Nursing Students Honored with DAISY Awards

Brianna Bell ’22 (left) and Madison Kuntz ’23 (right) are the recipients of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students.

The Concordia College nursing program has announced Brianna Bell ’22 and Madison Kuntz ’23 as its most recent winners of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students.

The DAISY Award is a national program that recognizes above-and-beyond care that nurses provide to patients. The DAISY Foundation has expanded its award program to recognize exceptional nursing students.

The Concordia program awards two students, one at the senior level and one at the junior level, twice a year. Nominations come from faculty, clinical instructors, staff, and peers.

“We know that many of our students are doing exceptional things during their time in our program, yet we might not always see it,” says Amanda Tracy, an assistant professor of nursing at Concordia. “We want to give others the opportunity to help us recognize the great things our students do every day.”

Tracy says Bell was nominated for her intuitiveness and the compassionate care she provided while interning in an obstetrical unit.

“I was completely surprised,” Bell says. “It’s such an honor. I guess it’s always my intention that patients and nurses and my peers think of me as a compassionate and empathetic nurse, but to be awarded that honor – it was just so meaningful.”

Kuntz was nominated for her enthusiasm, calm demeanor, and quick rapport with patients during her mental health clinical rotation.

“I’m grateful because I do work really hard, so being noticed felt really good,” Kuntz says, “I was shocked but also extremely honored.”

The DAISY Award was started by the Barnes family in 2000 after they witnessed the exceptional care provided to their son, Patrick, who died from idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP). DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

The DAISY Foundation recognizes students for never losing sight of the art of caring, despite pressures from class loads, clinicals, exams, and job availability.

“It is our goal at Concordia to train nurses that have a broad range of experiences to facilitate the development of their knowledge base before entering into professional practice after graduation,” Tracy says. “We ensure our graduates are knowledgeable, caring, empathetic, good communicators, leaders, ethical, honest, team players, and possess an understanding of their personal vocation, their calling in nursing.”

Kuntz says the Concordia nursing program is challenging her but that the challenge is preparing her to excel in her field.

“I honestly feel that once I graduate I will feel very confident in my abilities of being a nurse,” Kuntz says.

Bell says, “They really want you to be the best nurse out there, and they want you to do so in a holistic way. So, it’s not just the physical signs and symptoms of the patient you’re taking care of. You’re taking care of that patient.”

The additional junior level nominees were Marryn Dalager, Amber Taylor, Emily Graupmann, Caroline Ronning, Kalli Cummings, and Meghan Rethemeier.

The other senior level nominees were Benjamin Zimmerman, Emily Aker, Michael Johnson, Isabel Fredrickson, Allison O’Kane, Aeyana Calkins, Marie Otterson, Ashley Borstad, Erin Love, Lauren Zanotti, and Anna Olson.