We’re excited to announce the winners of the Nurses at the Heart of Healthcare contest! The contest, held during National Nurses Month, is designed to honor outstanding nurses who have shown compassion, patience, and integrity in their work with patients. 

As we honor and celebrate nurses this month, we also recognize the challenges in the profession. While nursing is an occupation, it is often more accurately described as a vocation—a deep calling to care for others. TigerConnect appreciates this dedication, and we want to highlight National Nurses Month as an important occasion to express gratitude for these tireless efforts.  

For the second annual contest, we asked the healthcare community to nominate nurses demonstrating these remarkable qualities—and you answered! This year’s grand prize winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card and four honorable mention winners will receive On Cloud shoes.  

We sincerely thank you for your nominations, as we enjoyed hearing about the nurses in your life who are making a difference to patients and the entire healthcare field. Each nominator took the time to explain how these nurses have gone above and beyond in their outstanding commitment to patient care.  

Celebrating our contest winners 

Congratulations to the grand prize winner: Charlene Armstrong, RN-TL.  


Charlene is a PACU nurse at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center. With more than 20 years in nursing, she has served as a mentor for numerous nurses throughout her tenure in both the Neuro ICU and the PACU. She was nominated by Christie Jones, RN-BSN, a travel nurse who praised her purposeful delivery of outstanding patient care.  

“She has been such a great nurse other nurses followed her to the PACU in order to continue to work with her.”

– Christie Jones, RN-BSN.   

We’re also pleased to award these four honorable mention winners who are truly committed to their profession and making a positive impact:  

Gulnar Otchiyeva, RN staff nurse at Stratford Visiting Nurse Association 

“Gulnar goes above and beyond with each patient to a point that she definitely loses sleep. She will go to stores and pharmacies on the patient’s behalf and try anyway possible to get whatever the patient needs that insurance may not cover.”

– Sharon Vitale, RN educator at Stratford Visiting Nurse Association 

Diane McDonald, RN, staff nurse at Iowa Digestive Disease Center 

“Diane is a true patient advocate. She is always willing to go above and beyond. She manages all of our upset patients. But with every case she treats each person as a new situation and if it’s truly something needed for the patient.” 

– Meridith Westbrook, chief executive officer at Iowa Digestive Disease Center

Caitlyn Becker, RN, nursing supervisor at Myrtue Medical Center 

“Caitlyn is a nursing leader who will stop at nothing to do what is right for her patients. Her care goes beyond the hospital walls and she also volunteers on a local Rescue Squad. She is all around a service oriented, kind, and caring nurse.” 

– Karen Buman, chief nursing officer at Myrtue Medical Center

Susan Derrickson, MSN, RN, a rehab and dialysis nurse at Memorial Hospital of South Bend 

“Susan Derrickson, a rehab and most recently a dialysis nurse, has been a leader in so many ways. She seeks to understand and meet our patients where they are in their healthcare journey.”

– Patricia Witz, nursing manager at Memorial Hospital of South Bend 

We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the Nurses at the Heart of Healthcare contest. The unwavering commitment, selflessness, and dedication of nurses make a profound impact on the lives of patients and their communities.  

The entire nursing community deserves sincere appreciation for their leadership, tireless efforts in improving healthcare outcomes, and the immeasurable value of their contributions. As we continue to navigate the challenges of healthcare, TigerConnect recognizes the value in the people at the heart of it all. 

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