Ellen Hester

Ellen’s nursing career spans 40 years.  We are fortunate that she joined Duke in 1986; and she has been a valued part of the Pre-Op Team at Davis Ambulatory Surgical Center since 1993.  She is the Charge Nurse for the Pre-operative Unit, which is a very busy area.  Pre-Op Nurses handle multiple responsibilities to ensure patients are ready for surgery in a safe and timely manner.  Ellen oversees the other nurses in the pre-operative area, as well as directly providing patient care.  She collaborates with Anesthesia colleagues to individualize care, based on patient acuity, anxiety level and health literacy.  She schedules staff, precepts and orients new employees, and is a role model and mentor for excellence in preoperative clinical practice and patient satisfaction.


This nurse exemplifies integrity, honesty and accountability in many ways.  She takes responsibility as the Charge Nurse in the Pre-Operative Unit.  The Pre-Operative Unit is a very busy area, and requires the nurse to handle multiple responsibilities to ensure patients are ready for surgery in a safe and timely manner.  This nurse oversees the other nurses in the Pre-Operative Area, as well as directly providing patient care.  She ensures that the patients will be provided with the best possible care and that the doctors and staff will have what they need.  She is honest and forthright, and she holds herself accountable in her work area.  She also takes her job responsibilities very seriously and collaborates with all team members.  Her integrity and dedication to the patients, doctors and her fellow colleagues is remarkable.


In addition to her many years of nursing experience, she has made many advancements in her professional practice.  She has advanced on the Clinical Ladder to become a CNIII, and has maintained the responsibilities related to this role for many years.  She is an active participant and member of the Work Culture Committee.  She was previously the chair of the Pressure Injury Committee, and she was involved with many performance improvement studies that helped improve current practices.  She has a BSN degree, maintains specialty certification as Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA) and she is the Charge Nurse of the Pre-Operative Unit.


This nurse consistently works with leadership to keep the Pre-Operative Unit in line with current best practices.  This includes training and in-servicing other staff members on changes in practice and point-of-care testing.  She is involved in reviewing policies for the unit.  She has played an active role in practice improvement initiatives, including education and training of staff.  When issues arise, she collaborates with team members and leadership to identify solutions and improvements.


This nurse collaborates with a variety of interprofessional colleagues to ensure optimal patient care.  This includes working with Physicians and their staff to ensure correct consents, surgical postings and accurate pre-operative checklists for each surgical case.  This nurse also collaborates with her colleagues, including fellow nurses, nursing assistants, anesthesia staff and leadership on a daily basis.  She communicates information, provides teaching, and lends her expertise and knowledge willingly.  Her ability to work with a variety of professionals in a collaborative and positive way is noted by many.  All of these factors contribute to an environment of safe and excellent patient care.


This nurse demonstrates the elements of Swanson’s theory in her practice in a number of ways.  Her engagement in her professional practice is obvious to all who work with her, and her purpose is truly to provide optimal patient care to every patient in her purview.  She tasks herself with continued learning and improvement of her practice.  She is present in the Pre-Operative Area to provide a caring touch to all patients.  She communicates information so that others may have the knowledge needed to provide optimal patient care as well.


This nurse should be selected because of her consistent dedication, engagement and ownership of her professional practice, which is motivated by her desire to provide each patient with excellent care.

Ellen Hester

Ellen Hester


Clinical Services Nurse III
Davis Ambulatory Surgical Center
Duke Regional Hospital


Duke Regional Hospital Medical Staff Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice



Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021