Jennifer Junker

Jennifer Junker

Jennifer Junker


Clinical Lead
Special Care Nursery
Duke Regional Hospital


Hill-Rom Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice
Duke dept of pediatrics duke childrens combined
Congratulations to our 2021 Friend of Nursing Award Winners and Nominees
Duke regional hospital logo
Congratulations to Duke Regional Hospital’s 2021 Friends of Nursing Excellence Award Winners


One word to describe Jennifer, brilliant!  With over 19 years of experience, Jennifer is considered a clinical expert by all members of the multidisciplinary team and is loved by families. As a Low Risk Neonatal Intensive Care Certified Nurse, she has invested countless hours improving hypoglycemia outcomes in the newborn population and gathering data to work with providers and the Clinical Practice Counsel to implement a new product, glucose gel, to the service line. Her work has truly changed nursing practice across the service line and health system and raised the standard of excellent care. She is dedicated, committed, a strong team player, and so much more!


This nurse is not hesitant to identify and address needs when there is a situation of concern, but she always remains calm and courteous. She routinely offers positive feedback, but will also hold crucial conversations to ensure the improvement of care for this most vulnerable population of patients. This brilliant nurse sets clear, concise expectations, as she partners with unit leadership to direct staff meetings, compose the unit’s monthly newsletter, “Baby Business,” which she founded, and lead the unit and service line at Tier I and II huddles. This nurse is not fearful to admit when she needs other resources and works promptly and diligently to locate assistance, if needed. She will always “do the right thing” no matter how challenging the path may be. This nurse leads by example and strives to promote not only Duke University Health System, but also the profession of nursing, in a positive, professional manner.


She uses evidenced-based practice and invests much effort on improving hypoglycemia outcomes in the newborn population. This nurse gathered data regarding hypoglycemia in neonates to work with providers and the Clinical Practice Council to implement a new product, glucose gel, to the service line. This implementation not only allowed newborns to remain with their parents, thus enhancing exclusive breastfeeding rates, bonding, thermoregulation, and safety, but also decreased costs of Special Care Nursery admission. This nurse independently compiled information to formulate a LMS education module for nurses, as well as trained nurses in person to ensure competency for correct administration of this new medication. Her data further supported the clinical and statistical significance of her work. From this wonderful work, she was rightfully awarded a promotion to Clinical Nurse IV.


She is passionate regarding improving the developmental outcomes of her patients and has been pivotal in arranging for the parents to receive the developmental education supplies they need to care for their babies once at home. During the month of May, with the help of her team, they arrange a Kangaroo Care-a-Thon and increase education on the importance of Kangaroo Care and infant development. This nurse single-handedly crocheted numerous symbolic kangaroo stuffed animals to promote the event and to bring awareness to the evidence-based practice of developmental care for neonates. She earned a grant to help supply developmental care bags, with the aforementioned education materials. She also helps to lead the team in developmental reading for neonates, another evidence-based initiative. These education measures improve awareness and practices within her own team and enable others to provide the best outcomes.


She is one that prefers to do the work and lead by example, instead of receiving the accolades which she deserves. She embodies collaboration on the Clinical Practice Council for the DUH and DRH Women’s Service Line. She also collaborates with other nurses and respiratory therapists to remain as one of the few Neonatal Resuscitation Program’s instructors to teach the course and ensure that emergency neonatal competency and response is validated by all nurses in the three units across the Duke Regional Hospital Women’s Service Line. She further collaborates to engage others, whether it be educating her peers about Magnet from a Magnet Committee Member perspective, building LMS education modules about new initiatives, or working with her manager and other members of the service line team to formulate Skills Day for her unit.


This nurse is a compassionate nurse, friend and leader that deserves to be recognized for her dedication to the Special Care Nursery and the organization. She is a patient advocate and provides outstanding nursing care. She works to achieve consistency and honesty in her practices. This nurse will eagerly step into even the most difficult situations to help when needed. She provides comfort and confidence to others by being with them in the clinical care setting. Parents and families often find comfort in her knowledge and often feel more informed by her guidance. Her teachings and communication helps to maintain belief that the work done is important. This nurse respects evidence and science, showing much value to the characteristic of knowing. It is a pleasure to work with her and grow from her example.


We are excited to nominate this amazing nurse and person for the Friends of Nursing Award, as she has consistently been a dedicated, committed, strong team player and now leader for over nineteen (19) years, making her extremely knowledgeable in the care of neonatal patients and their long-term outcomes.


Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021