As the winner of the 2012 Amazing Nurses Contest sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future, Ann Coyle, RN, BA is a nurse who has truly gone the extra mile for her patients, their families and her colleagues. In addition to her role as a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Virtua Voorhees Hospital in Voorhees, N.J., she is the facilitator of the HOPING Bereavement Support Group for families who have lost children. Coyle is also the inspiration and driving force behind the hospital’s Angel Garden, which is a memorial garden and waterfall – “a peaceful place where parents and families can go and remember their babies.”
Launched in July 2011, the Amazing Nurses Contest provides an opportunity for the public, patients and the healthcare community to nominate nurses who continually demonstrate their commitment to the profession. After narrowing down hundreds of nomination entries to 10 finalists, the public was invited to vote for their favorite nominee on the contest tab located on the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page. Coyle was selected for her significant contributions and inspiring dedication to nursing, and was honored at the 2012 CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute event and broadcast on December 2.
In this month's "Get to Know" section, we learn more about the career of this Amazing Nurse, including how she got into the nursing profession and what she has learned along the way. Be sure to also check out Coyle’s video profile on the JNJDiscoverNursing YouTube channel.
Q. When did you decide to pursue a career in nursing and why?
A. My mother is the reason that I am a nurse. I know most people say they went into nursing because they wanted to help people, and I do agree with that thought, but I am a nurse today because years ago my mother gave me two choices for a career – I could be a nurse or a nun. Since I knew that I wanted to get married and have children someday, I chose to become a nurse! It is obvious to me today that my mom saw a quality in me that she knew would be a perfect fit for nursing.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your profession?
A. I love the variety of choices available in my profession. Personally, I work as a staff nurse in Virtua’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where I care for our tiniest patients. I love working with babies and enjoy guiding parents as they adapt to the needs of their fragile infant. It’s important to stay positive and focus on the little victories, especially in a NICU.
I also facilitate the HOPING Bereavement Support Group for parents who have lost young children. I feel that I have been able to help others work through their grief experiences. I draw upon the lessons that I have learned in my life from the many losses that I have experienced. I feel truly blessed when I am able to help someone move forward in their journey of grief and especially when I see them reach out to help someone else begin to heal.
Q. What advice would you offer to those interested in becoming a nurse?
A. I tell young people who are thinking about entering the profession that nursing is so much more than hospital bedside work. There are many job opportunities for nurses – you can work at so many places. The world needs more good nurses, and it is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.
Q. How has nursing impacted your life?
A. Nursing has impacted my life in so many ways. In my job as a NICU nurse, I see the beginning of life and the end of life, sometimes in one shift. It makes you appreciate all that you have. I hug my kids a little harder when I come home at the end of my shift. Nursing and helping others has become my passion. I have met so many wonderful people over the years that have touched and continue to touch my life each day.
Q. How does it feel to be the winner of the 2012 Amazing Nurses Contest?
A. I was truly overwhelmed when I learned that I had won this award! Not only is it an honor to be nominated, but it is also such an honor to be included with the other top finalists who are just awe-inspiring! Words cannot express how I feel about the love and support shown to me in my job, life and endeavors by my family, friends and co-workers. I am humbled by it all!