Andie: My mom received the Rho Chapter Excellence Award for Nursing Practice in 2014. I had recently graduated from my nurse practitioner program and had been working for less than a year when she received it. I always knew what a fantastic nurse and nurse practitioner my mom was, but to see her recognized was inspirational. She is a tireless worker, always striving for the best outcomes for her patients. To be able to sit in the room and listen to how she has impacted those around her is a moment I will never forget.
Martie: I guess I’d have to say that our story began almost 75 years ago. My mother began our long legacy of nursing when she graduated from the University of Michigan School of Nursing in 1947. My sister, brother, as well as my sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, niece, daughter, and myself all followed in her footsteps.
We have worked in the operating room, medical floors, intensive care units, post-anesthesia care unit, emergency department, and step down units in our careers. I was fortunate to begin my career with a cardiology practice almost 40 years ago that allowed me to perform “at the top of my license” as a nurse practitioner. I worked side by side with our multidisciplinary team developing programs like the Transcatheter Valve Replacement Program and working with patients who had heart failure and coronary artery disease.
With expanding treatment options for severe aortic stenosis, transcatheter aortic valve replacement became an option for patients with the highest risk for poor surgical prognosis. We developed a program (which included cardiologists, thoracic surgeons, and nurses), we identified patients early by evaluating their symptoms, quality of life, cardiac pressures, and anatomy as well as degree of coronary artery disease. This led to the identification of patients who would have the safest replacement options with better outcomes post procedure. This multifaceted, complex program development is what earned me the Rho Chapter Excellence Award for Nursing Practice in 2014.
Andie: I began my nursing career in 2009, working on a surgical step-down unit at the same hospital my mom worked in. During my time there, I transitioned to the pediatric ER and began my master’s program. Upon graduation in 2013, I started working as a nurse practitioner at a busy urgent care. Then I became a mother myself, and I needed a more regular schedule so I transitioned to student health.
I currently work for a large university with a sizable international population. In late January 2020, the pandemic became a reality here, and we began testing patients. I partnered with our health department to develop the early workflows around COVID-19 for our campus. As the pandemic grew, this new role developed as well. By creating a multidisciplinary team, we developed protocols, testing workflows, and standard of care for our patient population. It was non-stop for 12 months, but I am so thankful to look back on all that our team accomplished. In recognition of my efforts, I received the Rho Chapter Excellence Award for Nursing Practice in 2021.
Martie: Having Andrea receive the award has meant the world to me. She has been dedicated to her patients throughout her career. She has stepped up to every challenge and met it with intelligence, creativity, and compassion. She treats each person as an individual, respecting their concerns and needs. I value the honor of being recognized by my Sigma chapter for the commitment to the nursing profession, and I am so proud to see Andrea receive this same award.
Andie: My mother is a force to be reckoned with. To say that I am honored to not only work in the same field as her but to be considered in the same league is an absolute understatement. Her countless hours of care, patience, and dedication helped develop me into the nurse I am today. Without her sacrifice and love, none of this would have been possible. In light of the monumental impact she has made on nursing throughout her 40 year career and the motherly influence she has provided to countless patients, fellow nurses, and colleagues, I think it is more appropriate to celebrate my mother than me. To be part of this profession and honored in this way serves as a reminder to me of those who helped make it all possible. And that’s my mom. To you, Mom, I say, “Thank you, and I love you.”
Andie Ransom is a nurse practitioner at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Martie McClain is a nurse practitioner at Michigan Heart, St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Andie and Martie are members of Sigma’s Rho Chapter in Michigan.