Kathryn Ourada, RN, has been named the 2018 “Nightingale Nurse of
the Year” at Humboldt General Hospital following an online nomination
process that allowed staff members, community residents and former patients
to weigh in on the decision.
The result was a welcome 59 nominations from 33 staff members, 19 community
members and seven patients that singled out 18 nursing professionals for
their compassionate and quality nursing care.
Thursday, May 17, the nominees gathered for a special recognition dinner
in the hospital’s Sarah Winnemucca Conference Room where Ourada
was named the 2018 “Nightingale.”
Chief Nursing Officer Darlene Bryan presented Ourada with a plaque memorializing
the honor, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a stethoscope specially engraved
with Ourada’s name and “Nurse of the Year” designation,
a one-year pass allowing Ourada to park anywhere she wishes on the HGH
campus, and a gift of 40 vacation hours from nursing leaders.
Co-nominees, including Becky Tisue, Kayhlin Sorenson, Janet Sappington,
Jennifer Fernandez, Robin Gillis, Candice Hotz, Alicia Leon, Jacqueline
Dalley, Hannah Kohler, Angela Street, Darlene Bryan, Bertha Higbee, Tina
Wilson, Robyn Dunckhorst, Wayne Farley, Shannon Albisu and Rachel Anderson,
were each honored individually with a plant, a gift card from the hospital’s
CaféRX, and copies of their individual nominations.
Bryan noted that Ourada received nominations from staff, community members
and patients—all of which painted a picture of a nurse who is truly
compassionate, helpful, kind and friendly.
In fact, Bryan referenced remarks she made earlier in the week to new nurse
graduates from Great Basin College where she outlined three tiers for
success in the nursing profession.
“And Kat has met those,” she said. “She has made a difference
for patients, for co-workers and in her own life,” said Bryan, “and
we are proud to name her as this year’s ‘Nightingale Nurse
of the Year.’”
Ourada’s 13 nominators certainly felt the honor was well-deserved too.
One nominator highlighted Ourada’s “excellent and amazing skills,
especially as an OB nurse”; Ourada is also an infusion nurse. “She
has amazing knowledge to assist both doctor and patients for successful
outcomes—nothing rattles her!”
Another nominator noted how Ourada continues to work toward evidence-based
care, both individually as well as department-wide. She said that Ourada
has “come to the rescue in OB on many occasions during busy times”
and is the go-to nurse when a preterm or sick infant must be stabilized
prior to transport. Not only that, but Ourada has become one of the main
staff to orient new RNs to the OB unit. “Her years of experience
and willingness to share her knowledge with others has been invaluable
. . .”
Another nominator highlighted Ourada’s eagerness to volunteer for
outreach events for the community with such a willing attitude, while
another shared Ourada’s special ability to comfort patients “in
ways that medicine can’t” with warm blankets, snacks, hugs,
hand holding, and even special gifts for longtime infusion patients. The
nominator said Ourada’s kindness extends to co-workers as well,
offering help wherever needed. “I personally am prouder and stronger
with her by my side.”
Nominators shared that Ourada is the first person to arrive at a code blue
event to render her expert help with life-saving chest compressions, while
another nominator shared how willing Ourada is to share the “little
tricks of the nursing trade” with new graduates.
Another expressed how special it was when Ourada, as an infusion nurse,
would sit with her homebound mother to chat during the woman’s procedures.
“It meant the world to her.” A fellow nurse told of Ourada’s
kindness to another infusion patient, whose husband passed away just hours
before her appointment. “Kat and others were able to comfort her,
listen to her and support her.” Ourada and another nurse even attended
funeral services for the man where the patient proudly introduced the
women as “my nurses.”
Others spoke of the special care that Ourada provided during their birthing
experiences. As one nominator wrote: “We felt as though we were
being cared for by a family member.” Another shared that Ourada
“radiates kindness and compassion: two nursing skills which simply
cannot be taught in a classroom.”
Another nominator shared just two words—“She’s awesome”—while
a fellow nurse noted that “just as Florence Nightingale stood steadfast
amongst her critics, so too has Kat Ourada. She emulates gratitude and
courage and I am proud to call her my friend.”
Ourada, who has worked at Humboldt General Hospital for 23 years, said
she was overwhelmed by the honor, not only because the award represents
the deep feelings she has for patients and co-workers, but also because
she has so much respect for her co-nominees’ professional capabilities
and personal sensitivities. “It was really shocking,” she said.
Also for Ourada, the award represents a very special connection with her
mother, Laura Jean Gibson, who passed away in 2013. Gibson was a beloved
nurse at Humboldt General from the 1970s to the 1990s, serving in nearly
capacity hospital-wide including a time as Director of Nurses.
“I was overwhelmed by what people said about me,” said Ourada
of the nomination process. “It was so nice; nobody will ever know
what it means.”
Florence Nightingale was a celebrated English nurse, writer and statistician
who came to prominence for her pioneering work in nursing during the Crimean
War where she tended to wounded soldiers. Nightingale was dubbed “The
Lady with the Lamp” after her habit of making rounds at night.
Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment,
in 1860, of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London,
the first secular nursing school in the world, now part of King's
College London. The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses was named in
her honor, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around
the world on her birthday.
Bryan said the HGH “Nightingale Nurse of the Year Award” was
created to recognize nurses who, like Nightingale, go above and beyond,
especially in their care of patients.
“We are looking for our own ‘Lady with the Lamp’ at Humboldt
General Hospital—someone who truly illuminates the art of nursing.”
This is the eighth year for the HGH Nightingale Nurse of the Year Award.
Past recipients include Diane Nevis, LPN; Pam Ruark, RN; Robyn Dunckhorst
RN; Michelle Chadwell, RN; Bertha Higbee, RN; Tina Wilson, RN; and Rita
A wall display in the HGH lobby area explains the award and honors past
and present recipients.