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Oklahoma City University Duo Win Nurse of the Year Awards

A faculty member and an alumna of Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing were chosen as 2012 Nurse of the Year award winners by the March of Dimes Oklahoma chapter during a ceremony Sept. 6.

Professor Carol Mannahan won the award in the Quality Improvement & Risk Management category, and alumna Karen Blackburn won in the Obstetrics & Gynecology category.  

Kramer School of Nursing had four other representatives as finalists. More than 200 nurses throughout Oklahoma were nominated by their patients, peers and administrators in one or more of 15 different categories. A volunteer committee, made up of industry professionals and community leaders, reviewed blinded nominations to select three finalists in each category.

“We had an overwhelming response from the community as well as people inside the health care arena,” said Laurie Applekamp, state director of the Oklahoma chapter March of Dimes. “The Nurse of the Year event is a great opportunity to honor our Oklahoma nurses, bring more awareness to the profession and further the mission of the March of Dimes.”

The award is presented by INTEGRIS Health.

“It was my honor to pay tribute to not only the specific accomplishments these men and women have made, but to also recognize the daily contributions these talented nursing professionals have made in the lives of countless Oklahomans,” said Linda Merkey, system chief nursing officer for INTEGRIS Health and the award ceremony chairwoman. “I applaud the March of Dimes Oklahoma Chapter for having the vision to recognize Oklahoma’s outstanding nurses. Just as nurses work tirelessly to improve our lives, the March of Dimes works tirelessly to see the day when all babies are born healthy.”

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.  With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit or

Linda Cook from the Kramer School of Nursing was an award finalist. Lindsey Voss, Agnes Tonkumoh and Jaquita Gardner, all OCU alumni, were also finalists.

For more information about the Kramer School of Nursing visit