50 year nurse earns DAISY Award at ETMC Athens

September 9, 2017


After a 50-year career in nursing, Nelda Lively of the education unit department at East Texas Medical Center in Athens was surprised with the recognition as a DAISY Award winner.

“Her positive influence can be seen in many health-care facilities and many departments within ETMC Athens,” said Kelly Beck, one person who nominated Lively.

Lively has been with ETMC for eight years. After receiving her nursing degree from the Texas Eastern School of Nursing, she accepted her first job with ETMC in Tyler.

Lively was recognized by her peers for compassionate care and as an outstanding role model.

“I had the honor of working with Nelda Lively in our education department for a short period of time,” Beck said. “I have never worked with a nurse more focused on evidence-based patient care.”

Although she no longer performs bedside nursing care, she affects every nurse who cares for patients at ETMC in Athens. Lively is an advocate for following policy and the most current nursing processes. She goes out of her way to make sure the nursing staff has the most current education available.

Lively also makes herself available on nights and weekends to make sure staff has access to education software and facilities.

“She has stayed active in her career despite many changes and personal hardships,” Gay Decker said.

Her heart for nursing is evident as she instructs and precepts student nurses just getting started in the profession. Lively said she was surprised but had been wondering what was going on.

“A few strange things were happening the last couple of days,” she said. “I didn’t know what they were up to.”

The DAISY Award was created in 1999 by a family who lost their son. After experiencing kindness and compassion from nurses with their loved one who was terminal and in the hospital. DAISY stands for Disease Attacking the Immune System. Today, the program has been implemented in more than 1900 health-care facilities. Nurses are nominated by anyone who sees an extraordinary nurse and awarded by a hospital nursing committee that decided if that person meets the criteria. ETMC Regional Healthcare Systems has been presenting DAISY Awards to its nurses since 2015.

Recipients receive certificates, award pins and hand-covered serpentine stone sculptures from Zimbabwe.

Article courtesy of Kathi Nailling, Athens Daily Review