Long-term care nurse surprised with DAISY Award

Former patient nominates LPN known for putting people at ease

Nurse in surgical mask stands next to a senior patient in his nursing home room.

It “takes a village” to provide high quality care for residents and patients.

One of those caregivers, Kayla Finzen, LPN, at Good Samaritan Society – Sioux Falls Village in South Dakota, is getting a well-deserved surprise for her efforts.

“It took me about a week to realize what a top-notch nurse I had in the rehab facility when I was here,” former patient Linda Fansin says about Finzen during a special ceremony.

The DAISY Award

Following Fansin’s rehab stay for a leg wound, she nominated Finzen for The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Recently, Finzen was selected by the DAISY Foundation for recognition.

“She is very adept at putting her patients at ease, thus taking away the anxiety patients face and finding comfort when needed the most,” Fansin says.

“I can’t thank Kayla or the staff enough for the treatment I received when here.”

Explore nursing careers: Nursing jobs at Sanford Health and Good Samaritan Society

A clinical care leader in the nursing home’s therapy and rehab wing, Finzen’s passionate about sparking positive change.

“It was a huge surprise, complete surprise,” Finzen, 29, says about the honor. “I had no idea anything was coming.”

“When I heard Linda Fansin behind me, then I knew. My heart dropped and she started crying and I started crying. It was good.”

‘Always willing to pitch in’

Getting her Society start as a traveling nurse three years ago, Finzen fell in love working with residents at the nursing home.

“In rehab we’ll take somebody in and I tell them, I’m happy you’re here. I will keep you as long as I can but I will celebrate and kick you out the door once you’ve graduated,” Finzen jokes.

Resident Harlan Temple moved to the Society six months ago and says Finzen has big heart.

“Kayla is just an awesome person,” Temple says. “She’s caring and she’s very helpful. She makes you feel good. I just have a lot of admiration for her.”

Fellow Society nurse and clinical care leader Brittany Brees, RN, says Finzen is “a great teammate, team player. Always willing to pitch in a helping hand. Hard worker, definitely.”

“This little team that we have right here is definitely pretty close,” Brees adds. “We work really well together and all have kind of the same goal of making sure we’re providing for our residents and making sure we have what we need.”

‘Makes me whole’

Finzen points out the long-term care center “truly is a village. We are the village and it takes a village. That’s what we are.”

“We’re a family. I like to tell everybody, yes you have your family but also this is our work family.”

A family of extraordinary nurses and more putting residents first.

“Being able to give and then they (residents) give back to me, it makes me whole. It makes me happy,” Finzen says through tears.

“For someone to take the time to tell me to stop (for a moment) and you are appreciated, it’s huge.”

Finzen, originally from Iowa, is currently studying to become a registered nurse through Northwest Iowa Community College.

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Posted In Awards & Recognition, Nursing and Nursing Support, Senior Services, Sioux Falls