Rhoni O’Connor, RN, headed to a gathering in the Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital cafeteria on a recent workday to learn which of her colleagues would receive the DAISY Award for exceptional nurses. She was a bit puzzled when she saw members of her own family coming into the hospital, but even this didn’t tip her off – she was the one to be named as the top DAISY Award recipient.
O’Connor received nominations from two surgery patients who each praised her professionalism and compassion. One patient wrote in her nomination that she was anxious about her surgery, the coronavirus and her spouse not being able to accompany her into the hospital.
That patient wrote: “I’m pretty sure my nurse Rhoni could see how anxious I was. She did all she could to talk to me and calm me down in preparation for surgery. I hope you realize how it makes us feel to have a caregiver like her to make you so much better. She was very caring, professional and helpful. She took her time in explaining everything that she was doing and encouraged any questions I had. This 78-year-old grandma was blessed that morning to have her as my nurse!”
Another patient who nominated Rhoni praised her “amazing bedside nursing,” her ability to make patients feel at ease and comfortable, and called her “an asset to this company and to nurses everywhere!”
Nine other Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital nurses received nominations, which were reviewed with no names attached so that the top selection would be based on the nurse’s remarkable work alone.
O’Connor has worked in the hospital’s Surgery Department since July 2019. As this year’s DAISY Award winner, she received a DAISY pin, award certificate and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch.” Along with the public recognition, DAISY award winners receive financial discounts for nursing certification training; reduced tuition for continued education; conference scholarship opportunities; and are eligible for the national DAISY Award.
The DAISY Award was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes to “honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve and throughout their careers, from student through a lifetime of achievement.”