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While Carondelet values the hard work its nurses put in every single day, an official annual event recognizes the many benefits nurses provide to individuals and communities. National Nurses Week is celebrated from May 6 (National Nurses Day) through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

The American Nurses Association aptly describes nursing as both an art and a science, saying “Nursing is a profession that embraces dedicated people with varied interests, strengths and passions because of the many opportunities the profession offers. We have many roles—from staff nurse to educator to nurse practitioner and researcher—and serve all of them with passion for the profession and with a strong commitment to patient safety.”

Sounds like they’ve met Carondelet’s nurses!
Nurses in Tucson have been celebrated since 1994 with a city-wide event where 50 nurses are honored as the “Fabulous 50” nurses in our community. The Fab 50 are chosen from the Tucson area by their peers for their role modeling and mentoring of others, concern for humanity, contributions to the Tucson community and significant contributions to nursing.

Every year, Carondelet is represented in the Fab 50 event with several award-winning nurses, but this year is particularly bountiful. Carondelet Health Network is proud to announce that seven associates are among those named as the “Fab 50” for 2012! Congratulations to these talented, exceptional women—and their colleagues—for their great personal and team efforts to give excellent care to every patient.

Meet our 2012 award winners:

Victoria (Vic) Ames, Night Clinical Supervisor, Orthopedic, Neurology and Observation units, Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital
• Service at Carondelet: 8 years
• Nursing credentials/education: BSN, Colorado Mesa University; CPR Instructor; Certifications: ACLS; NIH Stroke Scale; Telemetry; Leadership Academy, University of Arizona
• Career background—served in the following settings and roles: Geriatric Care; Rehabilitation; Home Health Director; Orthopedic and Neurological Nursing; Observation Unit; Pain and Wound Management; Staff Development and Recognition; Unit-Based Council Membership; Care Transition for the Terminally Ill; Code Blue Committee Co-Chair; Interdisciplinary Computer Development Team
• What she loves about nursing: “The variety—no two days are ever the same. I also love being part of a team and working together toward a common goal, knowing we have the ability to help others in their most vulnerable state to progress to the next stage of their life. I really enjoy finding skills in my coworkers and developing new skills for myself.”
• Other thoughts: “I am a busy wife and mom of two young children with an active family life. I continue to find that happy balance between my first love—nursing—and my greatest love—family. I am blessed to have worked in nursing for 19 years. Working on Ortho at St. Mary's for the past eight years has truly fine-tuned many of my skills as a team lead RN on the floor, a Charge nurse and now a supervisor. When we took on Neuro, it was scary at first, but has since re-inspired us all to seek new knowledge and remember that not a day goes by in nursing when you can't learn something new! Being active on committees has kept me informed and involved, making the wonderful associates I'm blessed to work with my second family. Everyone in my life inspires me every day and I'm very thankful for their support.”

Sandy Aspacher, Clinical Educator and Certified Registered Nurse, Ambulatory Surgery, Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital
• Service at Carondelet: 16 years
• Nursing credentials/education: BSN, Grand Canyon University; candidate for MSN in Nursing Education, Grand Canyon University; Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse; ACLS; and PALS
• Career background—served in the following settings and roles: PeriAnesthesia nursing; currently serving as Director of Education for the Arizona PeriAnesthesia Nurses Association; member of the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses
• What she loves about nursing: “I love the opportunity to advocate for our patients, who come to us in a very vulnerable state. It is gratifying to know that at the end of the day, you have helped patients through their surgical experience and hopefully made a difference in their lives.”
• Other thoughts: “I am grateful for the opportunity to coach nurses, but especially novice nurses and nursing students. My hope is to create an environment where new nurses are welcomed, accepted and nurtured to grow professionally. I thank God for all the fabulous nurses who have mentored me and generously shared of their knowledge and experience, and I believe nurses need to pay it forward.”


Brenda Aros, Neurosurgery Team Registered Nurse, Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital
• Service at Carondelet: 2 ½ years
• Nursing credentials/education: BS in psychology, NAU; nursing degree from Pima Community College
• Career background—served in the following settings and roles: physical therapy tech; marketing pharmacy services; surgical nurse
• What she loves about nursing: “I love the patient contact, definitely. Meeting patients and feeling like you made a difference in their lives is so rewarding.”
• Other thoughts: “When I had a marketing job, I really missed patient contact, so nursing seemed like a perfect fit. I love my job, and I really love St. Joe’s. I’m so impressed with the culture here. There is truly a healing and caring culture at St. Joseph’s Hospital. It’s a wonderful place to work.”

