Sweeney presenting award to Kirschling

During the spring induction ceremony for UMSON’s Pi at-Large Chapter of Sigma, Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, was honored with a surprise presentation of the DAISY Nurse Leader Award.

During the spring induction ceremony April 25 for UMSON’s Pi at-Large Chapter of Sigma, the international nursing honor society, Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Bill and Joanne Conway Dean, was honored with a surprise presentation of the DAISY Nurse Leader Award.

Cynthia Sweeney, DNP, BSN ’76, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, vice president of nursing, emerita for the DAISY Foundation and president of Pi at-Large Chapter, presented the award to Kirschling.

An acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem, The DAISY Foundation was formed in November 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura. The nursing care Patrick received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family. The founded the DAISY Foundation specifically to say “thank you” to nurses.

The DAISY Nurse Leader Award recognizes nurse leaders who

  • create an environment where attributes of trust, compassion, mutual respect, continued professional development, and ethical behavior are modeled and supported
  • are accessible, available, and responsive to the needs of those they lead
  • are problem-solvers and encourage critical thinking
  • are advocates for those they lead and work with
  • and most importantly, are compassionate leaders.

During the presentation of the award, Sweeney described challenges the chapter faced when she first became president in 2019, compounded by the onset of the pandemic. “With Dr. Kirschling’s ‘virtual’ arm around my shoulders, I never felt that I was standing alone and never had to ask for anything,” Sweeney said in her remarks. “It was magical in that whatever the chapter needed to be successful, it was made available. She was generous in sharing resources and wisdom through her amazing staff. She supported the chapter as we learned to quickly pivot.

“Sigma, Theta, Tau = Love, Honor, and Courage are the words that make up the name of our nursing honor society. They also describe how Dr. Kirschling approaches her leadership and the example that she sets.”

Kirschling received a special DAISY Nurse Leader certificate, a specially designed DAISY recognition pin, and the Healer’s Touch sculpture. Each sculpture is hand carved by artists of Zimbabwe’s Shona Tribe, which holds its healers in a position of great importance to the community. The DAISY Foundation supports 14 artists carving these sculptures; this is their only work, and with the money the Foundation pays, some 500 people in the artists’ extended families are supported.

In addition, Deborah Zimmerman, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, CEO of the DAISY Foundation, recorded a video congratulating Kirschling on the recognition.

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