July 26, 2023

“I was lost and scared. She treated me like a friend that needed help,” and other DAISY Award-winning examples of extraordinary nurses (Part 2 of 2)

DAISY Awards are given to great nurses all over the United States and in many other countries. Here are VUMC’s latest winners.

Four times each year, VUMC Voice spotlights recipients of The DAISY Award, a recognition for extraordinary nurses who exemplify compassion toward patients and families.

VUMC distributes the award in partnership with The DAISY Foundation, which was formed in 1999 to honor the memory of J. Patrick Barnes, a 33-year-old man who died of complications of the autoimmune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). Barnes’ family was moved by the care they received from his nurses and wanted to recognize them to preserve his memory. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

VUMC nurse committees determine the individual recipients. Previous recipients of the DAISY Award are here. The award is open to all licensed nurses, and anyone can nominate — including co-workers, patients and their families. Nominations may be made here.

Here are some of the latest recipients of the DAISY Award:

Marsha Howard, RN. Unit: Labor & Delivery, Vanderbilt University Hospital

Marsha Howard. From the nomination: “I came into L&D at the hospital as a transfer from the birth center. I had another nurse for a couple hours who was also incredible, and she handed me over to Marsha when the shift change occurred and told me ‘I’d let Marsha take care of me any day.’ By the end of my experience, I definitely understood why! Marsha was so respectful, kind, and understanding of how much my birth plans had already had to alter, and she fought so hard to give me the labor and delivery I was wanting still. She advocated for me as a patient both in labor and after my son arrived, helped me move into so many positions to keep baby happy through contractions, and was never too busy to answer questions or speak to my doula,
who she worked so well with.” Photo by Erin O. Smith.

Rebecca Hull, RN. Unit: Surgical Specialties Clinical Department, Vanderbilt Adult Ambulatory Clinics

Rebecca Hull. From the nomination: “There was a patient … when she arrived to check in she was short of breath. She has COPD and relies on an oxygen concentrator and her machine died on her way to her appointment. She forgot her charger at home. Our team jumped into action and hooked her up to O2 in clinic. We assessed she could not safely travel home (2.5 hour drive) without O2 … Rebecca worked for hours to care for the patient and communicate with the team, as we tried and coordinate oxygen for her trip home. Rebecca made sure this patient’s needs were met in clinic while we worked to source her oxygen. She performed regular O2 saturation checks, an oxygen tolerance test and other checks which would be required to get patient oxygen to take home. She provided lots of education to the patient and family of what the process looked like, and she spent time providing empathy and compassion when the patient and granddaughter were tired and frustrated. She did all this while diligently keeping the clinic staff and management in the loop until a plan was solidified.” Photo by Erin O. Smith.

Ashley Nall, BSN, RN. Unit: Adult 1, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital

Ashley Nall. From the nomination: “I arrived at Vandy Psych lost and scared. I felt insane and alone. All alone. I have had multiple stays in psych facilities, but this was a new caliber. I’ve met a great deal of doctors and nurses but the nurse I would like to spotlight is Ashley. I did not feel like a job that needed doing or a patient needing care, but a friend that needed help. I didn’t talk much, but when I did, she listened. She was quick to provide the care and help I needed. She never seems annoyed or too busy.” Photo by Erin O. Smith.

Danielle Turnipseed, RN. Unit: Intensive Care Unit, 4 East – Mother-Baby Obstetrics Unit

Danielle Turnipseed. From the nomination: “Danielle made sure that all the education and resources that were at our disposal were clear to us and that we understood how they fit within the needs we had during those first 48 hours. Danielle is wise beyond her years. Not only is she clinically sound, she informs her work by getting to know her patients and is then able to provide the kind of care that deliriously sleepy parents can only dream of. … Vanderbilt, and by extension our family, is lucky to have her and her experience.” Photo by Erin O. Smith.

Jenny Shelton, RN. Unit: Labor & Delivery, Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital

Jenny Shelton. From the nomination: “When given the news that our daughter had a very rare, and almost always fatal, chromosomal condition called Triploidy, our hearts were shattered. We moved through life hoping for a miracle, or a misread blood test, but that just was not part of our plan. We checked in at Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital and were immediately greeted by nurse Jenny Shelton. She has the kindest bedside manner, was extremely warm and nurturing. She was delicate with our situation, and graciously welcomed our friends and family that were visiting to love us during such a hard time. Jenny cared for me, and I felt that she was loving me as a daughter as I was laboring to meet my own.”

To see part 1 of this quarter’s VUMC DAISY Award winners, click here.