Connie is a neurosurgical nurse practitioner at SSM St. Clare Hospital in Fenton, MO. She's always up before 5 a.m. and home after 7 p.m. She is dedicated to patient care and caring medicine. I'm always impressed by Connie's skills and compassion. She once went in to an OR with a new group of residents who were chatting life in general. Connie interrupted and reminded the surgeons that they were operating on a mother, a daughter, a friend - to remember that her life was in their hands and they needed to put that foremost in their minds no matter how routine the procedure seemed to be. Connie respects all hospital staff and believes that by working together lives are saved, people heal, and when that doesn't happen, those who suffer are supported and comforted if at all possible. It's a team effort, physicians, nurses, staff, families, friends and patients seeking healthy well-being.
Leading up to National Nurses Week in May, we will feature a weekly A-Z collection of the top nominations from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s #CelebrateNurses contest.
We are celebrating nursing professionals in the St. Louis area who were nominated by their coworkers, patients or anyone whose life was impacted by a nurse. Entry and photo submissions are from the nominator’s point of view.
In this recent last year Corina chose a medical management director position with Home State Health, and the morale has made a very positive shift. She has shared with the team her accomplishments of leading large staff of remote nurses and it has shown that she cares for her team, our members and the business needs.
Corina came into our lives with the heart of healing others but the discernment to know when someone needs a stern response. She provides an energy that pushes us all to produce the best quality of our responsibilities and has made time to get to know each team member. I am voting her nurse of the year not just because she is my leader, and she has a great team of nurses, but because she adds to the representation of Home State not only serving member family needs, but assisting with the teams concerns in every aspect. She promotes togetherness and team work with such graceful sternness.
David was a car salesman at age 32 and had a medical issue that left him without work and no income for three months. In a discussion with his mother, he said he needed a career change. She suggested he go into health care. He graduated nursing school and has been a first assist nurse in the Barnes Jewish hospital cardiovascular operating room for over seven years. Assisting on heart and lung transplant and heart repair surgeries is a testament to David's drive to become a nurse and a member of a world class team. Having the nerve to go back to school in his mid-30s, graduating second in his class and advancing to a position offering daily life-saving assistance makes David deserving of recognition as a Nursing professional who has made an impact on our lives, our loved ones and our community every day.
NOMINATION 1: My mom has been a nurse for BJC for years, and recently changed to Evelyn's house hospice care. She goes above and beyond for her patients. One of her patients last regrets was that he never married his lifelong sweetheart. My mom arranged a wedding with a pastor, cupcakes, flowers and everything for him to marry his sweetheart at the hospice house just days before he passed, fulfilling his last wish.
NOMINATION 2: My mom has spent her entire life caring for others when they most desperately needed it. She goes above and beyond to make everyone around her bright and cheerful. My mom deserves the world, and absolutely deserves to be displayed on nurses week for her tireless and heartfelt care that she gives to everyone around her.
Debbie is dedicated to providing the best quality of life for residents (patients). This caring spirit extends to staff, coworkers and the families of her residents. She is a reliable source when care is needed. She delivers exceptional care, day or night. Everyone at Dolan values Debbie. She embodies all of the personal characteristics that make a great nurse. She is warm, caring, compassionate and calm. She has a professional demeanor, is organized and adapts quickly to changing situations. She values the uniqueness of each individual affected by any type of cognitive, neurological disorder and adapts accordingly; while teaching her team to do likewise.
When a resident is having a tough time with cuing or sequencing, whether it is dressing, eating a meal or standing up from a chair, Debbie warmly handles the situation. She slows down, meets the resident’s frame of mind and proceeds at the resident’s pace to complete the task. Anxiety and depression are married with dementia and she has a delicate calming energy to help a resident through a tough moment. She has proven to be trustworthy and people are confidant to share feelings, concerns and needs with her.
Deb has been a home health nurse for our medically fragile daughter for several years. She has always been professional, caring and reliable. Our daughter loves her!
Recently, our already thin nursing schedule was lightened even more so when one nurse had to go on medical leave and a second took a position closer to home. We lost over 50% of our covered hours, leaving me, the stay-at-home parent to not only cover all the night hours, but also weekends, and all afternoons except for one. We are determined to keep our daughter home with family, but caring for a child who is unable to move and is ventilator and feeding tube dependent is physically and mentally exhausting task when there are no breaks.
Deb stepped in without us asking and extended her work schedule two hours every shift so I would have time to run errands, go to doctor appointments, and just have an hour to myself. Deb is awesome and definitely is nurse of the year in our life!
E'Lisa is a Registered Nurse at SSM-SLU Hospital. Her background has well-equipped her to provide specialized care and knowledge-driven solutions. Originally from Houston, Texas, E'Lisa has obtained both a bachelor's degree in psychology and nursing, and uses both to her advantage when assessing and treating her patients. Most recently, E'Lisa has begun focusing her attention to health driven initiatives and programming in preventative nature. She has completed an internship in urban farming techniques, and is presently in the midst of a fellowship with the Community Arts Institute, sponsored by the Regional Arts Commission. While the two projects may seem disjointed, E'Lisa is finding intersectionality both with healthy food initiatives in urban spaces to prevent health issues, and developing art therapy programs for implementation in hospital settings.
While E'Lisa has excelled at her job, she is approaching the nursing profession from a broader scope and finding solutions both to prevent illness, and provide treatment for the whole patient while in care.
My uncle just recently died at the age of 96. He was in fairly good health up until about the last 6 months. He had some bad days and nights right before his final days, and I had heard how Ellen would go and care for him, wash him, dress him, help as much as she could until he was finally admitted into the hospital and then Hospice was brought in for him. My mom (his sister) went to see him at the hospital right before his passing. His entire family was there, including Ellen. She was busy making sure he was comfortable, going getting fresh linens, adjusting him in bed, checking with the nurses, assisting them as much as possible.
As I watched and observed, I thought, here she is on one of her few days off, and doing what looks like just came so natural to her. And I thought, how lucky my uncle and his family were to have her there, caring for him. Then I thought, how lucky anyone was who had Ellen be their nurse at any time in the last 30 plus years. I could tell her kindness came from within her, and not just because he was part of her family. It was what she was and she gave her best for anyone. It takes special people to be a nurse, but it takes dedication, heart and soul to be a very special nurse. I know Ellen is one of them.
Among the many amazing qualities nurse Ellie possesses, the one that stands out the most is her compassion. She genuinely cares about her patients, her coworkers, her superiors, and the hospital she works for. All nurses deserve praise and recognition for the hard work they accomplish on a daily basis, but this nurse especially. She will go above and beyond what is expected of her to ensure that patients are receiving quality care and that their families are also comfortable. No matter what life throws at this nurse, she always comes out on top—and that’s what makes her a star.
NOMINATION 1: Emily works at Children's Hospital in the Pulmonary ward. She is devoted and caring to all the kids there.
NOMINATION 2: Dedicated to her children all the time. Works Pulmonary ward at Children's.
Emily has been a bedside nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon for a little over 2 years. In this short time she has tremendously contributed to the care of her patients. Her skills have rapidly progressed, as she frequently cares for trauma and cardiothoracic surgical patients, and is now enrolled in training for ECMO and relief charge. Her passion for nursing and her inner strength is apparent in her daily work. She cares for her patients as if they were her own. I respect her not only as a sister, but as a colleague. Her deep desire to advocate for her patients is palpable and inspiring, while her positive attitude radiates throughout her department.