The Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses

During their spring Pinning Ceremony, the Nursing Program presented its first DAISY awards to a student and a faculty member.  First established in 1999, the DAISY award was expanded in 2010 to recognize nursing faculty and nursing students.

DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System and was initiated by the family of Patrick Barnes, a 35 year old husband, father, and son who died of an immune condition that affects the body’s ability to stop bleeding. Touched by the compassionate and skillful care provided to him by his nurses during his eight week hospital stay, the family established the DAISY award in his memory to honor the “super-human” work that nurses do for patient and families. In partnership with healthcare organizations,  nurses are nominated by anyone in the organization – from patients and families to staff and interdisciplinary team members

Brittany Johnson, a newly hired nursing faculty member, an alumnus of the SUNY Broome nursing program, and a Labor and Delivery RN at UHS, lead the efforts to initiate the first DAISY awards at SUNY Broome.  Brittany saw the value of this award at the educational level, promoted it to faculty and students, organized the interdisciplinary nomination review committee and the presentation of the awards at the Pinning Ceremony. Brittany notes:

I was excited to learn that DAISY had academic awards for nursing students and faculty, but shocked that none of the programs around us participated. The DAISY award is particularly close to my heart because it was developed by family members who were inspired by the compassion of the nursing care provided to their loved one. As a nurse, knowing that the care I put into my work is noticed and appreciated is one of the best rewards. I jumped at the opportunity to be able to recognize students and colleagues not only for the excellent skills they possess, but also the compassion they show to their patients.  

 There are many hard days that make you question if anything you did made a difference. Nurses are often called heroes for the work we do as a profession and have been number 1 on the Gallup Poll of trusted professions for the last 20 years. Even with all of this, nurses, nursing students, and nursing faculty are rarely recognized individually for the things we do everyday that make a difference in our community and the lives of our patients. Especially since the pandemic, nursing has become even harder and many nurses are burnt out. The DAISY award helps to remind us why we became nurses in the first place. It recognizes the sacrifices we have made, and brings a renewed sense of pride to not only the recipients, but those around them as well.”  

The first SUNY Broome Nursing student to win the award was 2022 nursing graduate, Rachel Tavares.

DAISY Student Award Recipient Rachel Tavares and Faculty Member and DAISY Champion, Brittany Johnson, RN.

DAISY Student Award Recipient Rachel Tavares and Faculty Member and DAISY Champion, Brittany Johnson, RN.

Rachel shared the following:

“It is such an honor to have won a Daisy Award as a student and I wear my pin everyday on my badge proudly. It serves as a reminder of the first life I saved, and it encourages me everyday to selflessly serve others as best I can. As a new nurse, it is also a reminder to always trust myself and the wonderful skills and critical thinking afforded to me through the SUNY Broome nursing program. I think so fondly of my time as a nursing student, and through the invaluable education I received, was able to pass the board exam on my first attempt with flying colors! Now I am a Registered Nurse for the ICU at Lourdes Hospital and start each day with the intention of making a difference in someone’s life — no matter how big or small.”

The first DAISY Award for a Nursing Faculty member went to full time adjunct instructor, Linda Stark, MS, RN. Linda states:

I was honored to be the recipient of the award but what meant even more was having my students nominate me. I strive to make good nurses and it is rewarding to know they value the way I teach. This award inspires me to continually innovate and improve my teaching methods.  

Nursing is an incredibly challenging career. I’m not just teaching content in the clinical setting, I’m teaching the importance of preserving dignity, maintaining integrity and using critical thinking skills. I’m teaching the value of taking care of ourselves so we can take care of others.”

DAISY Faculty Award Recipient Linda Stark, MS, RN and Faculty Member and DAISY Champion, Brittany Johnson, RN.

DAISY Faculty Award Recipient Linda Stark, MS, RN and Faculty Member and DAISY Champion, Brittany Johnson, RN.

Awardees receive a certificate, a lapel pin and a hand carved African stone sculpture from Zimbabwe, entitled “The Healer’s Touch.” For more information, visit the DAISY Foundation website.

The Nursing Program extends great appreciation to the SUNY Broome Foundation for their support and funding of this new annual nursing program award.

Submitted by: Michele L McKay

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