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Let's Celebrate the Pivotal Role of Nurse Educators

Several nursing students sit at desks in a classroom smiling at the instructor as they learn about nursing

A few months ago, I interviewed several nursing students from Charleston Southern University who had nominated Professor Lori Tisdale, MSN, RN, CPN, CNE, for The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty. 

I was preparing for our first DAISY Breakfast at the Sigma Biennial Conference, where our featured presentation focused on Professor Tisdale’s decision not only to pursue a career in nursing after serving in the United States Air Force (in a non-medical capacity), but to also explain what drew her into nursing education. 

Her multiple heartfelt, nominations had caught our attention, as did her LinkedIn post after receiving the award, in which she described the impact her students have on her:

“Humbled and honored that my students took the time to write these submissions to recognize me for The DAISY Award, when they are the ones that motivate me every day. They are my ‘why’.”

The inspirational influence of Professor Tisdale was completely evident during the student interviews as they recounted her support, transparency, joy, positivity, creativity, and holistic approach to teaching. 

They mentioned that she provided constant encouragement, built their confidence, and gave them the tools they needed to be successful as they begin their nursing journey. 

All three students who were interviewed will no doubt carry with them Professor Tisdale’s guidance throughout their careers. You can view the edited montage of interviews here and the full breakfast presentation here.

The DAISY Foundation was created in 1999 after my husband, Patrick Barnes, died from complications of the auto-immune disease ITP. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses was a way for our family to thank his nurses for the compassionate care they provided him and to us as they helped us navigate the darkest days of our lives. 

As the foundation has grown, so has our gratitude to the nursing profession. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty was added in 2010 after a DAISY board member and former dean suggested that we expand recognition to those who not only taught Patrick’s nurses, but who continue to prepare and influence the next generation of nurses.

 Since 2010, over 500 schools of nursing have implemented this recognition to celebrate and showcase the amazing impact of their faculty members on our future nurses.

The landscape of nursing practice and education has evolved significantly since the introduction of the DAISY Faculty award 13 years ago. Nurses now practice across a broader, more complex, and ever-changing continuum. 

As a result, education begins in nursing schools and extends into various practice settings. Nursing education is a lifelong process.

In our never-ending quest to provide meaningful recognition to the nursing profession, regardless of where nurses serve or their career stage, we have decided to expand the scope of our DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty. In January, The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty became The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurse Educators. 

This all-encompassing recognition honors every nurse educator, across the education continuum in academic and practice settings.

The expansion of DAISY's recognition to all those who educate nurses is supported by esteemed organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD), the National League for Nursing (NLN), the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN), and Sigma.

It’s our hope that our clinical partners, of which there are now over 6,000, will add this offering to their ongoing DAISY program and encourage nominations for preceptors, educators, NPD practitioners, mentors, and others who have committed themselves to improving practice and advancing patient care.

Nurse educators play a vital role in health care, from preparing new nurses to enter the workforce to providing continuing education throughout their careers that advances professional practice and improves patient care. 

With the ongoing nursing shortage, this work is pivotal to train and maintain the nursing workforce. We look forward to celebrating all educators and reading the nomination stories describing the positive difference they are making to the future of nursing.

Learn more on The DAISY Foundation's website. 

Share your nurse story with your colleagues. Submit your story today!