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Exceptional nursing students receive awards

Two nursing students at Beaufort County Community College were celebrated during the nurse pinning ceremony with an award from the DAISY Foundation. Sheri-Gay Kirby and Nancy Wallace received the DAISY In Training Award for their delivery of clinical care in an extraordinary and compassionate way to patients and their families as they are learning.

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by members of the family of Patrick Barnes. The 33-year-old died of complications of the auto-immune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a disorder that leads to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. Like many families that experience loss, the Barnes family wanted to honor Patrick’s life. They decided the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation would honor the extraordinary care, compassion and kindness Patrick received from his nurses. The family created the DAISY Award to honor nurses who go above and beyond and make extraordinary differences in patients and families experiences in healthcare. The DAISY in Training Award recognizes students who exemplify these qualities.

The two students received a DAISY pin and the Healer’s Touch Sculpture. The stone sculpture is hand carved by the artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe, providing 14 artists with employment.

“[Sheri] was compassionate, insightful and able to bond with the patients,” read nursing instructor Molly Wells as she cited comments from BCCC faculty and Vidant staff about recipient Sheri Gay Kirby. “While on a medical unit in clinical, [she] noticed a patient that had lung sounds that caused concern. She advocated for her patient, working in collaboration with the nurse and medical team, and the patient was transferred to ICU.”

BCCC Nursing instructor Molly Wells presents the DAISY In Training Award to Nancy Wallace. (BCCC)

Wells then described the second recipient, Nancy Wallace. “She was nominated not once, not twice, but four times by peers in the classroom,” said Wells. “[Nancy] took on the ‘mother role’ in the class, she always brought food in for the class as an effort to lift the spirits of those around her. She has a very busy home life with her family, but never once did she falter in assuring her school family was taken care of as well, demonstrating her flexibility and adaptability.”

The faculty of the ADN program at BCCC nominated nursing students for this award based on a number of criteria. Recipients had to be thoughtful and caring, keeping patients and families at the center of care, a true advocate for patients, families and self.  They had to demonstrate professionalism, flexibility and adaptability in clinical and classroom environments. They had to be committed to excellence in patient care, demonstrating proficiency in decision-making, kindness, compassion and sincerity in practice. Lastly, they had to create a healthy work environment and strive to improve practice and patient care.

Recently, Matt Anderson, a 2017 nursing graduate from BCCC, was awarded the DAISY Award at Vidant Beaufort Hospital for his outstanding patient care in the surgery unit.

Sheri Gay Kirby now works in the cardiovascular intermediate unit at Vidant Medical Center. Nancy Wallace starts at Vidant Beaufort Hospital next week as part of their new graduate program.