Christus Mother Frances-Jacksonville honors retiring nurse

May 8—Jackie Taylor, LVN, was surprised by Christus Mother Frances-Jacksonville staff with a retirement party Tuesday, following 23 years at Christus and 51 years in nursing. Because of her well-known love of the Super Bowl, colleagues threw Taylor a tailgate-style party complete with football-related decorations and a Lombardi-style trophy inscribed with "MVP — Jackie Taylor, LVN — 51 years of nursing."

Due to her longevity in the field, Taylor developed instincts which others learned to rely on.

"They know if Jackie says something about a patient, her instincts are correct," said Chief Nursing Officer Jamie Maddox.

Dr. Ryan Ford credited Taylor's instincts with saving at least one life, for which he nominated her for a DAISY award.

"She picked up on something that was not normal. Then we ordered a CAT scan and it revealed a big problem," said Dr. Ryan Ford, hospitalist.

He described Taylor as a fantastic nurse and an amazing person.

"Everybody loves Jackie," he said.

Maddox said Taylor is amazing with both peers and patients.

"Jackie is a resource, a wealth of knowledge, just because of being a part of nursing for so long," Maddox said, describing her as a mentor.

Kim Powers, a nurse of 20 years, has worked with Taylor over the last five or six years.

She said Taylor is very compassionate and has a bedside manner that evidences her care for patients.

"She is definitely a role model," Powers said. "You learned things from her."

Taylor's knowledge and experience are invaluable, according to Barry Lofquist, administrator.

"You've got somebody with over 50 years in nursing, that's incredible. You just don't see that these days and for somebody that's seen that many things over that period of time, she's like a rock for our nursing unit. She has really been an amazing advocate for patients," Lofquist said. "She really leads by example."

Her knowledge, compassion and dedication to her profession earned Taylor the DAISY Lifetime Achievement Award in December 2023. The DAISY Award is a nationwide program that rewards the nurses who perform compassionate care with clinical skill. It is presented to deserving nurses based on nominations from patients, families and co-workers. According to the DAISY Foundation, the Lifetime Achievement is a way for staff to express gratitude and recognize the legacies that have sustained and shaped the heritage of nursing.

"I was so surprised," Taylor said of receiving the award. "It was just awesome."

Taylor said she couldn't put into words just what it felt like to receive the recognition.

"For her to receive that I think is a very fitting honor," Lofquist said. "Again, you think about over 50 years of nursing, not quite half of that was spent in this facility right here, I couldn't be more proud of her. I think it's well-deserved."

During her tenure as a nurse, Taylor said she's seen many changes with the biggest being the improvements made over time. As an example, she said she recalls a time when nurses had to watch and count drops from IVs, but now pumps regulate the IVs. She's also seen the progression from paper charts to computer records.

Taylor said she would miss seeing the patients and talking with them.

"Some of them come and go. You get to be friends and you kind of think of them as family," she said.

Taylor said she has no specific plans after her departure and she would miss doing the job, but at age 75 it was time to retire.

Many agreed that once Taylor is no longer working, her smile and laughter would be missed.

"I can recognize it from 50 feet away," Ford said. "It's a good laugh."

Lofquist also said he'd miss her smile and the impact she has.

"But I think what I'm excited about is the legacy that she's leaving. She's inspired countless number of people that have chosen this profession," he said.

Maddox offered expressions of gratitude to Taylor for her dedicated service.

"Thank you for what you've done and brought to our profession and our community," she said. "Thank you for touching all the lives as a nurse, mentor, colleague and a friend."