Williams, of Evening Shade, who has cared for patients in the nursing profession for 30 years, said, although she did not win the award, she was very proud to be a semi-finalist. Williams is a home health nurse for Community Home Health in Highland.
Williams began her nursing career after obtaining her Licensed Practical Nursing degree from the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, and completed her registered nursing degree at the ASU Jonesboro School of Nursing years later.
Williams said her days consist of caring for patients in Sharp and Lawrence County.
She explained home health is vital to family efforts to keep their loved ones independent at home, and out of nursing homes.
As an RN, Williams helps with dressing changes, vital sign monitoring and maintaining communication between the patient and their doctors. Williams said she gets very close to her patients, and makes sure they take their medications properly to insure their long term health.
Williams has lived in Sharp County since 2000, after moving from Strawberry. Her first years in the nursing profession were spent working for Dr. H.K. Poon in Newport, where she spent 10 years with the practice. She then got out of nursing and took time off to operate poultry houses. In 2007, at the age of 47, she completed her RN degree and obtained her license.
"I could never have made it through nursing school without my husband, David. He has been totally supportive. I have the most wonderful husband in the world. God sent him to me and he is my best friend too."
Williams said one of her long-time patients nominated her for the award. She said she was very close to that patient and their family, and has been their home health nurse for a long time.
"It makes me feel so good to have been nominated, and that your patients appreciate what you do for them. They care about you as much as you do them."
The luncheon for award nominees was held June 9 in Little Rock with proceeds from reservations going to nursing scholarships.
Being a nurse is very important to Williams. She said one of the biggest challenges the medical sector faces is the increasing cost of health care.
She fears many cuts being made to Medicare and Medicaid will affects her patients through increasing costs of medications and medical supplies.
Williams and her husband David, have four children and two grandchildren. But, she somehow finds time for gardening, trail rides and volunteer work at the Ozark Folk Center.
She is also an active member of the First Baptist Church of Evening Shade.