Abby Schmitt ’06 M’16, nurse clinician in Medical Services at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper, is the 2018 recipient of the USI Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award.
Schmitt has invested many educational years at USI and has earned an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, all in nursing. In her current position, she serves as a role model to current nursing students doing clinical hours at the hospital.
Schmitt’s nominator described her as patient with student questions, encouraging to their efforts and proactive in creating optimal clinical learning experiences. The nominator added, “Her influence on building student competence and confidence is a very powerful piece of support for the next generation of bedside nurses and future nurse leaders.”
When accepting the award during USI Nursing’s annual White Coat ceremony, held August 26, Schmitt gave advice to up-and-coming nurses in the room. “There are so many directions to take a nursing career. No end of the ladder is better than the other, but whatever you choose to do, do it well,” she said. “I was lucky to encounter some great mentors along my path. Surround yourself with those that push you to be better. If you set your expectations high, people will notice.”
She added, “It is easy to say that as a nurse, you will touch a life every day; but, be observant of those lives that end up touching yours. Nursing isn’t just a career choice that you pick up at a job fair; nursing is a lifestyle. You are shaped by all encounters, patient and non-patient related, and that will help you develop your own brand.”
Each year, the USI Nursing Alumni Society recognizes a graduate who has made outstanding achievements in a career or public service. For more information about the USI Nursing Alumni Society, visit the society’s web page.