Sarah Gray couldn’t believe the news, but it came as no surprise to co-workers who know her commitment to patient care.
She’s the Nurse of the Year.
Cottage Health awarded its first Nurse of the Year award to Ms. Gray, who has worked 13 years on the night shift of the surgical intensive care unit at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
“I was in utter disbelief when I heard my name announced for the award,” Ms. Gray said in a news release. “I am extremely grateful and honored that my colleagues would nominate me. They made me feel so very special and loved.”
She knew since she was 18 that she wanted to be a nurse. After she graduated from high school, she studied nursing at Mississippi University for Women.
She came to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in 2009 as a travel nurse and soon became an employee in the surgical intensive care unit.
“In the nomination from Sarah’s co-workers, they describe her as amazing, not only for her superior nursing skills, but also for her calm demeanor and sincerity,” said Laura Canfield, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, at the awards celebration during Nurses Week.
“She’s always supportive and empathetic,” Ms. Canfield said in the news release. “They called her the epitome of a great leader and a caring and compassionate nurse. She is known as ‘the rock’ of the night shift, and she inspires everyone who works with her.”
The Nurse of the Year award honors an outstanding Cottage Health nurse who goes above and beyond to provide excellent care, improve patient outcomes and support colleagues.
All Cottage employees from all departments were invited to nominate a nurse for the award. To qualify, the nominated nurse had to be an RN, LVN or nurse practitioner who provides direct patient care during at least half of their work time.
A panel of direct-care nurses on the Nurses’ Recognition Committee reviewed the nominations and selected the award winner from more than 40 blinded nominations.