Nightingale Award Winner - Lisa Dellinger, RN
A veteran registered nurse on the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Winchester Medical Center, Lisa Dellinger is still passionate about her profession—and loves sharing her enthusiasm with new graduates.
Lisa Dellinger, RN
“I like admitting hearts,” admits Lisa Dellinger, a Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) registered nurse (RN) at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Va. “We come together with procedural precision, and everyone knows their jobs without being told. That still lights a fire in me.”
Admitting a heart is the process of receiving a heart patient following surgery. These critically ill patients do not go to a recovery room. They come directly to the CVICU, where a team of healthcare providers ensures that all their lines and drips are accounted for and they are transferred safely.
“It’s like solving a puzzle,” Lisa added. “It’s a puzzle I can unravel, and I can keep my patients safe.”
From an early age, Lisa was always a problem solver. Although she dreamed of becoming a pediatrician, she knew she could not afford college. Instead, she joined the military and gained experience as a medical technician. It was during this time that she decided to become a nurse. “I realized that nurses get to spend more time with patients, so I knew I wanted to be a nurse,” she recalled.
Today, after 24 years in the field, Lisa is still passionate about nursing. In fact, she is most inspired when helping new graduates navigate the challenges of the profession.
“I love working with new grads. I love being able to pass on some of my knowledge—and hopefully some of my enthusiasm,” Lisa said. “I always tell new nurses that I would rather they ask me a hundred questions than do something to harm a patient.”
Lisa strives to teach new nurses what really matters. While she expects the nurses she mentors to be very attentive to the medical details of patient care, she thinks it is even more important that they get to know patients as people. Learning a patient’s personality can help nurses motivate them to get out of bed and get better, she explained.
“Ultimately, it’s our job to be our patients’ advocates—to be their voices,” Lisa concluded.
Lisa is a strong voice and an even stronger force. She is all heart.