Eileen P. Williamson, RN, MSN, senior vice president and chief nurse executive, presented the Nurse.com National Nursing Excellence award to Jonas Nguh, RN, MSN, MHSA, PhD, academic department chairman, BSN program, Kaplan University, at a luncheon held in Fairfax, Va., on Nov. 29.
Nguh was selected as the 2012 nurse of the year in the category of volunteerism and service.
“You give of your time and talents to so many people who are in need here in the U.S. and abroad, and you inspire others to serve those who are less fortunate. You are most deserving of this recognition, and I am proud to present this prestigious award to you,” Williamson said.
Nguh was honored to be selected as one of the 30 Nurse.com regional recipients and never thought he would be named one of the six national winners.
“I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to receive this award,” said Nguh, who credits his parents for his passion to serve others and his seven older sisters, all of whom are nurses, for his kind and gentle heart.
“When my sisters and I were growing up, my parents always asked us to think about those who were less fortunate and to give to them in any way we could,” Nguh said.
He continues that practice to this day.
In his church, Nguh and his family seek out opportunities to help the needy in soup kitchens and at health fairs and informational health sessions.
As director of nursing at the University of the District of Columbia, Nguh spearheaded the yearly student service practicum projects, which included caring for victims in Haiti after the earthquake, providing livestock for indigent families overseas, raising more than 1.2 million vaccine doses for the children in Sudan after a measles outbreak and developing a workforce development program.
This year, students are working with local hotels on a project to collect discarded soaps to take on mission trips to improve hand hygiene, Nguh said.
Nguh has spent his summer vacations in remote areas of the U.S., such as Alaska, where he serves indigent people with limited care access, and he has supervised faith-based trips to East Africa, providing food, clean drinking water and other basic health needs to those who are suffering from the effects of famine and civil war.
He is the founder of Baltimores Dove House Assisted Living, which provides daily assistance to the elderly and people with developmental disabilities or cognitive impairments.
He also established Community Leadership Inc., which promotes international networking for women, and volunteers his time as a member of the Lions Club and the American Assembly of Men in Nursing.
In his new role at Kaplan University, Nguh is involved in the academic affairs of the schools curriculum and accreditation. But he will continue to pursue his passion to help those in need.
“There is so much work to be done for others, and I always want to be part of it,” Nguh said.
Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is a regional nurse executive.