Nursing students recognized by Mission Health and Hospitals

 Brianna Bridges

Brianna Bridges

Two Western Carolina University nursing students, Brianna Bridges of Asheville and Leslie Elliott of Marion, claimed both of Mission Health and Hospitals’ “Extern of the Year” awards for 2006-07.

The Extern Program, which began in 1993, offers rising senior nursing students an opportunity to work as certified nursing assistants at the hospital. The awards recognize participants for outstanding performance, clinical and critical thinking skills, flexibility in assignments, evaluations and the systems’ core values of mercy, excellence, respect, integrity, trust and teamwork.

“This year, selecting the two externs of the year was easy,” said Carol Jackson, director of staffing support services at Mission. “Everyone who had input selected the same two. Brianna Bridges and Leslie Elliot proved outstanding in every area. We salute them both and are excited that they have chosen to meet the challenges of their new career at Mission Health and Hospitals.”

 Leslie Elliot

Leslie Elliot

Bridges and Elliott recently graduated from WCU and are working at Mission in the intern program.

Bridges will join the neonatal intensive care unit, where she, as an infant, was cared for. Elliott will join the medical surgical pool for the staffing office.

“We are very proud of Brianna and Leslie,” said Vincent Hall, head of the WCU nursing department. “Their selection as Externs of the Year is a testament to their talent, versatility and skills as nurses, and to the department of nursing as we prepare professional nurses to work in very complex health care environments.”