The Central Texas College Nursing Department presented its first-ever DAISY Faculty award this week to a faculty member for their positive impact on students. Kim Simmons, professor of the associate degree nursing (ADN) program was the first recipient of the prestigious award. First runner-up was Patricia Vasbinder, professor in the ADN program. Both faculty members were nominated for the award by their students.
The DAISY Faculty Award was created by the DAISY Foundation to provide a national recognition program for colleges and schools of nursing to demonstrate appreciation to teachers for their commitment and inspirational influence on their students. Modeled after the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the faculty award are nurses whose expertise and excellence are demonstrated in their role as teachers of students studying nursing in nursing colleges and schools.
DAISY Foundation board of directors member Jane Kamstra presented Simmons a certificate reading “to honor your exceptional impact on your students and your inspirational influence on their future.” She then awarded Simmons a hand-carved Shona sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch.” The sculpture was created by the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe, Africa from their tradition of revering traditional healers.
CTC is one of 17 colleges and universities participating in the award program established by the DAISY Foundation in collaboration with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Simmons is only the sixth faculty member in the nation to receive the award. She has been with CTC for four years. Vasbinder, who received a commemorative pin as the award runner-up, has been an instructor with CTC for a year. She began as a part-time faculty member with the college in 1992 while working as a nurse full-time at Scott & White Hospital in Temple.
DAISY, which is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, was established in 2000 by the Barnes family of California who lost their son, Patrick, to complications from Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura at the age of 33. It was initially founded as a research foundation and to honor nurses for the care they provided the Barnes family who called Patrick’s nurses “unsung heroes.” It initiated the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in 2001 and has since honored more than 6,000 nurses.