By Sharla Hooper
Award recognizes Dr. Jones’ exceptional leadership in community contributions
University of Phoenix celebrates that College of Nursing faculty Sun Jones, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, who serves as the Systematic Plan for Evaluation and Curriculum leader, is the recipient of the 2022 March of Dimes Arizona HEROES IN ACTION Leadership Award. The March of Dimes Arizona HEROES IN ACTION Awards honor outstanding nurses and maternal and infant health providers across Arizona, in 15 categories including Leadership. The winners of the 2022 awards were announced at the Awards Luncheon on September 20, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Leadership Award for which Jones was selected recognizes nurses who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in nursing and/or patient care. Jones has been active in delivering care and advocating and supporting community access to care during her 27 years of nursing experience. In 2010, she co-founded the Arizona Korean Nurses Association to establish a supportive community and meet related minority health needs; the group began with flu vaccine clinics and continues to serve the community with various health screening and vaccination clinics.
“As an immigrant, I saw my family and friends struggle with receiving healthcare due to a lack of healthcare insurance and language challenges. Throughout my nurse practitioner career, I have assisted many patients in their healthcare but I realized that there are more things that I can do,” shares Jones. “After receiving my DNP degree, I founded a nursing organization so that I could better serve my community and expanded the services to other local underserved communities.”
Jones was inspired to become nursing faculty when a colleague shared that teaching could allow her to impact thousands beyond even her own patients. She became an educator in 2011 and has been educating nurse practitioner students at University of Phoenix and mentoring them as a preceptor. She worked with colleagues to organize the nurse practitioner physical assessment residency program process, implementing resources to improve student outcomes, and presented the findings at a 2022 symposium of the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).
“Dr. Jones’ brings her whole heart and a sense of community to all that she does, for patients and nursing students,” shares Raelene Brooks, Ph.D., RN, dean of College of Nursing at University of Phoenix. “She leads from a position of service, always seeing how we can work together for the benefit of our communities’ health and well-being.”
In 2020, at the onset of the pandemic when personal protective equipment was much needed and in extreme shortage, Jones, then president of the Overseas Korean Nurses Association, coordinated an effort with 12 state associations and a team of international volunteers to distribute an order of over 20,000 KN-95 masks that had been donated by the Korean Nurses Association in South Korea to nurses working in the frontline.
In early 2021, underserved Asian and Hispanic communities in need of COVID-19 vaccines were challenged by language and technology barriers. Jones initiated an effort to provide solutions to assist Arizona minority community members in receiving COVID-19 vaccines. With the collaboration of minority communities’ leaders, 10 vaccination clinics were organized and provided vaccines to more than 2,300 community members. Jones was recognized earlier this year for this work by the Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family (GOYFF) as a recipient of the Arizona Governor’s Volunteer Service Pandemic Response Award.
Jones has 27 years of nursing experience and has been a family nurse practitioner for 21 years. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Arizona State University in 2010.
Jones has been a faculty member with the University of Phoenix since 2011.
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