NewsUplifting Arizona


Honoring nurses across the Valley

Posted at 10:24 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-07 01:24:34-04

On this "National Nurses Day," meet some of the incredible nurses across the Valley.

"It really is the little things that add up to this huge amount of people feeling appreciated, ultimately. You know, they come, and they pour their blood, sweat and tears in every shift," says Tiffany Hockenberry, director of nursing, Arizona Burn Center - Valleywise Health.

The nurses at Valleywise Health got a surprise from Albertsons on Friday — bouquets of flowers. A gift to honor the work they do, day in and day out.

"We left part of our soul in this place during this past two-and-a-half years. If we survived that, and helped a lot of people to survive that too, we will survive anything," says Laura Stallings, dialysis nurse manager, Valleywise Health.

Valleywise opened five COVID units during the pandemic, many which have since closed. Nurses we spoke with say they will never forget what they've learned, including handling extreme shortages of staff and equipment.

"Finding a way to kind of persevere through that and being able to develop new skills that allow you to determine what is safe practice and what is not safe practice and being able to allocate resources out," says Ryan Taylor, registered nurse, Valleywise Health.

These nurses pride themselves on close connections with their patients, even outside of those battling COVID.

"Watching our patients leave this hospital, come back to us to visit, be able to walk again, do all these things, just live a somewhat normal life again... I think that's the most joyful thing," says Brooke Chavarria, registered nurse, Valleywise Health.

The nurses at HonorHealth are also just as passionate about their profession.

"Nursing school during a pandemic is definitely not the easiest thing in the world," says Billie Friend, registered nurse, HonorHealth.

But, she did it. So did Jasmine Orozco, who just finished her graduate program, getting a master's in nursing education.

"I think people who are passionate about education, you know, they welcome new students with open arms, and we want them to be excited about nursing," says Jasmine Orozco, registered nurse, HonorHealth.

It's a career that has faced good times and bad.

"A lot of fellow nurses are happy to be supporting one another because we really have a strong bond over the things that we see and do every day," says Maggie Hauer, registered nurse, HonorHealth.