Nurses do a lot but they don’t always get the credit they deserve. With that, we wanted to put the spotlight on some of the most amazing nurses who have made an impact on the lives of their co-workers and patients.
Before Nurses Week, we asked you to nominate nurses who you think deserves to be acknowledged. We received a lot of responses and the list turned out to be more than what we were anticipating. Truly, the stories you shared were inspiring.
After carefully reading each submission, we chose 5 inspiring nurse stories that truly stood out. Read on to find out more about the nominees and what people had to say about them.
D. Marlene Edwards, Registered Nurse, Emergency Room
“Marlene, affectionately known as “Momma Nurse” by coworkers is the most deserving nurse I could ponder in the sea of nurses I work with. Marlene has been an RN for over 40 years. She has worked in a variety of areas. When talking with Marlene, you will find that working as a school nurse in the small town of Sundance, Wyoming holds a sacred place in her heart. Now retired from the school district Marlene has returned to the small Critical Access hospital in our quaint little Northeast Wyoming town. Marlene works the floor along with nurses that are younger than her youngest child. The hospital is home to 16-bed acute care along with a 3 bed ER. Which in the grand scheme of things doesn’t sound like a big deal. Let me share with you my friends, it’s a big deal! Marlene has brought up so many nurses in this environment! Where you may have several inpatients you are in charge of and the only nurse for whatever comes in that ER. Which ranges from lacerations, croup to full-blown cardiac issues. Marlene puts on her “big girl panties” and just does it even at 60 something😉. Most local patients that venture into our ER, Marlene affectionately refers to as “one of my kids” speaking of her years as a school nurse. When the patients come in and Marlene is on duty they know it’s going to be alright and if things go south they know that Marlene is going to buckle up and ride it out with them. On top of being one of the number one resources in our facility Marlene serves out her home and good “real food” cooking to all staff during blizzards and long stretches in shifts. If you are needing help switching a shift, she is always the first one to offer to trade. I have seen Marlene give to her patients without limits whether it be getting them a place to stay for the night, help with rides and obtaining their medications, she does it from a place in her heart that is selfless, she wants nothing in return. She doesn’t strive to be an advocate for patients, she lives it, she is the patient advocate. Bringing back a little of that “old school” to the younger generations, Marlene has dedicated her life to her profession. Truly the Matriarch of our facility.”
Nominated by: Melaynee Trandahl, Registered Nurse, Emergency Department, Crook County Medical Service District
Shilo Steele, Case manager – RN BSN, Home Health
“Shilo is an amazing nurse. Not only does she take the time to go above and beyond for her patients, but she takes just as much time to help her fellow nurses. She has never been a nurse that follows the statement “eat your own young”. Shilo is the nurse that puts down what she is working on to help a nurse with a dressing change, a blood draw, to brainstorm or to simply continue their education. We need more nurses like her. She is humble but really should be proud of all she has accomplished and everyone she has helped along the way.”
Nominated by: Lori Coleman, Health Services Administrator, Correctional Medicine, Wellpath
Clarence Pinkston, RN, Cardiac Cath Lab
“Clarence not only is an exceptional nurse with immense amounts of knowledge and skill in the cath lab but is one of the only leaders in nursing that I have come in contact with whom mentors with kindness, patience and a vast amount of information backed by experience. Clarence is very kind and empathetic with his patience as well as his staff. He finds a way to connect with each person and gives a sense of caring, understanding and trust. He always uses safe practice to ensure the best outcomes for the patients and the team. In all my 27 years of nursing, I have never worked with such an outstanding individual who will put aside all his managerial duties in an instant to get in the trenches with the team to save lives in the Cath Lab. It is an honor to work alongside such a human being and continually learn from him and watch him do it as if it were effortless or stress free. I tell Clarence all the time…”I want to be like you- an awesome nurse- when I grow up!” I am extremely grateful to have Clarence as my mentor, manager, colleague and friend. “
Nominated by: Viviana Fazzolare, RN, Cardiac Cath Lab
Shandra Goersch, Clinical Instructor
“Shandra is currently a Clinical Instructor, LPN Instructor and also works as an RN. The educational process can be incredibly difficult and intimidating especially as an older student returning when one is not from a Medical background. Shandra’s greatest assessment is her ability to connect with students as human beings, convey her years of knowledge in practical terms and be an advocate for our Class. She sets a sterling example of what advocacy, compassion and dedication should be for all educators. As a 51 year old “older student”, I sought excellence in my LPN education. What I did not expect was meeting someone who would not only educate In the “job description/fundamentals”, but inspire me to be a strong advocate for my fellow classmates and the many patients I have the privilege to care for. She also led me to apply for, and be accepted to, a BSN program.”
Nominated by: Sharon Sabo, LPN Student
Leilani Schabell, RN, ICU/Critical Care
“In 2017, I was blessed to be a patient of Leilani Schabell’s in the Intensive Care Unit at Hilo Medical Center. I had travelled to the Big Island of Hawaii with a group of students from the University of Maryland for an educational spring break trip. Just a few hours after landing in paradise, I found myself unable to breathe and in an agonizing amount of pain. My professor drove me to the town’s small community hospital where I was quickly admitted with a diagnosis of bilateral pneumonia and sepsis. I was 20 years old, approximately 5,000 miles away from my family and absolutely terrified. My condition deteriorated quickly during my first 24 hours in the hospital and I was soon moved to one of the hospital’s few ICU rooms. Delirious, in respiratory distress and the most terrible pain of my life, Leilani became my first and favorite ICU nurse who helped me through 18 of the worst days of my life. In the first few days of my hospital stay, Leilani was a major source of comfort for me. My parents had not yet arrived on the island and she went above and beyond to calm me down and relieve some of my anxiety. She knew that I was sad to be missing the exciting spring break trip I had planned, so she brought in photographs of the island from her home and hung them around my tiny ICU room. When my parents arrived, she walked them through everything that had happened and that was planned for my treatment plan, taking the time to answer their endless questions. When we questioned aspects of my treatment plan, she advocated for me and my family and made sure our concerns were heard. When she found out I was a pre-nursing student, she took the time to thoroughly explain everything she did in my room, the medications she was giving me, reasons for different treatments and more. A week into my stay, she brought in her DVD player from home and the newly released Moana DVD, which she had stopped to pick up at Target for me on her way into work. These are just a few of the incredible acts of kindness that I experienced during my time at Hilo Medical Center. To me, Leilani and the other nurses of the ICU became my family. They were at the center of my recovery, both physically and emotionally, and I know for a fact that I would not be alive or doing as well as I am today had it not been for their compassionate care that went far beyond what is expected and required of nurses. Although I had planned on going to nursing school prior to my experience as a patient, Leilani and the rest of my nurses solidified that desire and inspired me. I will be graduating from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing with my BSN in August and hope to become a critical care nurse. Whenever I find myself wondering if nursing school is “worth it” or wallowing in school work and studying, I remember Leilani and the difference that she has made in my life. I don’t think I will ever be able to properly thank Leilani and the nurses who saved my life and made a very traumatic experience a little less scary, but I hope that I can one day pay the favor forward by providing the same compassionate, committed care to my future patients.”
Nominated by: Taylor Mann, Student Nurse