Announcing the 2016 Nurse’s Touch Award Winners

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The 2016 Nurse’s Touch Award Winners were chosen. We’re proud to honor Diana Patterson, Tara Benko, Patti McFadden, and Naomi Jones, for embodying the spirit of nursing and going above the call of the classroom to train the next generation with kindness and compassion.

See more information about the Nurse’s Touch Award and past winners here.

Patti McFadden RN, MSN, CEN, SANE-A | Louisiana Tech University 

Patti McFadden has been a nurse for 22 years with experience in forensic, pediatric intensive care, and emergency nursing.  She went to nursing school at Louisiana Tech University then completed her BSN and MSN from Grambling State University.  Her experience at Louisiana Tech supported her love of teaching and after 13 years at the bedside, she accepted a tenure-track position at her Alma mater.  She is currently enrolled at William Carey University to obtain a Ph.D. in nursing education and administration.  She is married with three beautiful girls, two dogs, and a horse.

Diana Patterson RN, BSN | Yuba College

Diana Patterson chose nursing as a second career at the age of 48 and graduated with an ADN from Yuba College in Marysville, California in December of 2013. She was immediately hired in 2014 on a telemetry floor at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. Diana volunteered in the skills lab during her fourth semester of nursing and was hired in the Fall of 2014 as a clinical Instructor for first-semester nursing students.

She accomplished her BSN from Brandman University in October of 2015. In her free time, she continues to volunteer in the skills lab, along with tutoring any student that is having difficulties. On a personal note, Diana has been married for thirty years to a terrific man and has a wonderful daughter and son-in-law. She considers her time with the nursing program as a wonderful hobby that instills inspiration to students to accomplish their dreams of being a great nurse. Diana is also a faithful member of the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church of Grass Valley, California.

Tara Benko, RN, MSN | Mount Aloysius College

Bill Bennett’s statement, “How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great,” stands as a symbol of Tara A. Benko’s philosophy on nursing education. Currently, Tara works as an Instructor of Nursing at Mount Aloysius College (MAC) in Cresson, PA. She began her teaching career in August of 2011 as an Adjunct Nursing Instructor, and she quickly realized that the importance of encouraging a passion for the science of nursing and the art of compassionate caring in students was a personal as well as a professional goal.

Tara graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2001 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a minor in psychology. From 2001-2014, she gained significant experience in medical-surgical nursing, with a primary focus on telemetry/cardiac care. In addition to becoming an Adjunct Nursing Instructor in 2011, Tara also worked with the Information Technology department at Altoona Regional Hospital and was awarded the role of Informatics Nurse at UPMC Altoona in 2014.

After years of bedside nursing, it was evident to Tara that she had a desire to work with students in hopes that she could foster a passion for caring about the details of patient care. Tara completed her masters of science degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2014 and accepted a full-time teaching position at MAC. As an Instructor of Nursing, Tara teaches in both the Associate Degree (A.D.) and RN-BSN Programs. In addition to being a Course Coordinator in the A.D. program, Tara holds positions on numerous departmental and college committees. In 2014, she became her department’s ATI Champion and continues to work to coordinate services between ATI and her faculty peers, as well as assist students with ATI services.

Tara was recognized by nursing student athletes in 2015, and proudly accepted the Student Athlete, Faculty Appreciation Award. She is a member of the National League of Nurses (NLN) and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). Outside of work, Tara has participated in a variety of community service activities, including coaching youth basketball, community fundraisers, and assisting the local Woman’s club with holiday events. It is Tara’s professional goal to help her students recognize the influence of kindness, compassion, and attention to detail, which enhances the overall outcomes of a patient’s health. Tara is married to a wonderful husband and the mother of three energetic and fun children. She enjoys spending time with her family and having her toes in the sand while vacationing at the beach!

Naomi Jones RN, MSN | Ivy Tech Community College

Naomi Jones is the Program Chair for the PN Nursing program at Ivy Tech Community College School of Nursing in Anderson, IN. She has been a nurse now for 16 years, with the majority of her experience in a medical-surgical unit. Naomi received her BSN in December of 2000 from Ball State University. In 2004, through the University of Indianapolis, she became a Parish Nurse. Parish Nursing provided her the opportunity to serve within a faith-based community and offer a holistic approach to health.

She has had the opportunity to do blood pressure screenings, give education on health issues for health promotion and disease preventions, as well as, develop a Walk to Jerusalem program that incorporates spiritual growth, healthy eating, and exercise. She recently completed her master’s degree in nursing education from Walden University in February 2014.

She started as an Assistant Nursing Instructor at Ivy Tech in March of 2010, and has had the opportunity to participate on the regional Curriculum Committee, develop and participate in the incorporation of service learning projects for first and second semester nursing students, develop various documents that are utilized within the region, as well as, developing assignments to incorporate an electronic health record into first semester nursing curriculum.

Naomi was recently promoted to Assistant Department Chair in 2015-2016 and is currently the PN Program Chair as of fall of 2016. She is a member of the National League of Nursing and was a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International: Honor Society for Nursing through her graduate program. Naomi has a passion for lifelong learning and continues to participate in profession development activities. Finally, she is the mother to two beautiful little girls who are eleven and thirteen years old and has a wonderful husband of thirteen years.


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