Ramona R. Basnight

Throughout the pandemic, Ramona has been engaged in creating countless new processes and modifying existing ones.  She has been instrumental in creating new places to deliver care that had never been necessary before, and ensuring that they were outfitted, supplied, staffed, and had everything needed for the mission they had been assigned.  She did all this while ensuring all of the existing areas in her responsibility continued to function in a modified way to adapt to the threats to patient and staff safety that the pandemic created.  Challenge after challenge presented itself and was overcome because of this nominee’s plasticity, critical thinking, and ability to use what she knew in different ways than had ever been necessary before.


She has become particularly adept at advocating for and implementing strategies to help patients from impoverished and marginalized populations.  She also analyzes aspects of care to make sure that information is universal enough for patients who may have various limitations.  This is evident in the activities and strategies that she implemented as a leader who helped launch several COVID operations, including the Monoclonal Antibody infusion clinic, COVID testing tent and COVID vaccine operations.  For each endeavor, this leader made sure that needs were represented for patients who did not have access to digital devices.  She readily helped develop communication modes and manual support systems so that patients had a telephone number to call if they did not have or understand the use of digital devices.  She is equally as committed to providing support and mentorship for staff.  Staff recognize her authenticity, honesty and trustworthiness!


This nurse is an exceptional and charismatic leader who is willing and able to challenge conventional wisdom.  From the time that she joined her current entity, she has totally transformed nursing and patient care services, and she promotes quality values throughout the organization.  She has implemented systems and convened teams that continue to advance practice excellence.  This is evident in her accomplishments for:  establishing and operationalizing the COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Clinic within five business days; collaborating to establish and operationalize the Duke Health COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic; and providing leadership and oversight for the Duke Health COVID-19 testing tent site.  These superb accomplishments, along with this stellar level of practice and regulatory oversight, helped yield outstanding results from several regulatory agencies, including the Joint Commission and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.


This nurse makes sure that innovation is an entitywide requirement, culture and expectation for all!  She is a nurse leader who is willing to pursue new and untested approaches that lead to success.  She maintains this innovative drive along with these expectations, even when faced with limited resources and time.  This is evident throughout the above-listed accomplishments, with the record-breaking timelines within which activities were launched.  In addition to all above-listed COVID activities, this nurse was responsible for improving daily maximum patient volumes by approximately 36% through implementation of the LeanTaaS scheduling system for Specialty Infusion and the Sickle Cell Day Hospital.  She also led the specialty infusion drug library installation into smart infusion pumps, which increased the medication administration compliance from by 88% within three months!  These practices are still in place today and have evolved as standard work and quality practices.


This nominee has been instrumental in organizing many new areas of care and modifying her existing areas of responsibility to adapt and respond to the challenges of the last two years.  Almost all of this has involved collaborating with virtually every division of the hospital.  From Engineering and Operations, to pharmacy, providers, Duke Health Technology Solutions (DHTS), materials, and of course nursing leaders, this candidate worked with all of them to achieve the mission set by the organization.  Often these collaborations were done in an incredibly short period of time, simultaneously.  The level of coordination and organization required was immense.  And this candidate did all of this gracefully and with a smile, though you couldn’t see it through her mask, of course.  All of these actions were taken with an eye toward the need of our patients, and as patients began to utilize these areas of service, the interactions she had with them resulted in many refinements and adaptations along the way.  This candidate never stops looking at things that could be improved upon and taking whatever action, large or small, needed to make things better.


This nurse exemplifies Swanson’s Theory of Caring in every sense.  She serves as a mentor for many nurse leaders and staff members.  She has also established mentorship programs that are unique to her entity to help address the need for effective leadership and ongoing quality.  One example is that this nurse leader has established expectations for entitywide mentorship for leaders and staff, to help ensure opportunities for individual staff development.  This led to improved staff engagement and work culture throughout the various care settings and units within the entity.  Another recent example of how this nurse displays effective “caring” is in how she has worked diligently to initiate a full-scale COVID-19 pandemic response across multiple clinical sites, including high-risk patient areas, while continuously increasing staffing resources to meet the demands of COVID-19.  Finally, she led the planning and successful implementation of the Quality Management Safety System across ambulatory surgical clinics.  She fosters opportunities that provide staff members all components of Swanson’s Caring Theory!


This outstanding leader exemplifies our health system and nursing values by role modeling every aspect of our Professional Practice Model by being caring, compassionate, dedicated and trustworthy to the nursing profession and Duke Health in ensuring our patients receive the best care from our amazing team members.

FON Photos edited x Basnight

Ramona R. Basnight


Clinical Operations Director

Interim Associate Chief Nursing Officer

Ambulatory Services

Duke University Hospital


Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership



Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021