“I don't know of another nurse who has fought harder for her patients as much as Nicole does,” said one of the nominations for Nicole Sirotek, winner of our People’s Choice honor.
“Nicole’s resume and bedside manner are uncanny. I for one, and this country, are lucky to have a nurse willing to put everything on the line to save lives. She is a true humanitarian and awesome nurse. Not to mention she is a new mommy and still managing to advocate for citizens all over the world and her community.”
Sirotek said she wanted to become a nurse for the same reason many people do: “I wanted to help people. Nursing is a personal and professional calling. It attracts the type of people who want to show up to the front row of human suffering and try to make a difference through caring and compassion.”
Also like many others, Sirotek said she is a second-career nurse.
“My original education was in biochemistry and psychology with extensive field and laboratory research training in HIV/AIDS epidemiology, genetic recombination and splicing, genetic variation and mutation, and bioinformation processing using nucleotide BLAST technology.”
Sirotek said she obtained an Associate's Degree in Nursing, then a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, and is currently working toward her Doctorate in Nursing Practice with a focus in Family Practice.
“I also hold many certifications in various nursing disciplines such as wound, ostomy, continence, diabetes educator, legal nurse consultant, infection control, critical care, and flight nursing,” she added.
Sirotek said the most important qualities a nurse can poses are empathy, compassion, and caring.
“You can be taught how to critically think, how to hang medications, and how to manage equipment, but you can't be taught how to have compassion and empathy to provide the type of care a vulnerable person needs to heal. It is these qualities that have raised the nursing profession to the most trusted profession in the United States for nearly 20 years.”
The most rewarding aspect of her profession is “that it is always an adventure. There is always something new to learn ..."
"My patients are some of the most diverse and amazing people I have had the opportunity to work with and I have learned so much more from them than I have from any textbook.”