Arkansas Times
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40 Under 40

You see them when you visit the hospital or clinic, providing the care you need when it matters most. You’ll also find them in classrooms and at professional conferences, volunteering in community organizations, and serving in myriad outreach roles like health care boards and honor societies. They all have one thing in common: they’re working to improve health and health care in Arkansas. 

This year marks the release of the second annual “40 Nurse Leaders Under 40” awards list, issued by the Arkansas Action Coalition to recognize nurses in the state who display leadership in their profession. The Arkansas Action Coalition, part of the landmark Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a nationwide effort sponsored by AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, works in conjunction with state health care organizations, educators, communities, and policymakers to promote health through recognition and empowerment of nurses.

Selected by a board of professional peers, these 40 exceptional young health care professionals are helping to realize the Arkansas Action Coalition’s efforts “to prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health…to engage, encourage, and empower nurses to lead change in redesigning health care.”  Part of that effort, according to, is specifically “to increase nurse participation in health care related boards and community organizations.” 

In other words, these nursing professionals daily go above and beyond the average demands of an already demanding workplace, playing an integral part in the development of the profession. They’re highly educated and gaining more education all the time, and although they’re busy, they’ll tell you again and again how much they love their work, their students, and their patients.  Meet just a few of the honorees who are leading the next generation of Arkansans taking action for community health

Nursing Notes

“There are all different levels of experience. There is also a separation of culture. Many older nurses are afraid of change. New nurses are often very willing and eager, but lack the clinical experience. There is a great opportunity for exchange of information and ideas however, nursing has largely been a culture of ‘nurses eat their young.’ It is a job trying to instill a different culture and ideology. The best managers are not managers at all. They are leaders.” 


Jessica Rouse, RN, Chief nursing officer, Rivendell
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