Jessica Stokes

Congratulations to Jessica Stokes, registered nurse who won Nurse of the Year from the March of Dimes for her practice and contribution to behavioral health and chemical dependency within the rural health care realm. 

There were more than 300 nurses, nursing students and administrators nominated from across Minnesota, vetted to 70 finalists in 15 distinct categories including: Advanced Practice, Care Management, Diversity and Advocacy, Education and Research, Innovation and non-traditional nursing, Leadership, Mental Health, Neonatal, Oncology, Pediatric, Public health Nursing, Rising Star, Staff Nurse in Critical and General care and Women’s Health.  

All finalists were invited to an award ceremony on Oct. 25, 2019, at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington. There were more than 350 in attendance recognizing those who demonstrate exceptional leadership, excellence and service in nursing.  

Jessica started at Welia Health (formerly FirstLight Health System) in 2015 after leaving the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center where she worked as a mental health nurse and supervisor. She saw an opportunity to make an impact on the overwhelming challenge of treating people with mental health conditions by working in a rural health facility.   She is currently pursuing her doctor of nursing in psychiatric mental health from the College of St. Scholastica, anticipating finishing in 2022.

“Jessica’s calm demeanor and expertise in mental health makes her an asset to Welia Health and its goal to impact the ever-growing challenge of helping the surrounding communities with mental health needs and access to care,” comments Diane Bankers, chief nursing officer.  

When asked what Jessica would want her patients to know, she responded with “feel comfortable and be honest when talking to your providers about your unique concerns. Be an advocate for yourself, because you yourself know better than anyone what you need to live your best life possible and experience everything it can offer.” 


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