Nursing excellence enhances care

As a traveling nurse, Jonathan Edwards, RN worked at 15 hospitals before his assignment at St. Luke’s Wood River. He arrived at St. Luke’s from Stanford.

“I did not know what to expect. I came here and fell in love with the hospital, the staff was great and the facility was the best I had worked in,” Jonathan says.

“I knew after eight weeks I had found the hospital where I wanted to spend the rest of my career.

He immediately accepted a permanent job in the ER and moved to the community with his wife, Maureen. As an ER nurse, Jonathan gained a deep appreciation for the generosity of our community. He relied on the Vein Viewer—a piece of equipment funded by a generous donor—to start difficult IVs for emergency patients.

“I see the impact of philanthropy on patient care more than any other place I have worked. I like to tell people we have big city toys in a small town hospital.”

He appreciates how truly unusual it is for a small community to have the sophisticated healthcare that is available at St. Luke’s Wood River.

The vision to become an extraordinary small hospital drives the recruitment of exceptional nurses like Jonathan. He began his career as a nuclear engineer in the military working in a hi-tech environment. His strong interest in health care and helping others inspired him to return to nursing school. After finishing nursing school, his first nursing assignment entailed working in a military hospital ER in Guam, taking care of military families, refugees and disaster victims. He then went on to work throughout the country gaining extensive nursing experience in major metropolitan medical centers. Since his arrival at St. Luke’s Wood River, he has contributed extensively to the nursing team and is now working in the Surgery department.

This past year, Jonathan received the Carl A. Gray Memorial Award for Nursing Excellence for his multi-faceted skills, enthusiasm, and great sense of humor. The award is made possible through St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation and the Harvey Gray Family to honor those who exemplify nursing excellence.

To support nursing excellence, the Foundation recently funded education for Jonathan and several other intensive care nurses to complete clinical rotations at higher volume hospitals.

These clinical rotations offered exposure to several instances of high-risk care. This investment in education exemplifies the high value St. Luke’s Wood River places on its nurses.

That’s why Jonathan is also a philanthropic supporter of the Foundation.

“Not only have I benefited from the Foundation, I have also seen my co-workers and patients benefit significantly from the generosity of others. I love this hospital.”