Nicole Halstead says she was a “late bloomer” to the nursing profession. But regardless of that fact, she has received the Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing from her peers at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County.
Nicole is Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s Dialysis Clinic Director. Nationwide, the award is given in a variety of ways. At MHSC, its voted on by peers – the entire nursing staff. That group looks for someone who has gone above and beyond in their daily duties and service to patients. Halstead said she was “very honored and humbled” to receive the award.
“I take great pride in the work my team and I have accomplished over the last two and half years with dialysis, the development of a peritoneal program, and the growth we have seen,” she said. “I truly love my role as a nurse and being able to make a difference in so many lives within this community.”
“Nicole Halstead certainly exemplifies that,” said Kristy Nielson, MHSC Chief Nursing Officer. “Nicole is a true role model for our MHSC Mission, Vision and Values. I am so proud of her and the compassion she offers to her patients, her staff, and her peers. It is such a privilege to be working with Nicole, all of the nominees, and the entire MHSC Nursing Services staff.”
Compassion and Determination
Nicole was one of 14 nurses at MHSC to be nominated. Her peers rewarded her for her “compassion and determination, and for going above and beyond.”
She took over as the Director of the Dialysis Clinic in 2017 where the patient numbers have more than doubled since then. Last year, the clinic opened a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-certified Peritoneal Dialysis Department. To date, it has cared for a total of eight patients, with one receiving a kidney transplant.
“We consider this a huge success because our patient was able to continue to work while performing her care at home, on her terms, all while working toward transplant,” Halstead said. “The patient no longer needs peritoneal dialysis to survive.”
Halstead said there are many reasons she loves working in dialysis and with end-stage renal patients. She said patients become part of her extended family.
“Our patients are amazing people, ranging in age from their 20s to their 90s, all with a story of survival that would inspire anyone,” she added.