Compassion and care echoes in Edwina Lee’s voice as she talks about caring for veterans at the John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit.
Lee, a nursing student at Davenport University’s Warren Campus, was recently recognized with a DAISY Award – a recognition bestowed on extraordinary nurses nationwide.
“It was an honor to be nominated for a DAISY Award. I had no idea I was doing that much for my patients and floor. It was a ‘wow’ moment,” said Lee.
As a child, Lee helped her mother work in a nursing home. After becoming a medical assistant, she decided to return to school to become a nurse.
“I had strayed away from it because I was scared of the curriculum and what I would have to do,” she said. “I also always thought I did not have enough money or support to go back to school. But once I met with the counselors at DU, I knew I had to pursue my nursing education dreams.”
With help from the DU team, Lee was able to continue her education in DU’s Licensed Practical Nurse program. In addition to being a student, she works
as an LPN at the VA.
Lee said DU has prepared her for her career in caring for veterans, especially through the nursing simulations, which help create real-life scenarios in clinical settings.
“Even though the curriculum can be hard, the simulations prepare students for when they get out in the work field,” said Lee. “Davenport trains students on how to talk with their patients and families in order to gain trust. That allows us to build upon those patient-provider relationships.”
Lee enjoys working with veterans and often encourages homeless veterans she sees to visit the VA.
“I chose to stay at the VA because patients often tell me I give them hope,” said Lee. “To be able to tell discouraged veterans, ‘Yes, we can help you,’ is really moving.”