NURSING SPOTLIGHT: Daphne Powell

Special to the Sun HeraldOctober 19, 2011 

Daphne Powell of Long Beach has worked on the Gulf Coast since 1987 and is currently employed at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport as a nurse manager with the medical/telemetry unit.

Originally from Indianola, Powell attended high school at Indianola Academy, graduating in 1973. She received an associate’s degree in nursing from Mississippi Delta Junior College, going on to the University of Southern Mississippi to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 1978.

During her nursing career, Powell has worked in various positions, including as a nurse in medical/surgical units, post-partum OB/GYN units, telemetry units, and home health agencies.

In 1993, after marrying and having kids, Powell went back to USM once again and obtained her Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration. Since then, she has worked in nursing management in such areas as an occupational health program, walk-in clinics, a medical observation team, as well as her current position.

According to Powell, she prefers management over bedside care at this point in her career.

“However, I love to see young, eager nurses starting their careers,” said Powell. “I can make a difference in their profession as well as the patient they take care of. There is nothing better than being able to watch them grow to love this profession as much as I do.”

As a long-time member of the Mississippi Nurses Association, Powell is a former secretary of the organization.

“MNA has definitely influenced my career,” said Powell. “The changes in providing patient care has been greatly driven by strong nurses taking on the establishment for the betterment of the profession. I have worked with many wonderful people in MNA and would not give it up for anything.

I cannot say enough about this profession. Since the day I graduated and put my white uniform, pins, and hat on, I have loved it. I am a patient advocate and am honored to have the privilege of making a difference in a patient’s medical experience.”

Since beginning her career over 20 years ago, Powell reflected on some of the ways nursing has changed since 1976. Some of the most significant things that the nursing field has now that it did not then are male nurses, computers, nurse practitioners, and all of the specialized areas of nursing.

“When someone had a heart attack (in 1976), we put them on bed rest and gave them liquids,” said Powell. “And organ transplants? Who could imagine!”

In addition to her busy job as a nurse manager, Powell is married with four children and a cat named Sassy.

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