Slideshow

Jennifer Bucka

Rising Star

of
  • Jennifer Bucka
    Becca Sabot
    “There isn’t a shift or day that goes by when I don’t think of the reason I became a nurse.”
  • Jennifer Bucka
    Becca Sabot
    “Even if we do not view a particular surgery as a major procedure, to that family, it is major in a lot of ways and we need to recognize that.”
  • Jennifer Bucka
    Becca Sabot
    “Every day I think, ‘I can’t believe I get to do this.’”

RN, Pediatric Intensive Care
Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

“I’m a lifer,” Jennifer Bucka says of her job at Gillette Children’s Hospital working with kids with chronic disabilities and complex medical situations. “You will probably bury me here.”

That’s big talk for a woman who never set out to be a nurse in the first place. “I wanted to be a pastor,” Bucka says. “My dad was a pastor, and I was scheduled to be in the religion cohort in college.” But something about it didn’t feel right. “I talked it over with my mom and she said, ‘Why don’t you think about being a nurse?’ It was a lightning bolt.”

When her dad was diagnosed with cancer, it made that lightning bolt seem like destiny. “Being able to walk with him through his journey and be his bedside nurse—he is the reason that I became a nurse,” Bucka says. He died in 2010, the same year Bucka passed her nursing boards.

“Toward the end, my dad was totally dependent on us. And in the Gillette ICU, a lot of kids with chronic disabilities are totally dependent on their loved ones.” It surprised her how much she adored the kids. “Our population at Gillette is so unique. They are kids who don’t know any differently in their life. They don’t need a toy to get them through their operation. They just want love.”

Donald Brock

Donald Brock

Emergency Care

Jan Baller

Jan Baller

Lifetime Achievement

Johannes Koomen

Johannes Koomen

Long-Term Care

Laurel Edinburgh

Laurel Edinburgh

Children's Health

Cyrus Batheja

Cyrus Batheja

Administrative Leadership

Sandy Greenquist

Sandy Greenquist

Women's Health

Jodi Shewczyk

Jodi Shewczyk

Cancer Care

Erin Mehta

Erin Mehta

Clinic Setting

JoAnne Geiser

JoAnne Geiser

School Nurse

Gretchen Moen

Gretchen Moen

Nurse Practitioner

Jessica Quinlan-Woodward

Jessica Quinlan-Woodward

Hospital Setting

Jeff Paurus

Jeff Paurus

Nurse Educator

List of Finalists

These 49 finalists, combined with the 13 award winners, represent the top 25 percent of nurses nominated this year.

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