Bayhealth announced that Bayhealth Center for Women and Infants, Kent Campus Nurse Kelly McKenzie is the latest recipient of the national DAISY Award, which honors the unsung heroes of the nursing profession.

McKenzie was nominated by Chomin Dalton, a fellow Bayhealth nurse. Dalton’s sister delivered her son a week early due to issues with high blood pressure. The extended stay was a stressful one for Dalton’s sister, but McKenzie helped soothe that stress in more than one way.

“Kelly made herself available for anything my sister needed,” said Dalton. This included giving foot rubs with lavender lotion, educating about breastfeeding and answering questions even with a language barrier in the mix. “From my experience, I can tell she loves her job and cares about her patients.”

Working in nursing wasn’t initially in the plans for McKenzie. She joined the U.S. Air Force following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and then ran a restaurant with her husband. It was her personal experiences giving birth to their daughters that made McKenzie realize she wanted to become a nurse; she’s been a nurse since 2015 and said she thoroughly enjoys her job. In fact, she loves her job so much that she can rarely be found in her nursing pod, but rather in her patients’ rooms.

“I like making a difference and helping people. I like to see the lightbulb go off when I’m educating them about caring for their babies,” said McKenzie. “I’ve helped a lot of great families. Sometimes there are mothers who need a little extra support, and I really enjoy going above and beyond to give that to them.”

DAISY Award honorees are nominated by nurses, administrators, peers, physicians, volunteers, patients and families.

To nominate a Bayhealth nurse, visit bayhealth.org/daisy and fill out the nomination form.