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Health Care

Health Care Heroes: Nurse

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 20, 2023

Honors a nurse whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other health care providers.


EMILY CRUICKSHANK

Title: Registered Nurse

Organization: Novant Health NHRMC

What a nominator said: “When thinking of one word to describe Emily as a nurse, the word I would use is ‘sympathetic,’ ‘compassionate,’ and ‘kind-hearted.’ Okay, that is three words! Emily is a 22-year-old nurse at Novant hospital and I believe her story is different from most young and aspiring nurses in the Wilmington community and beyond.” 

Born in Canada, Emily “had a love for the North Carolina coast since she was a young girl. She would dream of living near Topsail Beach, and when she began studying nursing in Canada, she knew she wanted to be a part of the Wilmington community as a nurse to serve and love this city. Emily knew she wanted to be a nurse and it was a way that she could care and love others in the world around her. Emily graduated with honors and knew that it was her time to move down to the NC coast to find her new home…. 

“Emily is also a mentor to young nurses and has worked with several Cape Fear Academy and UNCW students in their nursing careers. Emily has vocalized that this is one of her favorite parts about being a nurse and hopes to mentor more young people in the nursing field …”

– Sarah Cruickshank, nonprofit publicist, Pinkston

ERIN MURRAY

Title: Registered Nurse

Organization: Well Care Health

What a nominator said: Erin Murray went to college for vocal comprehension training with the goal of being an opera singer. “However, life soon stepped in, and everything became clear when Erin became a mom. Becoming a mom helped her realize that her true passion was to become a nurse. … After graduation, two of her early nursing roles were working in a hospital setting – in a cardiac step-down unit with postoperative open heart and lung surgery patients. While she was moving forward with her career, life again took a turn that changed her trajectory. Erin’s father was tragically diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. … She provided him with home healthcare every day because it was extremely important to her that even though he didn’t have a large quantity of life left, he would have the best quality.” 

Eventually, she became a home health nurse at Well Care and also serves as a preceptor – educational trainer – for others.

“She does this in addition to seeing her patients and providing direct patient care, but it is something she finds extremely rewarding….

“Although the world can always use more great opera singers …we are extremely thankful that Erin chose to follow her calling and become a nurse.”

– Jaimee Marsicano, vice president of Home Health Operations for Well Care Health

NANCY RUSSELL

Title: Registered Nurse

Organization: Lower Cape Fear LifeCare

What a nominator said: “Nancy is one of the most compassionate nurses I have ever met and she has been nursing for 30 years. She spends extra time with families that are distraught and has a special gift of making them better understand the end-of-life process. She also goes above and beyond for staff that are having hard times. She comes in extra and has even offered her car and house to staff in need. Her wisdom is the most beautiful thing about her. She helps guide not only the patients and families but also helps mentor new nurses. She genuinely loves what she does and shows it in her enthusiasm to mentor others in a way that makes them feel encouraged and accomplished.”

– Gail Futch, RN with Lower Cape Fear LifeCare

Read more about all of the 2023 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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