May has been a standout month for Katie Dzikas ’19 – she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Siena, and was named one of the top nurses in the Capital Region.
Dzikas works in the intensive care unit at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady; she is also one of the first students to earn a B.S. from Siena in the College’s new R.N. to B.S. program. Her co-workers at Ellis nominated her for the annual Times Union “Salute to Nurses” awards, and she was one of the winners announced May 10 at a reception at the Albany Marriott.
Dzikas’ colleagues said she was worthy of the award for “her focus on bringing forth better nursing practice through research and evidence” as well as “for the spirit she brings to the unit itself and her presence with her patients.”
She said the nomination and win “really mean the world to me. As nurses we care for the critically ill and provide hope, love, compassion and support to families in their worst hours, while our own families carry on without us during our twelve-hour shifts.
“It literally takes a village,” said Dzikas. “My success wouldn't be without the love and support of my family and friends, both in and out of the work place. That includes the Baldwin Nursing Program faculty, who have helped me guide and grow my practice and take on challenges head on with an open heart and a full mind!”
More special recognition came her way during Siena’s pinning ceremony the day before Commencement: she was named a Future Nurse Leader by the American Nurses Association – New York. This award is given to only 20 nursing graduates in the state each year. (Incidentally, another Siena grad - Matthew Owen ’18 - received the accolade last year at pinning.)
"We are so proud of all that Katie accomplished here at Siena and in her professional community,” said Lisa Flack, D.N.S. and founding director of the College’s nursing program.
“She exemplifies caring in nursing and brings a heart-centered authentic presence into her practice."
Dzikas earned her R.N. from Hudson Valley Community College in 2015. Continuing her nursing education reflects a national push by hospitals and other health care facilities to increase the number of bachelor’s degree-educated nurses over the coming decade.
Siena also recently introduced a four-year bachelor’s nursing program, which is now one of the most sought-after majors at the College. Siena will welcome 53 new nursing students this fall.