A Petersburg nurse was nationally recognized for her achievement as a student and as a professional. Angela Menish received a DAISY Award for providing compassionate care to patients and for being committed to the profession of nursing. KFSK’s Angela Denning reports:

Angela Menish has been a nurse supervisor at the Petersburg Medical Center for many years. The road there was a personal one.

“I wanted to pursue nursing since I was a young mother with a child with medical complexities,” Menish said.

Her son’s medical conditions required regular interactions with nurses, which opened Menish’s eyes to the profession. The care she and her family received inspired her.

“I was just always so impressed by the nurses that were, you know, helping us and caring for him,” said Menish. “There was just something about it. I really, really wanted to be a nurse.”

Menish worked her way up the ranks, starting as a volunteer EMT for the community. She then became a CNA, certified nursing assistant, through a program with the local hospital. Also, through the local hospital, she became a registered nurse and this spring, she completed a program to become a nurse practitioner, through the George Mason University. It’s a new online program that included hands-on training with local physicians.

George Mason recently honored Menish with a national DAISY Award for her passion for nursing and providing compassionate care to her patients.

“Really recognizing the commitment to the profession,” said DAISY Foundation Co-Founder, Tena Carraher. “Nurses don’t want the recognition, but gosh, it really makes them feel good when someone takes the time to say, ‘You’re making a difference, and we appreciate it’.”

About 23 years ago, Carraher’s husband ended up in the hospital and died within eight weeks from a rare autoimmune disease. She had a newborn at the time and says the nurses helped her family so much that they started the Daisy Foundation in memory of her husband.

“We expected critical skills,” Carraher said. “What we didn’t expect was the care and compassion that they brought to him even when he was completely sedated and that they brought to us as a family.”

The foundation has grown into a national program, partnering with over 5,000 healthcare organizations. Menish’s award is life-long and gives her the opportunity for scholarships and grants for continuing education plus invitations to national nursing organizations.

Petersburg Nurse Manager, Jennifer Bryner, says Menish is a fantastic nurse so she thinks the Daisy Award is fitting for her. Bryner has worked with Menish for over 20 years.

“She’s excellent with patients; she’s got a good bedside manner,” Bryner said. “She’s calm; she stays calm even in chaotic situations. She’s very positive both with patients and also with staff. She’s been one of our nurse supervisors for a lot of years now and she has a way of encouraging people.”

Bryner says Menish follows the rules and uses best practices for all procedures. She says she’s also a doer and a problem solver.

“So, if there is an issue, she doesn’t let the obstacle stop us from going forward,” Bryner said. “She figures out a way to get it done.”

As a nurse practitioner, Menish will be able to diagnose patients and prescribe medications. She hopes to work as a primary care provider in the Petersburg clinic.

Bryner is proud of that potential move but she says Menish will leave big shoes to fill.