on the stage receiving tributes from an adoring crowd. 

2017 List of Luminaries

During the second half of the evening, 12 of the RNs were named as Colorado Nightingale Award recipients, an honor that 187 nurses have now received. By Nightingale rule, they cannot receive it a second time. 

The recipients were: 

• Esther Carpenter, Clinical Nurse IV - Cardiovascular Surgical Nurse Coordinator, Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora.

• Dr. Mary Jo Coast, Associate Professor of Nursing, Loretto Heights School of Nursing at Regis University in Denver.

• Kathy Fagan, Nursing Faculty, Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig. 

• Kelly Gallegos, Administrator, Conejos County Health and Hospital Services in Alamosa.

• Rhonda Lewis, Director of Diabetes Education, Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo.

Dr. Colleen McIlvennan, Lead Nurse Practitioner in Advance Heart Failure and Transplantation at the University of Colorado Hospital.

• Caren Misky, National Director of Advanced Practice Providers, DispatchHealth in Denver.

• Alissa Randazzo, Staff RN, Aspen House / Memory Care Assisted Living in Loveland.

• Anita Roberts, Nurse Program Manager for Eastside Pediatric Teen Clinic / Denver Health Medical Clinic

• Elizabeth Roten, Chief of Education, Grand Junction Veteran Health Care System.

• Karen Sublett, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Oncology Services, Penrose St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs. 

• Michelle Whaley, Comprehensive Stroke Program Coordinator / Acute Neurovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist, Swedish Medical Center in Englewood.

Congratulations to all 57 Nightingale Luminaries and to our 12 Nightingale Award recipients. Thank you all nurses for all that you do. Happy Nurses Week — and Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there. We’ll see everyone at next year’s Nightingale Luminary Awards. 

The Nightingale Honor Roll: All 32 Years of Honorees