TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Nurses had the opportunity to be awarded for being the very best by their peers at the annual North Mississippi Medical Center Excellence in Nursing Awards Presentation.
"I got nominated for community nurse," said Kim Wright, registered nurse and trauma program coordinator. "I just think that it's great to be able to go out and teach the community safety and keep them safe."
"I was very nervous about it," said nurse Sha Crayton. "I can see how the stars feel when they win awards, but I am very honored to be here."
The profession is subject to changes, especially with the new affordable health care law taking shape.
Those who love the profession say you can always find a postive in something so many are skeptical about.
"I think the nursing industry -- with the technology that's coming on board -- is endless," said Jim Spruiell, flight nurse. "There's going to be a lot of opportunities for people in this profession for years to come."
One of the many perks that comes with the profession is the connection a nurse makes with a patient.
"We get to know the patients," said Becky Turner, registered nurse and nursing supervisor. "We get to know them on a personal level, we get to know their struggles, things that they're in need of. It becomes very personal for us now."
For the men and women who work in the nursing profession that were honored, all agree that the job is very challenging. However, they say there is no greater feeling than knowing you've played a vital role in helping to save someone's life.
"I cant imagine doing anything else than being a nurse and taking care of people," said Semmie Wicker, wound program manager.
"This is the only job I want to do," said Kymber Bradley, unit coordinator. "I love my job. The perks are meeting the people and all that kind of stuff."
Despite potential new regulations, the nurses all say regardless of what lies ahead, patient care will remain the top priority.
"We want the best for our patients regardless of what the government is saying, what insurance pays," said Turner. "We love our patients."
"We get to touch people's lives every day," added Marie McCarley, registered nurse. "We make a difference in someone's life, and I can witness a miracle birth every day. Not many people can say that."
Thirty-nine people were honored and recognized at the awards presentation.