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Four NOC Nursing faculty finalists for DAISY Award®

Northern Oklahoma College Nursing faculty members will be honored with The DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty at the NOC 2023 Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony Saturday, May 6, at Briggs Auditorium at NOC Enid.

The Nurses Pinning begins at 6 p.m.

Finalists include Brian Baird, Dr. Marie Head, Jenifer Lancaster, and Marriya Wright.

The award is part of The DAISY Foundation’s mission to express gratitude to nurses with programs that recognize them for the extraordinary, compassionate and skillful care they provide patients and families.

DAISY Award recognitions honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve, and throughout their careers – from Nursing Student through Lifetime Achievement in Nursing.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty was established by The DAISY Foundation in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 from Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), an auto-immune disease. The Barnes Family was awestruck by the clinical skills, caring and compassion of the nurses who cared for Patrick. They created this international award to demonstrate appreciation to faculty for their commitment and inspirational influence on their nursing students and to say thank you to nursing faculty everywhere.

NOC Nursing Division Chair Dr. Nikole Hicks said, “NOC has been blessed with exceptional nursing faculty throughout its 50 years of nursing who are passionate about their students and ensure future nurses have a strong foundation for practice. It is an honor to partner with the DAISY Foundation to recognize nursing faculty who are changing lives and improving healthcare in our communities.”

The following are the bios for the four finalists:

Brian Baird received his B.S.N. from the University of Oklahoma in 1986 and his M.S. from Southern Nazarene University in 2008. The majority of his nursing career has been spent serving special needs children in their homes and serving within the ICU. His work in the ICU includes a nearly 14-year period at Hillcrest Hospital Cushing when it was named Cushing Regional Hospital and a stent at Mercy Hospital in OKC. In 2006, he began teaching freshman nursing students at Northern Oklahoma College.

In 2002, while working at Cushing Regional Hospital, Brian received the President’s Spirit Award from the Hillcrest HealthCare System, a system-wide recognition given to only one employee a year. In 2012 and 2019, he received the NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition for his work at NOC. In 2020 and in 2021, he received the NOC Best Faculty Award. And in 2016, Mr. Baird received a Faculty Excellence Award for designing and producing a set of video-based learning activities with his co-faculty and his family.

Marie Head completed her initial nursing degree at NOC in 2007 and continued her education earning a BSN at Kaplan University in 2014, her MSN at Purdue University in 2017 and her DNP at Oklahoma City University in 2020. She joined the nursing faculty in 2016 and teaches primarily in the skills and simulation practice lab settings. She has been married for 19 years and has four children and nine grandchildren, seven of whom are boys and two are girls all ranging in age from 22 to 1-year old.

Jenifer Lancaster received her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 2007.  She began her nursing career at Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. There she gained experience as a Medical Surgical Telemetry Nurse and as a nurse in the Cardiac and Vascular Care Unit. Upon relocation to Morrison, Oklahoma, she began working as a critical care nurse at Stillwater Medical Center.

She received her first position at Northern Oklahoma College teaching students in the Fall of 2020 and was awarded a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education from Oklahoma Wesleyan University in December of 2022. As an instructor of nursing at Northern Oklahoma College, Jenifer provides education in Fundamentals of Nursing Practicum and instruction in Adult II Theory.

Marriya Wright is the Dean of Allied Health and Nursing at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington.  She received her MSN and BSN in Nursing from Oklahoma City University, her AAS in Nursing at Northern Oklahoma College, and her LPN at Meridian Technology Center. In the span of her 20 plus years as a nurse, she worked in med-surg, emergency, labor and delivery, as well as in multiple leadership roles.  Before moving to Washington, she was Nursing Faculty here at NOC for six years at both the Tonkawa and Stillwater campuses.  She served as the second-year team lead for the last four years at NOC.  Marriya has a passion for community college and the sense of belonging it gives to students.  Students voted her the NISOD Excellence in Teaching award in both 2016 and 2019.

Blind nominations for the award were submitted with a designated committee reviewing and ranking the nominees based on their commitment to student learning and success, utilizing personal interaction, providing rigorous instruction and innovative technologies, striving to provide high quality, accessible nursing education, and modeling the values of excellence, integrity, resourcefulness, impactful relationships, and compassionate service.

The winner will be selected by the The DAISY Award® Selection Committee.

The DAISY Foundation expanded its’ flagship brand The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses to Academic Institutions in order to recognize the faculty who inspire compassionate care in their students and the students who demonstrate it during their education.

More information is available at