East Tennessee State University’s College of Nursing presented a DAISY Award to Nicholas Shortridge, a 2020 alumnus of ETSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
Dr. Wendy Nehring, dean of the College of Nursing, presented the award to Shortridge in the presence of nursing faculty and staff, who joined the ceremony via Zoom due to social distancing guidelines.
DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Foundation was formed in January 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disease. Touched by the care and compassion of the nurses who took care of him, his family developed recognition programs to honor and celebrate direct care nurses, nursing faculty and nursing students.
Shortridge is ETSU’s second recipient of the DAISY Award and the first ETSU student selected for the award.
“This spring, the faculty unanimously voted that Nicholas should receive this award for all that he’s done, not only for his accomplishments in academics, but also the social activities and leadership roles he took on during his time at ETSU,” Nehring said. “But most of all, he was chosen for the kindness that he shows to others.”
While at ETSU, Shortridge served as a peer mentor, in various roles with the Student Government Association, and as a leader in ETSU’s Preview Orientation Leaders Organization, where he welcomed and guided incoming freshmen and transfer students.
In the College of Nursing, he was a peer ambassador, offering support for students seeking entrance into the nursing program and assisting with orientation events, open house events and during the advisement period.
“Nicholas is exceptional and an example for all nursing students,” said Dr. Melessia Webb, associate dean in the College of Nursing.
Shortridge was inspired to become a nurse after his own experience as a pediatric cancer survivor brought him into contact with countless nurses throughout his many treatments and hospital stays from ages 15-17.
“I lived in health care; I lived in hospitals for two years, so this is why I am here,” Shortridge said. “At the end of the day, I want to be my patients’ advocate. Their health is the most important thing.”
After graduating from ETSU in May 2020, Shortridge passed his NCLEX-RN exam and accepted a nursing residency position at the VA. He will begin his nursing career on Aug. 17.
“I will miss my student experience at ETSU,” Shortridge said. “I had phenomenal professors. Everything they have done for me has allowed me to get to the point where I can accept this award.”