Throughout the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have stepped up to be there for their patients and the community when it mattered most.
While it’s impossible to thank every nurse individually for everything they do, for the fourth year, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) is honoring the top nurses in our region through our Celebrate Caring campaign.
We’ve selected three winners from hundreds of nominations. These amazing nurses have demonstrated their commitment to compassionate care and excellence in nursing. Most importantly, they’ve made a lasting impact on others. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
Ann Coyle, RNC-NIC, CPLC, BS-P, Virtua Health
Ann is committed to providing compassionate care and comfort to her patients and their families when they need it most. In her current role, she helps support grieving families who are coping with their loss.
Bonnie Sandy, LPN, The Horsham Clinic
For more than seven years, Bonnie’s been a committed and compassionate psychiatric nurse. She’s also helping to shape the next generation of nurses in mental health care.
Lenore Sears, MSN, RN, Healthcare STAT Home Care
Affectionately referred to as “Super Nurse” and a “Health Care Shero,” Lenore is known for going above and beyond to care for her home care patients, family, and friends.
Q&A: Insights on Nursing From Our Winners
Thank you to our winners for everything you do! We talked with them to learn more about their nursing journey and experience.
IBX: What inspired you to become a nurse?
Coyle: I was inspired by my mom; she insisted I become a nurse. She gave me two choices: nurse or nun. It’s the best thing my mother ever made me do.
Sandy: I was inspired to pursue mental health nursing because my brother was struggling with paranoid schizophrenia. I was always involved with advocacy for him until he unfortunately ended his life.
Sears: My mother always wanted me to be a nurse and encouraged me to pursue it. I also remember being in and out of the hospital as a little girl. During one hospital admission, I had an accident and was embarrassed. I told the nurse, and she took good care of me. She made me feel so safe and preserved my dignity. At that moment, I knew I wanted to make someone else feel the same exact way.
IBX: What is the most enjoyable aspect(s) of nursing and why?
Coyle: The most enjoyable aspect is witnessing the power of prayer and miracles. In the NICU, I have seen many miracles — babies that have survived despite the medical odds. I also enjoy running my support group for grieving parents, HOPING/UNITE (infant loss) support group.
Sandy: I enjoy that it’s never the same day twice. It’s exciting to see people truly healing physically and emotionally and to see something positive that you’ve been able to do, even if it’s just a tiny bit.
Sears: I enjoy meeting different people and love that everybody has a story to tell. Every person I’ve met has opened my eyes to life in a new way.
IBX: What is your biggest hope(s) for the future of nursing and why?
Coyle: I hope that there are still caring individuals who want to go into nursing. I also hope that hospitals have learned lessons from the pandemic on how to better take care of their staff and nurses on an everyday basis, and not just during horrific times.
Sandy: I hope that nurses can truly be valued. We’re in a rough time with nursing. I would like to see more positives shown in the media for future nurses, so that people will get involved in nursing and not be scared to join.
Sears: My hope is that people will see us and that we are an intricate part of the health care system and that we’re needed. We watch over patients, catch mistakes, and save lives on a daily basis.
IBX: What cause(s) are you passionate about outside of nursing?
Coyle: I am passionate about supporting causes and organizations that help parents. I don’t want to just help parents when they’re in the hospital; I want to help them for a lifetime. I am on the board of The TEARS Foundation, which provides financial assistance to families for funerals.
Sandy: My youngest son is deployed in the military, so I’m passionate about supporting him and military families. I’m also very active in suicide awareness; my daughter and I participate in walks for this cause every year.
Sears: I am passionate about nursing education and helping people become nurses because there is such a shortage. I mentor pre-nursing students by showing them how to get into nursing school before they apply. I wish someone had shown me the way, and perhaps I would have been in nursing sooner.