TCU Nursing Faculty, Student Win DAISY Award

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Maggie Higgins

Maggie Higgins

Nurses are often unsung heroes.

That’s why the DAISY Foundation, established in 1999 by a family who lost their son, created the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses to do something positive to honor those who go above and beyond.

Two Horned Frogs were recently recognized with a DAISY Award: Harris Nursing faculty member Maggie Higgins and Harris Nursing student Gabi Leinenkugel.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be receiving this,” Higgins, a Foundations Nursing of Clinical Coordinator/Instructor, said. “As a nursing instructor, I am able to be an integral part of creating safe and passionate future nurses.”

Because of the profound impact faculty have on their students and the practice’s future, the DAISY Foundation established the Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty. Commemorated with the Healer’s Touch sculpture, the award honors those who inspire their students to always remember that nursing is much more than tasks and technology.

“The DAISY Award provides TCU Nursing with a special way to recognize our adjunct faculty colleagues that make a significant contribution to the learning that our students have,” said Suzy Lockwood, associate dean for nursing and nurse anesthesia. “Ms. Higgins has been an exceptional example of not only the nursing profession but also someone passionate about teaching the next generation of nurses.”

Higgins said she is privileged to work with faculty like Lockwood.

“I am so fortunate to work with an amazing team of professors and instructors, and I feel that we work so much as a team to guide our students to be the best they can be,” she said. “I believe that the professions of nursing and teaching require dedication and passion, and I cannot think of a more fulfilling pursuit than to teach student nurses!”

Gabi Leinenkugel

Gabi Leinenkugel

The Foundation also recognizes students who demonstrate commitment to care and compassion and make the nurse-patient connection. Leinenkugel, a senior, plans to graduate in December and has a passion for critical care and hopes to start work in an intensive care unit.

“I am so honored to have been chosen to receive this award,” she said. “My Adult II Clinical instructor nominated me after I helped revive a man who had a heart attack in the airport on my way back from spring break,” Leinenkugel said. “She was able to personally present the award to me on stage, so it was a special moment for me.”

Lockwood said the student award provides a unique opportunity for faculty to nominate students that have demonstrated excellence and professionalism in their actions, not solely academic performance.

“We are proud of this year’s recipient and the care that she was able to provide in an emergency,” Lockwood said.