Patricia Zetka of El Campo was one of two Houston Hospice nurses to receive the Good Samaritan Foundation Excellence in Nursing Awar recently.

Patricia Zetka of El Campo was one of two Houston Hospice nurses to receive the Good Samaritan Foundation Excellence in Nursing Award at a luncheon ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 5 at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria Hotel. Yolanda Johnson was the other recipient.

On behalf of Good Samaritan Foundation, Nancy Fahrenwald, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, FAAN, Dean and Professor, Texas A&M University College of Nursing, chaired this year’s event and Kelli Nations, MHA, BSN, RN, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Executive, HCA Gulf Coast Division, served as the emcee.

Through the Excellence in Nursing Awards, Good Samaritan Foundation encourages others to celebrate and recognize individual nurses who excel in their chosen fields. Nurses are nominated by their peers for their passion, leadership, mentorship and service to the Houston community.

All nominations were reviewed and scored by a selection committee comprised of many clinical leaders in the Texas Medical Center.

The purpose of the Good Samaritan Foundation Excellence in Nursing Awards is to recognize those nurses who are leaders at the bedside offering extraordinary and compassionate care and service. While degrees, certifications and research exhibit great dedication on the candidate’s part for developing professionally the Foundation’s priority of focus is on the nominees’ stories of the work they do every day servicing patients, families, employees and students.

Together, Zetka and Johnson have more than 37 years of combined nursing and health care-related experience.

Zetka has had only two places of employment in the last 20 years, and both involved being a nurse. She recently celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary to her husband, Joe. The couple have two sons and two grandchildren.

Zetka has served Houston Hospice in El Campo for 12 years as an admissions nurse.

Prior to joining Houston Hospice, she worked for El Campo Memorial Hospital, in the Med/Surg, ICU, Nursing Administration, and Case Management Departments. She decided to become a nurse, specifically a hospice nurse after losing her father, who received hospice care through Houston Hospice, over 20 years ago.

“The care he received made an impact on me, and what I felt I had to offer to others,” she said.

Zetka has an associate’s degree in nursing from Wharton County Junior College. To Zetka, being a nurse involves so much more. “You are an advocate, to patients, co-workers and the community as well as a mentor to new nurses, patients, and our younger generation,” she said.

“By their professional and personal example, Yolanda and Patricia embody the Excellence in Nursing Awards,” said Houston Hospice Vice President of Patient Services Jayne O’Brien. “Both go above and beyond their roles by demonstrating that caring for people can come in all forms and many ways.”

Johnson, RN, MSN-Ed, who has been a registered nurse for 20 years, has experience in acute care, hospice and public health nursing. In 1999 she received her associate’s degree in nursing from Lamar University in Beaumont. She also completed her bachelor of science in nursing degree at Lamar University in 2011 and most recently she received her master of science in nursing education from Chamberlain University in 2018. She began her career at Houston Hospice October 2017.

Founded in 1980, Houston Hospice is a member of the Texas Medical Center and is the only provider of nonprofit hospice care to Houston and 10 surrounding counties.

In 1951, Rev. Clyde J. Verheyden, founded what is now known as Good Samaritan Foundation. Since its inception, Good Samaritan Foundation has focused on one ongoing mission: to increase the number of highly-trained and dedicated nurses “at the bedside” of Texas patients.

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