Michele De Smet Receives the Nursing Excellence Award at the Friends of Nursing Gala Event

L to R: Dr. Benjamin Alman, Michele De Smet, Shilpa Shelton

L to R: Dr. Benjamin Alman, Michele De Smet, Shilpa Shelton

Congratulations to Orthopaedics clinical nurse Michele De Smet for receiving the Nursing Excellence Award at the Friends of Nursing Gala Event.  Michele was recognized for her efforts in helping her unit come back from a Tier 3 on the Work Culture survey.  They ended up with a 99% participation in a second pulse survey which helped them identify areas that needed improvement and this year they went back to a Tier 2.  As Michele describes, “this was a true group project, of which she was a part.”  She also volunteered to go to her sister unit when they were incredibly understaffed for a 3 month period while they hired and trained new staff.

Originally from Chicago, Michele moved to the Durham area with her family for a teaching job.  That did not work out so she went back to school to be a nurse.  With a Biology background from the University of South Carolina, she originally wanted to be a veterinarian.  Michele used her Biology degree to become a math/science teacher; earning her Masters in Teaching at National-Louis University in Chicago.

Michele has been with Duke for about 3 years and recently completed her BSN at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.  She received her orthopedic certification in June and has been accepted to the Duke University School of Nursing for her MSN in Informatics.

Her Volunteering activities include diabetes champion for her unit and active in helping with the diabetes management and education of her patients.

The Friends of Nursing program exists to recognize and reward nurses for all the valuable roles they play, including: caregiver, educator, researcher, colleague, patient advocate and friend. The program also supports career development initiatives for nurses, in the hopes of helping them provide even better patient care.

Since its inception in 1998, Friends of Nursing has supported the careers and professional development of more than 1,000 Duke nurses, in several key ways, including:

  • Recognizing Accomplishments
  • Advancing Professional Development
  • Furthering Education


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