Midwest Nurse of the Year 2017

Debra Moore

Midwest Region

Oklahoma City, OK Office



Debra Moore, RN, started with our team as an on-call nurse (PRN) in August of 2015. She quickly became a shining example of everything we look for in a BrightStar Care Nurse—excellent nursing skills, remarkable work ethic, natural leadership ability, and most of all, a passion for providing the highest quality care to our clients.

After her promotion to Director of Nursing, Debra made it a priority to connect with every nurse and caregiver on our team. Her commitment to delivering a personalized experience for each client is immeasurable. Refreshing new attitudes have emerged throughout our organization under her leadership, both in the field and in the office.

Deborah Hustace, RN, MBA, BHA, OCN, PLNC, Senior Director of Clinical Operations for the BrightStar Care brand stated, “Debra’s attention and dedication to the needs of others and focus to enhance the team approach in her office is one of the reasons we chose her as our 2017 Midwest Nurse of the Year.”

We could not be prouder to have Debra lead our team, and we’ve enjoyed honoring her. Read on for the nomination letter from BrightStar Care of Edmond/Oklahoma City Owner Ken Fearnow.

The Nomination Letter

Written by: Ken Fearnow, Owner, BrightStar Care Edmond/Oklahoma City

Debra Moore joined BrightStar Care of Edmond/Oklahoma City as an on-call nurse (PRN) in August of 2015. She was our go-to nurse for patients with high-tech nursing needs, plus she stepped up for assessments, flu clinics and out-of-town travel. Although employed as clinical director for a local hospice agency, Debra made herself available evenings, weekends and holidays for BrightStar Care. She even worked a full week of flu clinics during her personal vacation.

Having frequently expressed her desire for fulltime employment at BrightStar, Debra eagerly accepted the Director of Nursing (DON) position in May of 2016. She was selected because of her excellent nursing skills, remarkable work ethic, natural leadership ability that is evident to anyone who meets her, and most of all, her love for BrightStar Care.

As a PRN nurse Debra observed multiple opportunities for elevating the professionalism of our field team. After becoming our DON, she hosted, at her own expense, multiple breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings with a goal of meeting every nurse and caregiver on our team. She boldly communicated her high expectations for client care and professionalism, including workplace behavior. She sets her expectations around our core values and accepts nothing less.

Debra endeavors to know all of our clients by personally handling their start-of-care assessments and care plans. She has an uncommon ability to connect with our patients and their families during living room visits, often promoting smiles and belly laughs from the most difficult clients. Debra enjoys and continues to provide direct patient care on her own and with PRN nurses who need her support.

Debra and her husband had made big plans to celebrate her birthday—everybody’s birthday is big with Debra—including attending an Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game. Four days before her big event we learned of a new patient that was to be discharged that day and would require an immediate RN assessment. The patient had been assigned to one of our new nurses, and Debra promised she would assist. The issues were complex and would require multiple treatment disciplines. In addition, Debra wanted first-hand knowledge of the patient’s condition to ensure proper coordination of care delivery. The time of discharge was uncertain, so she told her husband to cancel their game plans.  

Before his tragic death, Debra’s father, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, wandered away from his home and was not found for three days. A Silver Alert was issued that turned no results. The nights were cold, and even though her fear of the worst was ever present, there was little she could do. So she worked. In the evening she would search nearby neighborhoods and talk with business owners, family and friends in hopes of finding clues that might lead to his location. 

Her father was found early in the morning laying on a bench behind a school. He was taken to the hospital and Debra was notified. She left our office and rushed to his bedside where he soon became unresponsive. Debra said she saw a peace in her father’s eyes she hadn’t seen in a long time, so when the hospital staff began CPR, she made the courageous decision to let him pass peacefully. 

The very next day Debra came to the office as she always does. Despite the urging of our office staff and her family and friends to take the day off, Debra said working was best for her that day. She planned to take off early and begin sorting out her father’s affairs, at 4pm she accepted an intake call. A woman whose husband was in a skilled facility was informed she would need someone to sit with her husband around the clock starting within the next few hours. Debra came into my office to say she was heading there to do the assessment. I looked at her with disbelief and told her to call another nurse. She said no one else was available and then left our office to meet the patient and his wife. By 8:30 that evening she had completed the assessment and care plan, recruited and scheduled caregivers for the first 24 hours of care and introduced the first shift caregiver to the family members.

Debra’s commitment to delivering the BrightStar Care Experience is immeasurable. Refreshing new attitudes have emerged throughout our organization under her leadership, both in the field and in the office. Our field team has learned to expect deserved praise and correction from Debra, as well as her availability at any time of the day or night. We’ve seen improved communication among our caregivers since she implemented communication logs. Debra consistently teaches her team members the importance of respect for all individuals. Equally impressive is she has taught all of us to not take our work so seriously that we can’t have fun. Anyone will tell you, when Debra Moore is in the room, there’s going to be some fun.

It is with heartfelt enthusiasm that I nominate Debra Moore for BrightStar Care’s 2017 Nurse of the Year Award.