U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary recognizes six Nationwide for Dedication, Service to Veterans | site |


(Information contained in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs [VA] press release dated: May 12, 2021)

Washington - - Five nurses and a medical center director from across the Department of Veterans Affairs received top awards for their outstanding work advancing nursing programs.

VA Secretary Denis McDonough, in conjunction with National Nurses Month, awarded the following employees the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and Advancement of Nursing Programs for their dedication and work to improve health care services for Veterans:
  • Kelly A. Irving, MSN, RN, nurse executive, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas – recognized for her leadership skills, patient safety and quality promotion, and her work to improve nursing staffing shortages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the past year, our incredible professionals have answered the call to serve,” said McDonough. “Our teammates, who have displayed superior performance throughout this challenging pandemic, not only cared for Veterans enrolled in our system, but stepped up to support VA’s Fourth Mission efforts to care for civilian patients in communities across the nation. In the face of uncertainty, they cared for our most vulnerable and saved lives.”

VA established the award in 1984 to honor its nurses and executives across the country. Learn about VA career nursing opportunities.