Albany Hospital Presents DAISY Award to a Compassionate Nurse

Samaritan Albany General Hospital has partnered with The DAISY Foundation in a mission to recognize extraordinary, compassionate nurses and the care they provide to patients and families every day. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

April McKiernan, RN, works in the ICU/CCU and was honored to be a DAISY Award recipient. McKiernan started in the Med/Surg Department as a CNA while she was in nursing school and has been with Samaritan since 2018.

McKiernan was chosen from among six submissions. She was nominated by a patient who appreciated her empathetic and devoted care.

The nominator stated:

“April is an amazing nurse full of compassion and dedication. I recently was admitted with a severe case of pneumonia requiring five days intubation and almost two weeks in the hospital. My family can’t say enough about how well April kept them in the loop about my condition as well as assisting in visits with me.

“Once extubated, April continued to be my nurse for the next few days, and I saw the same compassion and dedication my family had spoken of. She treated me with kindness and respect making sure I had all that I needed and was comfortable. She kept encouraging me to take in nutrition which at that point, nothing tasted good, but she found something to get me started.

“After laying in the hospital bed for several days, my hair had become extremely matted. April, grabbed some detangler (which she had purchased out of her own pocket) and a brush, did her best to work through it, and tie it back until I was able to shower. April goes above and beyond to take care of her patient’s and I can’t say enough how much my family and I appreciate her being there for us. We all felt the love and care she puts in to caring for her patients and their families. I credit my being alive today to the excellent care and compassion she and the rest of the team gave to me. Thank you, April. My family and I will always be grateful and will never forget you!”

A ceremony was held to honor McKiernan and the PRIDE — passion, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence — she shows in her work. At the ceremony, McKiernan was celebrated by her colleagues.

She was presented with a certificate, DAISY pin and a beautiful Healer’s Touch statue created by an artist in Zimbabwe, which symbolizes the relationship between nurses, patients and families. Along with the public recognition, DAISY award winners receive financial discounts for nursing certification training, reduced tuition for continued education, conference scholarship opportunities and are eligible for the national DAISY Award.

McKiernan’s supervisor, Karina Vinson, describes her as sharp, creative, fun to be around and genuinely caring.

“April is one of those caring people who will remember small details about others, even if it’s been a long time since seeing them. She strives to do what’s best and doesn’t settle for the path of least resistance. Her compassion, intelligence and being so highly perceptive of others’ needs is what makes April stand out as a critical care nurse. We are proud to work with her!”

The other nurses nominated alongside McKiernan were:

  • Kenda Hawk, Med/Surg.
  • Allison Hurst, Med/Surg.
  • Annika John, Emergency Department.
  • Patrick Olson, Med/Surg.
  • Jon Weatherall, Med/Surg.

All nominees received a pin from their supervisor.

The DAISY Award was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes to “honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve and throughout their careers, from student through a lifetime of achievement.”

To learn more, visit To nominate an extraordinary Samaritan nurse, go to

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