Just Two Years After Graduating from Nursing School, Rasmussen University Grad Earns Nurse of the Year Award

smiling female nursing graduateIn the midst of an unprecedented year with many obstacles, Kelsey Sweet managed to take care of her patients with grace and compassion while moving between units in her hospital and earning the 2020 Nurse of the Year Award.

Kelsey was nominated for Nurse of the Year for her excellence in care by peers and supervisors at the hospital where she works. Her teamwork, flexibility in moving to different units, ability to work with coworkers from all departments and her overall compassion to her patients and their families are what set Kelsey apart from the other nominees.

nurse of the year awardKelsey says she knew from a young age she wanted to be a nurse. When she was young, she was hospitalized due to a broken arm. In the hospital, she had a nurse who cared for her, made her feel extremely comfortable and provided humor during an uncertain, scary situation. Kelsey says sitting there in that hospital bed as a child was where it all began. Kelsey grew up wanting to provide that same level of comfort and care to her patients one day.

“I decided that, when I grew up, that was exactly what I wanted to do with patients. I would love to be the reason they smile in an unfortunate situation,” says Kelsey.

Kelsey looks back on her time in the Professional Nursing program at Rasmussen University and can’t help but smile. During her traditional courses, Kelsey learned to understand the course of treatment for her patients. In her clinical courses, she was able to apply her knowledge to real-life scenarios.

“Rasmussen helped prepare me in many ways to be where I am today,” says Kelsey.

One of her favorite parts about Rasmussen, she says, was the instructors from various nursing fields who provided guidance and answered her questions. She enjoyed having access to different perspectives in the classroom. At Rasmussen, Kelsey had visibility into different scenarios from various areas of nursing. She believes each of her instructors had a positive impact in her educational journey.

“Each instructor, for both classrooms and clinicals, always had a helpful hint or tip that they used in their practices to pass onto students,” says Kelsey. “Some of this advice I still use to this day.”

nurse in protective face coveringsKelsey currently works in a behavioral psychiatric hospital. Although this hospital does not typically admit COVID-19 patients, Kelsey says she has handled a few cases. During active cases, Kelsey moves to the COVID-19 Unit to care for patients. Kelsey sees the pandemic as a unique opportunity to take problems head on and learn in the moment. Kelsey monitors her patients daily for potential signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and intervenes as needed.

“There hasn’t been a day at work that has been exactly like the last, and I find that super exciting,” says Kelsey.

Nursing school was one of the greatest yet most rewarding challenges Kelsey has ever overcome. Even two years after graduating, she looks back on her clinical and classroom experiences and how they prepared her to become an award-winning nurse with gratitude for Rasmussen.

Jacquie Fiorillo

Jacquie is a fractional content writer for Collegis Education from Beehive Strategic Communication. She enjoys researching and writing on behalf of Rasmussen University. She understands the power of communication and storytelling in education and hopes readers are inspired by her stories.

Jacquie Fiorillo

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