DAISY student award winner Amanda Saunders received a certificate, pin, and Healer's Touch sculpture during a ceremony in December.

Amanda Saunders was the recipient of the Niagara University College of Nursing’s inaugural DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students. Saunders, a Lockport, N.Y., resident, was selected in recognition of her commitment to exceptional clinical skill and the compassion she shows to patients and their families. She is a nurse at Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., and plans to pursue her master’s degree in nursing education.

Saunders was the unanimous choice of the college for her commitment and determination to master lecture content, skills, and engage the clinical experience.

“Amanda is a thoughtful individual and consistently considered the ‘bigger picture’ in her approach to her studies,” said Margarita Coyne, associate dean of the college. “Her work was exemplary. I have no doubt that she will be an excellent nurse and suspect that she will be a future leader of considerable talent.”

Saunders received a certificate, pin, and Healer's Touch sculpture during a ceremony in December.

“This award genuinely means the world to me,” she said, noting that her career in bedside nursing fulfills her dream to make a difference and impact the lives of those in need. “The DAISY symbolizes compassionate care to patients and their families. To be classified as a DAISY nurse is the biggest honor that I have ever had the privilege of accepting. To be recognized for my passion for the field and the quality of care for my patients is an honor. I am devoted to honoring the values of the DAISY Award every day in my career.”

The DAISY student award was recently instituted at Niagara University’s College of Nursing by Dr. Christine Verni, dean of the college.

“I was familiar with the DAISY award program through my work with other organizations, so when college faculty asked to implement the DAISY student award this fall, I was happy to do so,” she said. “I am pleased to have this opportunity to recognize our students for their outstanding compassionate care and their proficiency in nursing.”

Saunders, who graduated in December, said that her classroom education and clinical experiences, as well as the core values she gained while a student at Niagara, prepared her for her career as an RN.

“The NU nursing program fulfilled its vision of ‘preparing nurses to be healthcare leaders of tomorrow by nurturing the development of the whole person – mind, body, heart, and spirit,’” she said. “I am a proud Niagara University nurse, and I am beyond grateful for this educational opportunity.”

The DAISY Foundation, as part of its service to the nursing profession's role in patient care, established the student award to provide colleges/schools of nursing a national recognition program that they may use to recognize and celebrate nursing students who demonstrate commitment to care and compassion in the nurse-patient connection that makes such a difference in the healthcare experience.