5 Hennepin Healthcare nurses share what receiving the DAISY Award meant to them

Featured 5 Daisy Winners, 5 Hennepin Healthcare nurses, DAISY Award, nursing award recipients, excellent nursing care award, what award meant to nurses

The DAISY Award is an international nurse recognition program that celebrates and recognizes nurses by gathering nominations from patients, families, and co-workers. It was created by the DAISY Foundation to recognize the clinical skills, extraordinary compassion, and care exhibited by nurses every day. Unlike other hospital recognition programs that are exclusively promoted internally, the DAISY Award is unique in that nominations are most often submitted by patients, families, and visitors.

“Nursing is hard work and I think that a lot of people don’t necessarily recognize how difficult it can be physically, but also emotionally,” says Chief Nursing Officer Karen Strauman. “I think that people don’t always recognize the toll that it takes and the resiliency that nurses have coming back day after day.”

That’s why, for more than 15 years, Hennepin Healthcare has recognized nurses with the DAISY Award – with one nurse recognized each month and one nursing team recognized annually – and it makes a difference to those who receive it.

To give a voice to the impact of the DAISY Award, we asked five past DAISY honorees what receiving this recognition meant to them.

What feelings did you have when you learned you had won the DAISY Award?

Jessica Shapiro | DAISY Award Honoree March 2021

Content Jessica

“I was so excited and honored when I learned that I had won a DAISY Award. Listening to the kind things my coworkers had written about me in my nomination made me feel like my hard work and commitment had been noticed. I am familiar with the program, and I have friends who have won in the past, so I felt special joining their ranks.”

Colin Western | DAISY Award Honoree August 2021

Content Colin

“I felt a little embarrassed and humbled. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some singularly outstanding nurses, as well as many incredible Mental Health Workers, who’ve never been considered for an award. Later, I shared the news with my wife (who is also a nurse), my 5-year-old daughter and my 2-year-old son. It was then that I felt the warmth of pride and recognition based on their excitement and love. My daughter remarked, ‘Daddy, you’re famous!’ My wife shared the news with friends and family across social media platforms. I gave a DAISY pin to both of my kids (I had one from a previous nomination) and they were both psyched about that. It felt good to be honored by the people I care about the most.”

Brittany Puckett | DAISY Award Honoree July 2023

Content Brittany

“I was extremely surprised that someone wrote something so enduring about me. Everyone in healthcare is so busy, so to know someone felt strongly enough about the quality of my work to take time out of their day and nominate me was so encouraging. It helped me feel like I am making a difference in my work if it is noticeable by my colleagues…I think recognition programs like the DAISY Award are so uplifting to nurses because the majority of our care happens behind closed doors, just us and the patients we take care of, but that is where the most important work is being done…nursing is a hard career. You have days that can be really discouraging, and you have days that can be encouraging, but knowing that people appreciate me and acknowledge the work I’m doing helps those difficult days seem a little brighter.”

Megan Schmidt | DAISY Award Honoree September 2023

Content Megan

“When I learned that I was being awarded the DAISY, I honestly was in a bit of disbelief and shock. I say this because I am always one to just come in and do my job and do the best I can do for my patients. I never expect a reward for that as I love my job. Once I could finally grasp that I was receiving the reward, I felt honored – honored to do the work that I do every day but also honored that my colleagues felt it enough to nominate me for this prestigious award in the nursing field. I love the work I do and am blessed to have such a support system/team behind me to do it.”

Allisa Velasco | DAISY Award Honoree October 2023

Content Allisa

“For me, I had heard of the DAISY Award before, so when I received the award, it was a very big deal to me – I feel like it is an important award. As a nurse, we do what we do because it is what we are called to do, and we are taking care of our patients. It does not seem like we do anything special or go above and beyond. So, to be noticed or recognized for this feels special and to me is a very big deal. I felt overwhelmed and honored to have been recognized.”

DAISY Awardees personify Hennepin Healthcare’s remarkable care experience. These nurses consistently demonstrate excellence through their clinical expertise, extraordinary service, and compassionate care and are recognized as outstanding role models. If you’ve been cared for by a Hennepin Healthcare nurse who went above and beyond, please help us recognize their work by completing an online nomination at hennepinhealthcare.com/daisyaward. It only takes five minutes to complete, but those feelings of gratitude will last a lifetime.

“Perhaps especially in psychiatry, it’s rare to experience gratitude from the patient population. That’s okay – that’s what we signed up for,” says Colin. “Nurses don’t provide care for people to earn recognition. We treat human beings with empathy, respect, and careful attention because that is the ethos of nursing. The DAISY Award program is important because it champions that ethos.”

Posted in: