Marilyn Parker, BSN, RN, was named Loyola University Health System’s Fanchon Knight Nurse of the Year May 6 during its annual Nurse Excellence Award ceremony. Parker, who works in Loyola’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center in Maywood, Ill. and has been an employee of Loyola for 39 years, was honored for her leadership skills and her exceptional care of patients and colleagues, according to a news release.
Her colleagues who nominated her called her a role model who has helped other nurses and patient-care technicians grow professionally over the years. They also said she has genuine warmth and a sense of humor that she uses when caring for patients or when helping staff, according to the release.
“If you ask anyone who has worked with Marilyn, they would certainly agree that she demonstrates the qualities that many strive to achieve in their career,” Janet Palutsis, BSN, RN, manager, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center clinics, who nominated Parker for the award, said in the release.
The Fanchon Knight Nurse of the Year Award was established by the family of Fanchon Knight, a beloved nurse who died in December 2005 after working at Loyola for nearly 30 years. At the time of her death, Knight was caring for head and neck cancer patients in the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. The award is designed to support nurse practice and education, according to the release,
Parker worked with Knight and was among the nurses who cared for her when she became ill.
“It took my breath away when I saw Fanchon’s name on the award,” Parker said in the release. “Fanchon was a very special person. She was an exceptional nurse who loved her profession like no one I have ever seen before. This is an incredible honor to be selected among all of the incredible nurses I have worked with for an award that carries on Fanchon’s legacy.”
Several other nurses were recognized at the awards ceremony, according to the release. Other award winners were: Lucy Bensfield, BSN, RN, CCRN, TNS, TNCC, coach/mentor; Nancy Coppin, BSN, RN, nurse leader; Lisa Coy, BSN, RN, CNOR, clinical expert; Carol McDonald, RN, team player; Melissa Kierkowski, BSN, RN, innovator; Julie Marks, CNM, APN, advanced practice nurse; Jeanne Mueller, BSN, RN, TNCC, TCAR, community contributor; Patricia Scafuri, RN, patient advocate; Elizabeth Szydlo, RN, role model; and Maria Carmen Galvan, RN, operating room nurse of the year.