SOURCE: Wilmington University

Wilmington University

May 06, 2016 14:35 ET

Wilmington University Dean Denise Westbrook and Angela Steele-Tilton to Be Honored at May 19 "Excellence in Nursing" Awards

Honorees Appear in Delaware Today Magazine's May 2016 "Top Nurses" Issue

NEW CASTLE, DE--(Marketwired - May 06, 2016) - Denise Zabelski Westbrook, Dean of the Wilmington University College of Health Professions (COHP), and Angela Steele-Tilton, Program Chair of the RN to BSN program at the University, will receive honors as nurses at the top of their fields by Delaware Today Magazine and 302 Health Magazine on May 19 at Bella Vita in the Cavaliers Country Club in Newark, Delaware. Both publications are sponsors of the "Excellence in Nursing Awards," at which time the recognition and honors will be publicly announced. Delaware Today Magazine also includes both women in its "Top Nurses" feature in the May issue. 

Westbrook received two honorable mentions last year from members of the Delaware Nurses Association (DNA) as both a nursing educator and for her service to the community thanks to her involvement in the Man and Woman of the Year competition benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Delaware. Her honors this year are for "Excellence in Service" and "Education." The voting took place between February and March of this year and the results were tabulated by the publisher of Delaware Today and 302 Health.

"It's always such an honor, even to be nominated," said Westbrook. "These awards are recognition by my peers within what I feel is the most supportive nursing community in the entire country. Last year, the voting took place within the membership of the DNA. This year, the voting was open to all nurses in Delaware. I'm thrilled to be honored again as a nurse educator. And I was surprised to also receive recognition for service excellence. Both honorable mentions are acknowledgement that hours spent in the classroom and in the community have a very real and positive impact on the nursing profession and in Delaware's communities."

For Program Chair Angela Steele-Tilton, 2016 marks her first recognition by Delaware nurses. She received an honorable mention as an "Academic Educator."

"This is the first time I've received an honor such as this from the greater network of my nursing peers," said Steele-Tilton. "I'm the person who is content to be behind the scenes ... I never really thought that anybody saw what I do. But being mentioned and acknowledged means more than most would realize. I deeply appreciated being nominated; to actually receive the honorable mention was certainly beyond my expectations. 

"I'm looking forward to the 'Excellence in Nursing' awards dinner because I'll have the opportunity to socialize with nurses from across the entire state. It's camaraderie with fellow nurse professionals and it's a celebration of the entire profession as much as the individual accomplishments," she added.

"This year marks the fourth annual state-wide celebration of nurses and nursing in Delaware and we are proud once again to create a platform for recognition of these dedicated and hard working healthcare professionals," said Rob Martinelli, publisher of 302 Health Magazine and Delaware Today Magazine. "Nurses are important in every aspect of healthcare, from acute patient care to management and administration and beyond. They are deeply involved in the practices and policies that make up healthcare nationally today. Delaware nurses are some of the finest in the country and we are honored to help them celebrate their profession and each other."

Friday, May 6, is National Nurses Day. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which was started in 1953 when Dorothy Sutherland, an employee at the U.S. Department of Health, sent a letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposing a national day in honor of nurses. While there was no official proclamation, many began to celebrate National Nurses Day and the week on their own. 

In 1981, a state's resolution for an annual recognition day for nurses ultimately resulted in the designation of May 6 as "National Recognition Day for Nurses" by the United States Congress. President Ronald Reagan signed the proclamation. In 1990, the ANA board officially expanded the celebration to one week for nurses and the nursing profession. The celebration ends every year on May 12, which is the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. 

About Wilmington University
Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit institution committed to providing flexible, career-oriented, traditional and online associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. Ranked as the second fastest growing doctoral institution in America 2003 - 2013 by The Almanac of The Chronicle of Higher Education, affordable tuition, academic excellence and individualized attention are hallmarks of the University that enable greater student success in their chosen careers. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636), via email at, or visit our website:

Image Available:
Image Available:
Image Available:

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Laurie Bick
    (302) 650-0900