Smith and Wallace Named Nurses of the Year


Each year, Mary Rutan Health celebrates National Nurses Week which starts on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Celebrations and events take place throughout the week, including food trucks stopping by for special lunches, gift raffles, and sweet treats that are handed out.

One of the more prestigious events that take place, though, is the naming of the Mary Rutan Nurse of the Year.

The Mary Rutan Nurse of the Year award is given to a nurse who exemplifies Mary Rutan Health’s core values by providing progressive quality healthcare with a personal touch.

The Nurse of the Year is nominated by their peers at Mary Rutan Health.

The final nominee is chosen by the Office of Patient Services after all nominations have been submitted.

This year, however, due to a growing number of nursing opportunities in the Mary Rutan Health system, two nurses were chosen.

The 2024 Mary Rutan Hospital Nurse of the Year was announced as Bonnie Smith from Mary Rutan Outpatient Services, and the 2024 Mary Rutan Clinic Nurse of the Year was Brenda Wallace from Mary Rutan Proctology.

Mary Sebring, VP of Mary Rutan Patient Services, explains, “This is a big decision for us each year. We are extremely thankful to all our nurses, and we felt we couldn’t just choose one Nurse of the Year. Our service line expansions and the increasing number of different locations we now serve are growing, and we thought the award should grow along with it! While all our nurses go above and beyond, we felt that Bonnie and Brenda deserve the spotlight this year as they were nominated by multiple peers for their exemplary work. They truly embody what it means to be a Nurse of the Year.”

Bonnie Smith, BSN, RN and Mary Rutan Hospital Nurse of the Year, has spent her 34-year nursing career at Mary Rutan Health.

She currently works in the Mary Rutan Outpatient Department, providing unparalleled care to her patients.

One of Bonnie’s nominators commented, “Bonnie has always been a team player and more than willing to help. I can count on her, and I trust her in an emergency. She is fantastic with patients and staff, always smiling and offering a calm presence. When working with Bonnie, I know the patient will receive the best possible care!”

Brenda Wallace, LPN and Mary Rutan Clinic Nurse of the Year has worked alongside Dr. Grothaus for many years at Mary Rutan Proctology, where she provides extraordinary care to her patients daily.

One of Brenda’s nominators remarked, “Brenda exemplifies the mission and vision of Mary Rutan. She’s served Mary Rutan Proctology for many years with such dedication. She is incredibly caring and always has the patient’s best interest in mind. She wears many hats in her role and does so with grace. She is incredibly hard-working and a great asset to Mary Rutan Health!”

Chad Ross, President and CEO of Mary Rutan Health, commented, “We are thankful for each one of our nurses and their dedication to the health and wellness of their patients and our community. I am happy to offer my congratulations to Bonnie and Brenda. We received a large group of amazing nominees this year – a true testament to the heart and dedication of our Mary Rutan nurses.”

Bonnie and Brenda received their Nurse of the Year plaques in surprise ceremonies on Wednesday, May 8th, where Mary Rutan nursing and administration staff dropped in to award the recipients.

Bonnie and Brenda will have their names added to the Nurse of the Year registry at Mary Rutan Health as a permanent reminder of their exceptional caring and dedication to their work.