Monday, November 24, 2008

March of Dimes - Nurse of the Year - Update!

I want to first send out a HUGE thank you to Gary Fox from the March of Dimes for inviting me to this incredible event! I had such a great time, and it was amazing seeing so many nurses from all over Las Vegas in one big room! Everyone was dressed to to impress, and I was happy to drink champagne and mingle among the beautiful people.

Nurse of the Year is held to appreciate the best and the brightest, and has been produced by the March of Dimes for the last few years. It started many years ago with a single award, and each year it continues to get bigger and better. I'm told Las Vegas has the biggest party of them all! This year, hosted at the Orleans, there were 24 awards given out. A nurse may be nominated by anyone- a fellow nurse, a doctor, a patient...and then the winners are chosen by other nurses. I think the awards mean that much more to the winners because they're voted on by their peers. I talked to a few nurses that said that there isn't a harder judge than a fellow nurse!

The night started off with a silent auction, and after the Chef's event, I feel like a silent auction pro! Most of the items up for sale were created and donated by the nurses involved. To me, that just made each item extra special. There were some really incredible things to bid on, from a hand-made quilt with pictures of little nurses on it, to gift baskets of goodies, to jewelry, to paintings and photography. My hubby and I bid on a few things, but my husband only had eyes for an large, artsy photograph of a Las Vegas building. We eventually won the picture (yay!) and it's now hanging in our kitchen.

Matt guarding the picture he bid on with his life. He wasn't going to let that one go!

The most appropriate item; A diaper bag.

Once the auction ended, we were invited into the main dining room. Again, the color of the night was purple! The tables were beautifully set, and salads awaited us when we sat down. There were people everywhere- I'm told there were 800 guests celebrating the evening! Each table had a sign telling which hospital was represented. It was incredible to see how many different practices were involved with the event. You can read a list on paper, but seeing the crowd in person makes it much more real.

Some of the nominees enjoying the night.

One of the coolest parts for me? I got to sit at the March of Dimes table! So, even though I'm just a blogger, and I sat among a crowd of amazing nurses, I felt like I belonged. It was a good feeling. For the past five years, I've been the arm candy for my husband's functions. This time, it was my turn to lead the way. I was wondering if the day would ever happen! Hallelujah.

Dinner was chicken stuffed with roasted red peppers (yum!), with baby squash and asparagus. It was complimented with a cornmeal side that was soooo good. I finished my whole plate (surprise surprise). Pumpkin pie with fresh berries was for dessert. They also served some of the best after-dinner coffee I've ever had. I must have crap coffee at my house because this coffee was SO much better than what I'm used to.

Each nominee received a beautiful carnation and a ribbon when they arrived. Each category had a runner up and a winner. To see the list of winners, click here. I was so touched watching the winners walk up to claim their plaque and give their speech. Most of them were in tears. You could almost drink their pride in. And listening to their passion for what they do, and hearing their voices crack with emotion was so amazing. I feel really lucky that this amazing group works in my city!

To sum the night up, March of Dimes throws one hell of a party. And they are such a generous, thoughtful organization. If you would like to volunteer for March of Dimes (there's lots of work to be done!), or want to donate to helping premature babies, click here to go to their website.

To read about my other adventures with March of Dimes, click here.


Cathie said...

Thank you for saying that nurses are prideful of their jobs. I hope one day to receive such an award!

Vina Legaspina said...

Thank you for posting March of Dimes - Nurse of the Year Winners 2008. I was an official nominee but I was not able to make it for the first time. My 2 year old was sick that Saturday night. Every year I get nominated and become an official nominee, I always make it to the banquet. This year, the year I couldn't make it... is the year I won! Can you believe that??? And the funny thing is... I was off that whole weekend, did not come back to work until Tuesday night the 18th, the night my Charge Nurse in ICU Pam Couevas told me about my runner up award. I had no idea! She was very proud of me and I had such mixed feelings that moment. I felt very proud, maybe very happy, maybe very overwhelmed?..LOL! I'm not sure! All I know is was and still is a very good feeling deep within. On the 23rd, Sunday night, was when my new manager Brad Umsted gave me my plaque. Again, I was so happy and very proud knowing that it is my own nursing peers that voted for me. Looking at the list of winners, there are two winners from Summerlin Hospital - myself from Critical Care Nursing Category and Lynn Ray from Nursing Mgt Category. Again, thank you!!!

Nancy "Nikki" Legaspina - Critical Care Runner Up Award Winner (Summerlin Hospital and Medical Center)

P.S. Today is the photoshoot of all the winners and runner-ups from Valley Health System and I think I need to take a shower like... right now! LOL!

Tasha said...

Congratulations, Nikki! I'm sorry you had to miss such a great party! I can totally relate to having a sick 2 year old- I have one of those right now, too. :) I'm thrilled to have been able to share the winners list and event blog! :)

Fairy said...

Thanks for the great post, I started my career in nursing after finishing a associate degree in nursing from associate degree nursing schools

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