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Broaddus Nurse Celebrated as one of WV’s 40 Under 40 Leadership Awardees

October 30, 2017

Emily Starks, BSN, RN, left, is congratulated by her mother, Joyce Wilson, NP, on receiving an Emerging Nurse Leader award presented by the West Virginia Future of Nursing Action Coalition. Starks was among 40 nurses recognized in the organization’s inaugural campaign.

Elkins, W.Va. -- Emily Starks, BSN, RN, a clinical supervisor in the Broaddus Hospital Emergency Department, was among 40 nurses honored with the Emerging Nurse Leader award by the West Virginia Future of Nursing Action Coalition. The organization’s inaugural 40 under 40 leadership campaign recognized the innovative nurses who are empowering their communities, advancing nursing and leading change.

“Our Awardees are the shining stars of our next generation of nursing leaders,” said Aila Accad, MSN, RN, executive director of Future of Nursing WV. “We are proud to recognize their accomplishments and mentor them as they continue on their leadership journey to improve the culture of health in WV.”

The awards were presented at the annual Gala at the Embassy Suites in Charleston and the nurses will be mentored throughout the next year.

“I am very honored because the people in the group are people I greatly admire,” Starks said of her selection for the award. “I was also a little surprised because I consider myself as just doing the best for my patients. I don’t think of myself as a leader.”

A resident of Philippi, Starks also previously served on the faculty at Alderson Broaddus University as an adjunct instructor of nursing. She was nominated by her mother and Broaddus Hospital board  member, Joyce Wilson, who highlighted Starks’s innovations as an educator and a nurse. In the nomination, Wilson stated Starks, “has developed her class to be more technological, including online lectures, discussion boards and tests … at the hospital she has helped design the Code Blue sheets and the crash carts to be universal and more user friendly.”
Starks says the key to leadership “is being open to the possibility of learning something new.”

She’s following her own advice. Building on her strong background and 15 years experience in ICU, ED, and pediatric nursing, Starks is a full-time student pursuing her Nurse Practitioner degree at West Virginia University. When she graduates in spring 2018, she hopes to continue working locally.

“West Virginia has such a great need and so many underserved people,” Starks said. “To be able to care for these people and fill that gap is what I feel I’m supposed to do.”

Starks’s family shares a background with the medical community. Her mother works as a Nurse Practitioner in Barbour County and her father, Tim Wilson, has worked for Davis Health System for many years in the maintenance department. Both contributed to her decision to enter the healthcare field.
“My mom is my hero,” Starks said. “She is such a great advocate for her patients. She taught me that’s what I need to strive to be and my dad taught me the value of hard work.”

About the Future of Nursing WV Action Coalition: The FONWV is a 501c3 non-profit coalition of diverse stakeholders focused on building a culture of health by strengthening and expanding nursing practice, education and leadership. The coalition figured prominently in advancing the legislation to reduce practice barriers for APRNs, improving access to health care for all West Virginians.

The FONWV has also created two highly successful online educational programs, Transition to Practice, guiding graduate nurses as they move from the classroom to practice and The Nursing Leadership Academy, which assists nurses moving into a management role. Over 500 nurses in the state have completed these courses.