News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Daniel Wackershauser, Marketing Specialist
Phone: 608.822.2303
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: June 5, 2024

Alexander honored with DAISY Award

Fennimore -

Karissa Alexander, Readstown, Wisconsin, is the most recent recipient of the DAISY Award at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College. Alexander, an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) graduate, received the award during the pinning ceremony on May 18 on campus. “I was very shocked,” said Alexander. “I did not expect to win the Daisy Award. It was very emotional for me. It is very honorable to win. Other people deserve the award, also, not just me.”

The DAISY Foundation aims to honor nurses by showing its profound gratitude for all that they do. The DAISY Award is a recognition program to celebrate and recognize nurses by collecting nominations from patients, families, and co-workers. It is operated by the foundation’s partners as a way to thank nurses for the care and kindness they provide. 

Alexander graduated from Kickapoo High School in 2021. She completed her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) diploma from Southwest Tech and earned her ADN in May. During her senior year in high school, she worked full-time as a CNA. “I was drawn to nursing before I attended Southwest Tech,” she said.

Her grandfather battled cancer and during his journey, Alexander’s family decided to provide him with in-home hospice care. “We had nurses coming in and out of the home constantly,” she said. “It opened my eyes to the nursing profession. I didn’t realize all the opportunities in the nursing profession.”

“I fell in love with nursing,” said Alexander. “I knew this is what I wanted to do. There was nothing else I wanted to do at the time.”

Alexander completed her nursing pre-requisites at a different college and then transferred to Southwest Tech. “I’m so glad I transferred to Southwest Tech,” she said. “I honestly could not have chosen a better college to go to. I think that going to Southwest Tech has made me into the nursing student and nurse that I am today. I would not have had the skillset I do now if I didn’t go to Southwest Tech. Everything set me up for success.”

“Karissa has reignited my passion for nursing,” said Linda Scherer, nurse and co-worker of Alexander, in her nomination. “She’s so willing to learn and make a positive impact.”

Haven Carley, CNA and former co-worker with Alexander, added, “Karissa was my absolute favorite co-worker at Bethel Home. She always had a radiating positive energy that she brought with her to work and always put a smile on my face, as well as the residents we cared for. She always went above and beyond to ensure the residents had the best possible care when she was there.”

Her education and work as a CNA set the foundation for Alexander. “That paved the way for me being a nurse,” she said. “During this time, I had the opportunity to work with very knowledgeable nurses who took me under their wings.” Alexander worked full-time hours as a CNA during COVID, as well.

Alexander’s grandmother was a CNA and after she passed away, Alexander worked at the same facility. “I never got to meet her, but my first job as a CNA was where she worked for a long time,” she said. “I am very honored to be following in my grandmother’s footsteps.”

Alexander was hired before graduation at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. She is working in the facility’s surgery department.

About the DAISY Award

The acronym DAISY stands for Disease Attacking the Immune System, and the foundation was formed by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 due to complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) in 1999. The family was touched by the compassionate care of the nurses who cared for Patrick and developed the DAISY Award Foundation to honor and celebrate direct care nurses, nursing students, and nursing faculty.  

Any licensed, registered nurse, nursing faculty, or nursing student is eligible to be nominated for a DAISY Award. The honoree receives a certificate in a DAISY portfolio, a hand-carved Healer’s Touch sculpture from Zimbabwe, an honoree pin, a congratulations banner to hang in the unit (optional for schools of nursing), a copy of their nomination, a gift bag, and cinnamon rolls to share. After the presentation, the honoree is added to the DAISY Foundation website, and the nurse is then eligible for numerous professional development, education, and wellness benefits.

| Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, is one of 16 institutions that comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. Southwest Tech offers more than 60 programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are offered on campus, online, HyFlex and in a blended format. The college provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs that respond to district workforce needs and prepare student for family-sustaining jobs and career advancement. |

Posted in Nursing