Two Mercy Hospital Ardmore nurses have received March of Dimes Nurse of the Year awards, and two others were named finalists in Nurse of the Year categories.

"I am very happy that these outstanding and highly skilled Ardmore Mercy nurses (Jamie Spence, Lori Powell, Terri Hodges and Betty Garrett) were recognized across the state for what we at Ardmore already knew. Ultimately their skills result in excellent patient care for the communities we serve," said Debbie Pender, chief nursing officer Mercy Hospital Ardmore vice president of nursing.

Jamie Spence

Spence was honored with the Medical/Surgical Nurse of the Year award during recent March of Dimes ceremonies.

Spence graduated from East Central University in 1994, and served as supervisor of outpatient wound and hyperbaric services at Wilson N. Jones Hospital in Sherman, Texas. In 1999, she completed the Enterostomal Therapy Nurse Specialty Program. The same year, she returned to Oklahoma and began a career as a nursing instructor with Murray State College in Tishomingo.

In 2003, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a masters degree in nursing education.

Spence joined Mercy Hospital Ardmore in 2011 as a wound, ostomy and continence nurse, specializing in ostomy and wound care, pressure ulcer prevention and nursing education. She received certification in wound care from National Alliance of Wound Care in 2012. Spence is presently enrolled at OU in the clinical nurse specialist program for advanced nursing practice. Her expected graduation date May 2016.

She lives in Tishomingo with her husband Clint. She and her husband have two daughters, Jacy, a student at Murray Stage College, and Whitney, sophomore at Tishomingo High School.

Lori Powell

Powell was named the state's March of Dimes Surgical Nurse of the Year. She has more than 30 years of professional experience, including maternal-child nursing, nursing education, and joint replacement. She earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Central Oklahoma. Powell is a member of the American Nurses Association, Oklahoma Nurses Association, National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, and Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nurses. She joined Mercy Hospital Ardmore in 2009 as the coordinator for the Joint Replacement Center.

She and her husband, David, have two sons, Adam and Nicholas.

Powell is an Ardmore Soup Kitchen, Loaves and Fishes and A2A medical tent volunteer, as well as serving as a member of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps.

Hodges and Garrett were also finalists for Nurse of the Year awards.

Terri Hodges

A registered nurse who has worked in both Kansas and Oklahoma, Hodges has served the local hospital for more than two decades — 14 years in the emergency department and seven years in the cardiac rehab department. She is currently the coordinator for the hospital's cardiac rehabilitation program, and has earned numerous professional certifications.

Hodges said she loves nursing and swimming, and has "rewarded" herself during the past 40 years by serving as a swimming instructor for children age 6 months through adults.

Betty Garrett

Garrett received a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree in 2010 after working as an LPN for 12 years. She has also spent the past 12 years of her career at Mercy Hospital Ardmore and, after earning her degree, became coordinator of the medical facility's palliative care.

While "work is still in progress to educate all modalities of health care at Mercy on the benefits of palliative care and how it impacts clients and their families," Garrett serves on the advisory committee to transition palliative care into the clinic.

Garrett advocated End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium training which is now conducted biannually. She also chairs one of Mercy's subcommittees on system level to promote palliative care, and sits on the hospital's Nursing Peer Review Committee. In addition, Garrett conducts monthly presentations on advance directives, power of attorneys and do not resuscitate orders at the public library.