The cover of the program said Panhandle Great 25 Nurses. But if looked inside the program and counted the nurses who were recognized Tuesday night by Texas Nurses Association District 2, the number was actually 27.

For the third year in a row, registered nurses throughout the Texas Panhandle were recognized for service to their profession.

Around 250 people attended the awards banquet and celebration held at Polk Street United Methodist Church.

The event was established in 2016 to raise awareness and celebrate the contributions of nurses to patient care, research, leadership, education and community service of more than 4,000 nurses practicing in the Panhandle.

Event co-chair said Dr. Valerie Kiper said the Panhandle Great 25 Nurses was based on the Dallas-Fort Worth 100 Great Nurses.

And now, the Panhandle model is being used by Lubbock and Austin, she added.

“It is a special honor for a nurse to be nominated,” she said.

Co-chair Richard Pullen said, “One of the goals of the institution of medicine is promoting nursing.”

Among the 27 nurses honored were six from the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center in Amarillo.

The recognition was determined by the Panhandle Great 25 Nurses Review Committee, which evaluated all the nominations submitted by peers, family members, patients, former teachers, physicians and administrators.

The nurses were chosen through a blinded process based upon each nominee’s accomplishments in the following areas - leadership qualities, service to the community, compassionate care giving and contributions to the community.

Also during the ceremony, scholarships were given to six nursing students in the Panhandle.

In past years, the scholarships were $1,000 each.

This year, however, more than $27,000 was raised by the scholarship committee, so a $1,500 scholarship was awarded to each student, Pullen said.

Pullen said all of the students had to maintain a “B” average and answer the essay question, “How has my leadership influenced nursing in the Panhandle.”