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June Yakura Named Nurse of the Year 2022

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June Yakura Named Nurse of the Year 2022

Hoag Orthopedic Institute names June Yakura, RN, MSN the 2022 Nurse of the Year. June was selected amongst her peers, having served more than 10 years at HOI, and at Hoag prior to that.

“I am a better nurse because of all the people I work with,” June shares. “That’s what makes HOI a great place to work, everyone works so well together.”

June joined HOI just a few months into the hospital opening, shortly after the birth of her son, which she says delayed her joining HOI in 2011.

“One of the things I love about HOI is that you can bring up improvements and have the opportunity to make a difference,” she shared. One of June’s first suggestions revolved around improving the discharge process, and current leadership at the time encouraged her to start a Discharge Committee, which she leads to this day with colleagues.

“When I first started at HOI, patients stayed an average of 72 hours and now patients stay for 24 hours or less which is a big change,” said June. “I feel our job is to ensure patients have everything they need before they go home so they can have a safe recovery at home.”

Prior to becoming a nurse, June initially received her education to become a social worker, earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology. Before beginning her master’s program, she worked for a doctor who encouraged her to look into nursing, and a patient who spoke passionately about orthopedics.

After taking a couple of nursing classes, June completed her RN and MSN degree at San Francisco State University before returning to Orange County and beginning her nursing career.

“Nursing is where I was supposed to go,” June shares. “It’s an amazing career that’s really rewarding and so diverse. I love being a nurse and feeling that I am giving back and knowing I am helping patients recover well,” she said.

When June isn’t helping patients at HOI, you can find her spending quality time with her husband and son at the beach, RV camping, snowboarding or in Hawaii.

June’s supervisor, Medical-Surgical Nursing Manager Nicole Szopinski, MSN, RN, CNOR, shared the following about June:

“June exhibits everything you envision when thinking about what a nurse should be. June does not just demonstrate compassion for patients and their families, but for her colleagues as well. Any time a nurse on the floor needs assistance with a problematic situation or help with a daily task, June is there without complaint and with a willingness to help.”

Nicole added, “June genuinely loves what she does, and it shows through her enthusiasm to educate others in a way that makes them feel accomplished and competent. As the Co-chairperson for our Discharge Committee, June takes educating staff and the importance of a quality discharge process seriously. Whenever there is additional education or committee work to be completed, she always thinks of the needs of the department first. She is mindful of ensuring her presence on the floor comes first to support her peers while still making process improvement a priority. She interacts with patients and their families and is a true inspiration and asset to the organization.”

Congratulations to June!