2021 Nightingale Award Winner - Kenneth Daniel, BS, BSN, RN

A Legacy of Caring

Kenneth Daniel 2021 Nightingale Headshot

Photo Credit: Reflections of Zion Imagery ©
“Working in a critical care area, it is always amazing to see patients leave the ICU, especially the cardiovascular patients.”

Kenneth Daniel - BS, BSN, RN

A natural caregiver who comes from a family of nurses, Kenneth Daniel found his calling and is fulfilling a legacy of caring.

His mom was a nurse. His aunts were nurses. His family members were medics in the military. He cared for his brother who had cancer and later for his mother. For Kenneth Daniel, BS, BSN, RN, caregiving was in the blood. Today, he is an administrative director at Inova Alexandria Hospital.

Despite his family legacy, Kenneth began his nursing career with a little push from a mentor. He was working as a pharmacy tech at Inova Alexandria Hospital when the pharmacist’s wife, who was also a nurse, noticed his compassionate nature and encouraged him to continue his education and become a nurse.

“She gave me the nudge that I needed to get myself together,” Kenneth recalled. “I initially started in pharmacy school, but I transferred into nursing. I graduated with honors and came here to Inova Alexandria Hospital, where I’ve worked for 27 years.”

As a critical care nurse, Kenneth helped patients with serious illnesses and devastating traumas for more than 18 years. While some of the cases were difficult, he always remained focused on the positive outcomes.

“I’ve always been inspired by seeing patients leaving the hospital,” Kenneth said. “Working in a critical care area, it is always amazing to see patients leave the ICU, especially the cardiovascular patients. When they discharge from the ICU, that is a huge accomplishment for the whole team.”

In his role as administrative director, Kenneth now helps set policies and procedures to ensure quality of care— working with diverse teams of nurses throughout the hospital. He also was integral to the hospital’s response to the covid-19 pandemic.

Kenneth helped set up the hospital’s Incident Command Center in the early days of the crisis. “Everything was challenging in the beginning of the pandemic,” Kenneth recalled. “I actually remember feeling a little sad because I felt that I was safer than my colleagues on the floor. That motivated me to revisit all the floors. I put on my scrubs and dove in to support them as much as I could.”

Never one to hesitate to get involved when others need care or support, Kenneth is certainly fulfilling his legacy.

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