Nancy Quebedeaux Faulkner, Infection Preventionist, Infection Prevention and Control, Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital
• Service at Carondelet: 10 years the first time; 4 years this time
• Nursing credentials/education: BSN, University of Arizona College of Nursing, Magna cum laude; CIC, board-certified in Infection Prevention and Control
• Career background—served in the following settings and roles: med/surg; oncology; hospice; ambulatory surgery; managed an outpatient IV infusion unit
• What she loves about nursing: “I love the varied nursing opportunities that are available throughout your career and the never-ending chance to grow. I learn something new every day, and I never get bored. My favorite times are the days when I go home and know in my heart that I made a difference.”
• Other thoughts: “I am passionate about infection prevention in the perioperative area. Reducing surgical site infections (SSIs) has become a major focus nationally. St. Joseph’s has an amazing perioperative team that is committed to developing ‘zero tolerance’ regarding SSIs. I am so proud to be a part of the team.”

Julie Gilles, Wound, Ostomy, Continence Care Registered Nurse, Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital
• Service at Carondelet: 5 years
• Nursing credentials/education: RN; Associate Degree in Nursing, Pima Community College; BSN, University of Phoenix; Certified Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurse, Emory University School of Medicine’s Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Education Program
• Career background—served in the following settings and roles: trauma, neuro and cardiac intensive care; post-anesthesia recovery room; gastroenterology lab; manager of gastroenterology lab and pain clinic; wound, ostomy and continence nursing; active in local professional organization, the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN); current president of the Tucson affiliate of the WOCN; mentor to WOCN students
• What she loves about nursing: “Nursing has so many different areas you can specialize in that you can always keep learning and growing in your profession. Each area builds your knowledge and experience and helps you with the next, and this is a benefit to your patients. The thing I like best about being a nurse is that I feel I make a difference to my patients; that makes me feel good about what I do.”
• Other thoughts: “It’s hard to believe I’ve been a nurse for 26 years now. I have learned so much from my coworkers and patients over the years. St. Joseph’s hospital has such awesome staff! I feel lucky to work with so many wonderful professionals.”

Yolanda Robles de Greig, Emergency Room Annex Registered Nurse, Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital
• Service at Carondelet: a total of about 7 years
• Nursing credentials/education: RN, Pima Community College
• Career background—served in the following settings and roles: telemetry unit; ortho/neuro; transitional care unit with the most critical patients
• What she loves about nursing: “I especially love to work with mentally ill patients, the ortho patients and the elderly, trying to treat them all with respect and dignity. It is an honor for me to help people who come to the hospital in distress. Everything is a challenge, in any unit. We as human beings are very complicated, especially when we are sick, so it becomes a challenging task to fulfill those urgent needs for every patient. I find it very special to help human beings when they are in crisis.”
• Other thoughts: “Coming to this country from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico as a 30-year old international nursing student was a dream come true for me. I’m very grateful to this country and so happy about getting my U.S. citizenship this past January.”

Ann Tillich, Lactation Team Registered Nurse, Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital
• Service at Carondelet: celebrating 18 years at St. Joseph’s in May
• Nursing credentials/education: RN; Certified Childbirth Educator; Certified Breastfeeding Counselor
• Career background—served in the following settings and roles: OB-GYN Labor nurse; OB scrub nurse in OR; Postpartum and Nursery nurse; Clinical Leader on night shift
• What she loves about nursing: “I love my job, because I love helping people and educating them through Childbirth Education and then after their delivery. I enjoy following up with them, listening about their labor experiences and then helping them with breastfeeding. ”
• Other thoughts: “When I was five years old, my brother was very ill with asthma and was hospitalized many times. One day I was allowed to visit him in the hospital and I saw how wonderful the nurses were when they took care of him. That’s when I made a decision that someday I was going to be a nurse. One of my nursing instructors once said that if I treat my patients like family, I will always give good care. I have carried this advice with me my entire career. It is so gratifying and rewarding to me to have such positive experiences. I work with such a wonderful staff—where there is such great teamwork—that it’s no wonder I smile a lot and look forward to working with them every day. I am truly grateful and blessed to have such a wonderful rewarding career.”