Elizabeth Faine PortraitLiz Faine, ARNP, a pediatric nurse practitioner at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, aspired to be a nurse early in life. While in elementary school, she decided her knee was healed enough to take out her own stitches. That’s when her mother knew Liz would likely become a nurse, just as she was.

As a preschooler, Liz wanted to enter the field after attending her mother’s nursing school graduation. As a fifth grader, she traveled to Iowa City to celebrate her mother’s graduation with a bachelor’s of science in nursing. That’s when Liz decided she would attend University of Iowa’s College of Nursing, too, where she ultimately earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees.

So when Liz was chosen as one of 100 Great Iowa Nurses in 2016, it’s not surprising that her mother was there to cheer her on. But something remarkable happened to make the celebration more special. Liz’s mother, Colette Rossiter, was recognized, too, for her work at a hospital in Spencer, Iowa.

The women are believed to be the first mother and daughter honored in the program’s 12-year history. Certainly no mother and daughter have been honored the same year. “My mom was super excited when I called to tell her my news,” says Liz. “The following day, my mom called and said, ‘You’ll never believe this. I was chosen this year as well!’”

The 100 Great Iowa Nurses program honors those who “demonstrate efforts beyond those expected of a nurse within his/her normal duties.” Honorees must be nominated for the recognition. They are rated in three categories: concern for humanity, contribution to profession, and leadership and mentoring.

Mother and Daughter with 100 Nurses Award

“Over the years, my mom’s hard work and dedication to her many different nursing roles have always been something I’ve admired and wanted to emulate,” Liz says. She adds, “I have had the pleasure of working with so many great nurses here at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital the past 10 years who are also very deserving of recognition for the great things they do for our patients every day.”

Stuart Weinstein, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, nominated Liz. He has worked with her for almost seven years and describes her as “super human” and “the face of our team.” In the nomination, he also wrote that she is the “penultimate example of a competent, compassionate, caring health care professional with an unparalleled work ethic, boundless human compassion, and a sense of responsibility for our patients.”

Among other things, Liz has developed educational brochures to help prepare patients for surgery. She also designed procedures to ensure excellent and consistent care  for hospitalized patients. “Ms. Faine and I function as a team,” Dr. Weinstein wrote, “so that each patient knows that speaking to Ms. Faine is the same as speaking to me.”

As an example of Liz’s dedication, Dr. Weinstein recalled a case from December 2014. “We had a very sick child who had been in the hospital for over a month,” he explained. The child, who did not live in Iowa, unfortunately had to stay in the hospital during the holiday season. Liz was pregnant with her first child at the time. After going into labor, she arrived at the hospital on Christmas Day to deliver. Labor and delivery wasn’t her first stop, however.

Dr. Weinstein explains, “Knowing our little patient and her sadness on being hospitalized on Christmas, Liz took the time to stop by to see this little girl and her family to wish them a ‘Merry Christmas’ and to cheer them up and make sure all were doing okay before heading to the delivery room for the biggest moment of her life.”

As for the 100 Great Iowa Nurses recognition ceremony, Liz says, “It was a very special day that I was fortunate enough to share with my mom. It was truly a privilege to be recognized with such an amazing group of nurses from across the state. I felt especially proud knowing my mom was part of this group.”