NAGS HEAD, N.C.—High quality care and compassion are two things we think of when it comes to healthcare. And for residents and visitors of Dare County, employees at The Outer Banks Hospital provide them with the highest quality healthcare services available. But for one employee, Darlene Jones, RN, it’s more than just a job, it’s a privilege—a privilege she excels at as she models the hospital’s values—Compassion, Excellence, Integrity, Innovation and Teamwork—and one that garnered her being selected as the Employee of the Month for December.

“Darlene is a nurse that stands out for her dedication to patients of The Outer Banks Hospital’s Emergency Department,” said Ed Heise, Director of the hospital’s Emergency Department. “Even on the busiest of days, Darlene finds the time to really listen to her patients and put their fears at ease, and she always shows compassion and respect to both the patient and their family,” added Heise. “Her positive attitude is one of her greatest assets.”

Jones doesn’t think of nursing as a job, but as a career and a commitment to better serve her patients and her community through service. For the past year Jones has been taking Spanish lessons so that she can better communicate with our Spanish speaking population. And this year she received specialized training and was selected as the representative for eastern North Carolina for the “Make A Wish” Foundation. But her commitment to the profession is likely the most commendable trait she possesses. In recent years, Jones has volunteered, and, at her own expense, traveled with other hospital staff to serve on Medical Missions. As part of this team of medical professionals, Jones helped care for more than 490 less fortunate people in Manta, Ecuador, providing them with medical care, food and compassion.

“I count it as a privilege to work with so many inspiring colleagues at The Outer Banks Hospital and it is an honor to be selected as Employee of the Month,” said Jones, who signed on prior to the hospital opening in March 2002 and helped staff the first night of operation.

Jones has lived on the Outer Banks since 1976 with her husband, Davy, a self-employed marine surveyor. They have one daughter, Sara Price, who now lives in Augusta, Georgia.

Photo note: Van Smith, hospital President; Ed Heise, Emergency Department Director; and Judy Bruno, hospital Vice President of Clinical Operations, congratulate Darlene on being selected as the Employee of the Month.