Magnet Nursing, Navicent Health

GONL Leadership Awards

In 2017, GONL made a thoughtful and wise decision to recognize and acknowledge outstanding nurse leaders from across the state of Georgia. By embracing the mission and values of AONE, the GONL Board of Directors developed 2 Nurse Leader awards: the Emerging Nurse Leader award and the Excellence in Nursing Leadership award.

GONL Excellent in Nursing Leadership Award recognizes a nurse leader who posseses a commitment to excellence, focusing on quality, service, finance and growth. The winner of this prestigious award is a motivator, mentor and role model who fosters trust and collaborative relationships while being supportive and encouraging.

GONL Excellence in Nursing Leadership Award Winner: Donald Smith is the Assistance Vice President for Nursing at Medical Center Navicent Health and was nominated by the Coordinator for Professional Nursing Practice. Donald has been described as someone who is transparent, honest and can explain the outcomes if actions aren't taken. He is competitive and instills that sense of competitiveness in his staff, encouraging them to excel and strive for better clinical outcomes.

He believes in frequent reward and recognition of staff, and a staff favorite is his interactive, informal sessions among his units that are entitled "Doughnuts with Donald."

Donald is described as a quiet leader, but his passions for excellence in care and work environment make him a natural motivator. Donald's neat desk is a reflection of his ordered but creative mind. He jumps right in to help no matter the situation or problem. He leads by example and loves to have students shadow.

Donald is the executive sponsor of the CAUTI and VAP initiatives and has removed barriers to improve outcomes. He has been instrumental in addressing the nursing shortage by implementing different staffing practices. Donald listens to front line staff and takes their suggestions to heart. It is well known across the Atrium Health Navicent organization that if you need something done, get Donald to do it. He is an on the scene, hands on kind of person garnering buy in and respect from staff and other departments. He is a mentor, collaborator, a listener and an effective leader.

Congratulations, Donald!