Two Standout Nursing Students Are Recognized With the DAISY Award
New Middlesex College graduate Kelbin Quintana and second-year student Christine Tverdov were the recipients of the DAISY Award, an honor for exemplary effort and care in the nursing profession.
June 8, 2023
Left to right: Kara Kaldawi, Director of Nursing, Joanne Price, Nursing Instructor, Christine Tverdov '23
Each winner of the DAISY Award receives a certificate, a DAISY Award pin to wear, and a unique hand-carved statue from Zimbabwe entitled “A Healer’s Touch.”
“I was completely shocked,” said Tverdov. “It was so touching to be recognized for my hard work and the care that I show to others. I am tough on myself, so this was really meaningful and reminded me that I am doing a great job and am where I am meant to be.”
“It was honestly a big surprise,” said Quintana. “You must be nominated by fellow students or professors and you are not sure who they will pick. They read the nominations and the little excerpts from each nominee and then they called my name.”
Quintana, a New Brunswick resident, got his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Rutgers and was thinking of attending medical school, but then realized he preferred nursing because it was more patient-centered.
He heard about Middlesex College’s nursing school and its sparkling rate of graduates who pass the licensing exam. Quintana said his teachers packed a lot of knowledge into his two years of study.
“Even though I had my B.S. and felt I knew quite a bit, the amount covered in these two years was a lot,” said Quintana. “I got good experience from the clinical aspect as well.”
Tverdov graduated from Union High School in 2015 and said she was always drawn to the idea of nursing.
“I liked learning the amount of time the nurse spends with the patients and the fact that they are their main and, sometimes, only advocate,” Tverdov said.
“Nursing involves a lot of teaching and having the chance to potentially change someone’s lifestyle and improve their health conditions with my knowledge is something I knew I wanted to be a part of.”
Quintana is now prepping for his NCLEX exam, which bestows licenses on nurses in the United States. If he had his choice, he said he would pick a spot working in emergency.
Tverdov, coincidentally, said the same.
“Working in the ER really appeals to me because of the fast pace and variety of cases that are presented to the medical team,” she said. “I love challenging myself and am intrigued by complex conditions.”
Both share something else — the thrill of winning the DAISY Award.
“Not a lot of people win it,” Quintana said. “And it’s good to get that feedback from my peers and my instructors that I did well. There’s always a doubt when you’re going through nursing school because there is so much to know, and this gives me confidence that I learned what I needed.”
To learn more about the nursing program at Middlesex College, visit middlesexcollege.edu/academics/health-professions/nursing. The DAISY Foundation, as part of its service to the nursing profession’s role in patient care, established the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students 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 and make the nurse-patient connection that makes such a difference in the healthcare experience. The DAISY Foundation hopes that this program will inspire and motivate students to provide the best clinical skill possible and to impact patients and families with human spirit and kindness. To learn more, visit daisyfoundation.org.