Donna Lister, chair of the SUU Department of Nursing, said the nurses who were awarded were nominated by the community and chosen by SUU nursing students. She said this event began in 2009, the Department of Nursing’s fifth anniversary, and it is an opportunity to acknowledge nurses and the community.
“It’s just a way for us to celebrate our opportunity to be a part of the community and to recognize nurses in the community,” she said.
She also said she hopes this helps nurses feel appreciated.
“I’m hoping that the people we recognize get reinforcement for the positive work they do, because they’re outstanding nurses and they serve an essential role in the community and lots of times they don’t get recognized,” Lister said.
An opening prayer was given, and a dinner of roulade and roasted pork was served by SUU nursing students before the awards were announced.
Stacia Anderson said it was thoughtful to honor nurses.
“I think it’s really nice to honor the good nurses in the community and the ones that are dedicated to their jobs,” Anderson said. “Its kind of (a) somewhat underappreciated career.”
Caralyne Bulloch, who received the Outstanding Long Term Care Nurse Award, said the experience was humbling and the event gives students and the community the opportunity to see different features of nursing.
“It’s nice that they represent different aspects of nursing, showing how you can specialize in nursing and how you can work almost anywhere that has anything to do with medical care,” Bulloch said.
Kiersten McCarthy, an SUU nursing student, said this event gave her a chance to interact with some of her role models.
“It’s important because these nurses contribute so much to our community and it’s just an awesome opportunity to recognize what they do for us,” McCarthy said. “These people are mentors for me; they are examples of what I want to be when I become a nurse.”
Amanda Cooley won the Outstanding Medical Surgical Nurse Award; Jill Maheu was given then Outstanding Home Health and Hospice Nurse Award; Melissa Brinkerhoff was given then Outstanding Small Hospital Generalist Award; the Outstanding Labor and Delivery Nurse Award was given to Kaye Holman; Michelle Andersen received the Outstanding Community and Public Healthy Nurse Award; and Kimberly Wilde was awarded the Outstanding Critical Care Nurse Award.