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Blinn nursing grad earns international award for exceptional patient care

Alissa Nelms receives prestigious honor five months into her nursing career

June 15, 2016

Alissa NelmsA Blinn College Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program graduate is capturing the attention of her patients, colleagues and the community just five months into her nursing career.

Alissa Nelms, a medical-surgical nurse at Baylor Scott & White in College Station, was recently honored with the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award for Extraordinary Nurses, given monthly to one deserving nurse at each of the 2,000 participating DAISY medical facilities across the world.

The award was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died in 1999 after a lengthy battle with an auto-immune disease. Wishing to honor Barnes’s life and the nurses who cared for him, his family established the DAISY Foundation to implement ongoing recognition of the clinical skill and compassion nurses provide to their patients and loved ones.

Nelms was attending a large meeting with fellow medical professionals when Baylor Scott & White’s Chief Nursing Officer Tammy Spohn introduced the award.

“I was listening and wondering who it was and then I heard my name,” Nelms said. “I did a double-take. I thought, I’m a new nurse, why would they choose me?”

A native of Dallas, Nelms received a bachelor’s degree in sports management in kinesiology from Texas A&M University in 2002. For several years, she and her husband Jeremy worked overseas as civilian contractors for the military. The pair settled back in the states in 2012, and Nelms decided it was time to pursue a lifelong passion.

“I heard Blinn’s ADN program was challenging, but it was ten times more difficult than I imagined,” she said. “I had to work incredibly hard, but it was so rewarding.”

Nelms said professors Cindy Manning and Karla Ross were an integral part of forming and developing her clinical skills.

“I knew from the start Blinn was where I wanted to continue my education,” Nelms said. “I never thought I would receive an award, especially so early in my career. I go to work every night and I pride myself on caring for my patients physically and emotionally. My job is just to be compassionate and caring in whatever facet that encompasses.”

Blinn’s two-year ADN program prepares students for a nursing career and for transfer into a bachelor degree program at a four-year university. Based at the Texas A&M Health Science Center in Bryan, Blinn’s faculty works closely with students in a simulated laboratory and in clinical settings.

Students who complete the program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination have a job placement rate between 97 and 100 percent and are qualified for a wide array of nursing positions, including pediatric, geriatric, hospice, school and clinical nursing. New graduates can expect to earn over $52,000 per year. Blinn’s pass rates are routinely above state and national averages.

Prospective students can participate in information sessions taking place the first Wednesday each month. Each information session will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Texas A&M Health Science Center campus located at 8441 State Highway 47 in Bryan. To register, visit: www.blinn.edu/twe/adn/info_session.php.