Local Nurse Recognized On National List Of Top Nurses

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- An Arkansas nurse is being honored with a spot on a national list of top nurses.

"I'm a pretty outgoing, regular guy," honoree Joseph Kennon said.

This regular guy is an honoree on the Great 100 Nurses list.

"We're not making french fries and tater tots, we're taking care of patients. So you have to do everything right every time," said Kennon, reflecting on what it takes to be a nurse.

The Great 100 Nurses list was founded about 30 years ago in New Orleans. It's the first time an Arkansas nurse has appeared.

"It was a big surprise to me just to have my coworkers and colleagues recognize me for the care that we provide here at the hospital and the community outreach that we do."

One thing that's no surprise is Kennon's ties to Fort Smith. The former paramedic turned nurse has been in the area his whole life.

"I started working at Fort Smith EMS in 1996 and worked as a paramedic until 2010 when I started here as a registered nurse."

In that time, he's won several awards. Kennon was an Outstanding Paramedic Student in 1996. To add, he was an Outstanding Nursing Student and Paramedic of the Year in 2010. Clearly, there's something special about this veteran walking the hallways at Sparks Hospital.

"You have to take excellent care of people. Not just on your good day, but (on) your bad day, too. You always have to take care of the patients."