Diane Rickard, Clinical Level III senior staff nurse on the 5D Medical/Surgical Unit at WCA Hospital, has been named the 2012 Nurse of Distinction.
She was given the award at a special breakfast held in recognition of National Nurses Week. The Nurse of Distinction award began at WCA Hospital in 1989 when Elaine Hoglin was selected the first Nurse of Distinction.
WCA Hospital awards the distinction to an outstanding registered, bachelor's or master's degree nurse who exemplifies the mission and vision of WCA Hospital. The award is given to a nurse who displays outstanding achievement; is a role model; possesses professional standards and leadership skills; is an advocate for healthcare and the nursing profession; and is involved in his or her community. The honoree is nominated by his or her colleagues and selected by the Nurse of Distinction Committee, comprised of recipients from previous years.
From left are Larry S. Senn, WCA Hospital vice president of administration; Diane Rickard, 2012 Nurse of Distinction; Ann Downing WCA Hospital vice president of nursing; Ruth Walton, WCA Hospital nurse manager, 3D and patient observation.
"Nurses are a vital part of our health care team," said Betsy T. Wright, WCA Hospital president and chief executive officer. "During our National Nurses Week celebration at WCA, we pay homage to the commitment and dedication of our nursing profession and salute our staff for their continued passion and excellent care to our patients and the communities we serve."
In announcing Mrs. Rickard as this year's recipient, Ann Downing, vice president of nursing at WCA Hospital, reflected on the accomplishments at WCA over the past year.
"Diane is a champion for her patients,'' Mrs. Downing said. "The WCA mission is to improve the health and well-being of those we serve in a way that includes compassion, and a commitment to quality. Diane takes our mission to heart and it shows in her day-to-day care of our patients. From the key principles of leadership, to her willingness to teach and mentor others, she is truly a team player who goes above and beyond for others. We are very proud to recognize Diane today for her outstanding devotion to our patients and the nursing profession."
"It's the only thing I have ever wanted to do," said Mrs. Rickard, who began her career at WCA Hospital in September 1988. "I never imagined myself doing anything other than what I am doing today. I really love being a nurse."
A high school graduate of Sherman Central School, Diane received an associate degree in applied science from Jamestown Community College. She is a Clinical Level III senior staff at WCA Hospital in the 5D Medical/Surgical Unit. She lives in Lakewood, with her husband, Kenneth, and has two grown sons, Stewart and Garrett, and two grandchildren, Cody and Georgia. Mrs. Rickard is also involved in her community through the March of Dimes.
A finalist for the 2012 Nurse of Distinction was Bonnie Stewart, a registered nurse.
The program included honorable mention to Nathan Dossey, R.N., 5D; Stephanie Gross, Brenda Lang, R.N., Emergency Department, Emelia Lindquist, Emergency Department Nurse Manager; Raymond Merkt, Emergency Department Greeter; Lynne Nickerson, Inpatient Mental Health Program Assistant; R.N. PACU; Elizabeth Short, R.N., 3B; and Lynn Zakowicz, R.N., 4D; who were presented the distinguished Employee of the Month honors from nursing service over the past year. Ruth Walton, R.N., BSN, Nurse Manager on the Special Care Unit and Patient Observation Unit, was acknowledged for 40 years of dedicated service to WCA Hospital for the 2012 anniversary year alongside Michele Deuble, R.N., Special Care Unit, a recipient of the "2012 J.C.C. Alumni Nurse of Distinction" award.
Previous Nurse of Distinction recipients include Elaine Hoglin, Julie Anderson, Mary Sue Pawlak, Michelle Benson, Carol Nelson, Kathleen Cayer, Sue Crytzer, Toni DeAngelo, Ruth Yancey-Walton, Joann Nelson, Joyce Devine, Sandra Gilebarto, Ralph Hamby, Karen Beck, Wendy Beckerink, Charity Carris, Donna Bryant, Jennifer Zabalo, Mindy Moore, Erica Alekson, and Michele Deuble.