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John Shumate, RN, celebrated for mentorship and service with Nursing Excellence Award

EGRMC recently honored John Shumate, RN, with the 2024 Nursing Excellence Award. Shumate has served our community for almost 40 years as a compassionate, attentive nurse.

Surrounded by his peers, and possibly one of the largest groups of family and friends to come out in support, John Shumate, RN at East Georgia Regional Medical Center (EGRMC), was selected to receive its 2023 Nursing Excellence Award on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Shumate, who has been with the hospital since 1985, was praised for his warm kindness, extensive field knowledge, and dedication to teaching and serving, qualities that are unmatched.   

Shumate is also the first male nurse to receive this award at EGRMC.

This peer-nominated award, given in recognition of the critical role nurses play in treating patients, was open to qualifying RNs and LPNs working in a direct patient care position who consistently demonstrate characteristics synonymous with nursing excellence. These characteristics include outstanding care, compassion, service, and innovation, reflecting the efforts of someone who is a demonstrated team player and/or mentor to others, a leader in times of crises, and who regularly promotes health in the community.

It was clear that Shumate had consistently demonstrated these traits, earning the respect and adoration of his peers. Nurse after nurse stood up to share stories about their experiences working with John over the years, stirring tears and laughter from all in attendance.

Over his decades-long tenure at EGRMC, Shumate has served in the ER, Cath Lab, and the PACU, creating relationships that span many areas of the hospital. One thing that was consistent: no matter where Shumate was, he was sharing his deep passion and knowledge for nursing with others.

Accrediting his photographic memory, Shumate’s colleagues raved that his insight is indispensable, and even in his nomination form, it was noted that it was “not uncommon to be in a critical situation and have an MD say, ‘Is John available?’ seeking his opinion in a situation." Shumate is also certified in his field specialty and teaches BLS, ACLS, and malignant hyperthermia drills.

Dedicated to pouring into others, Shumate himself has often shared that mentoring his fellow staff members brings him one of his greatest joys. It is clear that his wisdom and encouragement are appreciated by his peers, with one sharing, “I learn so much from John; he would often find me to show me things he knew I needed to learn and would explain everything step by step along the way."

Shumate’s attentiveness is also appreciated by patients of the hospital, who consistently speak highly of the way his advocacy and support made them feel. He is a compassionate, dedicated, and thorough nurse whose main goal is to help patients feel respected and heard. He wants to see patients treated as a “whole” and consistently prioritizes their needs.

Outside of nursing, Shumate’s family and faith are of great importance to him. He has attended multiple missions trips to different countries and served on various civic and charitable organizations.

John Shumate with family and friends who surprised him by attending the reception. DeWayne Grice

In addition, Shumate has acted as a mentor to college students throughout the years, commonly offering a safe place, hot meal, and listening ear.

Describing Shumate, his colleagues feel, “John is a strong encourager to others on a difficult day. The qualities that make John an excellent nurse are also evident in other areas of his life. He is a dedicated husband, father, grandpa, and friend. He has provided so much on many levels for our hospital and our community.”