ELDON — School nurses often don’t get the recognition they deserve for keeping students safe and healthy.
That’s not the case for Angela Maeder, school nurse for Cardinal Community School District. She was nominated by her fellow staff at Cardinal as one of the 100 Great Iowa Nurses and was recently informed that she will be one of the recipients of the award.
To congratulate Maeder on being named one of the 100 great nurses in Iowa, the Cardinal staff and Maeder’s family held a special surprise party for her Friday morning.
Maeder had no idea she had won the award and was in a meeting while the rest of the staff set up the cafeteria for the party. Superintendent Joel Pederson falsely informed her that someone slipped and fell in the cafeteria, and Maeder quickly went to the cafeteria, where her party was waiting.
The party guests yelled “Surprise!” when Maeder walked into the cafeteria, and afterward she gave a short speech before digging into a big congratulatory cake.
“I just want to thank all of you,” Maeder said. “The best thing I’ve ever done is come to Cardinal.”
This year marks the 10th year the 100 Great Iowa Nurses awards have been given. Nurses from hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools and offices are all nominated, and the top 100 are chosen by a panel of reviewers who are all past honorees.
The panel reviews each candidate and his or her qualities that show they go above and beyond the call of duty. The candidates are given points based on their concern for humanity, most significant contribution to the nursing profession and leadership and mentoring. Then, the points are combined and averaged and the nurses who score high enough are automatically given the awards.
Nominees who don’t score high enough to be automatically selected are then evaluated by the Great Nurses Committee, the Iowa Nurses Foundation, the Iowa Hospital Association and the University of Iowa College of Nursing, who choose the final honorees.
There were approximately 500 nurses nominated this year, and the group of 100 who were chosen, including Maeder, will be on hand May 4 at the 100 Great Iowa Nurses Celebration in Des Moines.
— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh