On Oct. 21, 2022, Joseph Pirrocco, a clinical educator/trauma coordinator at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, a Steward Health Care hospital, was recognized by the Arizona League for Nursing with the DAISY Nurse Leader Award for Nursing Clinical Educators. Pirrocco is the first in the state to receive this prestigious award from the AzLN, according to a news release from Steward.
“Joe is a tremendous asset to Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, and we couldn’t be prouder of him,” said Patrick Dunn, Chief Nursing Officer at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital. “Joe exemplifies the type of nurse and the nursing care we strive to deliver here at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital. He is the consummate nursing professional and his dedication to teaching and serving others is more than deserving of this type of recognition.”
Pirrocco was nominated by Allegra Shepherd, a Clinical Assistant Professor at Arizona State University. Shepherd was the clinical instructor for a group of students who completed a clinical rotation at the Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital this past summer.
Calling Pirrocco’s impact on the nursing students “extraordinary and influential,” Shepherd cited examples from students who recalled how his dedication to his profession had left a lasting impact: "One of the days we were at the hospital, an emergency situation came in. This situation left many students shaken. Even though it was the end of the day, Joseph took the time to debrief with the students, talking through emotions that many of the students were feeling, discussing therapeutic coping strategies, and filling in knowledge gaps that students missed or interpreted incorrectly. Following that day, many of the students’ clinical evaluation tool reflected on the experience and expressed that they felt safe and supported in the environment, and how a stressful situation turned into a positive learning experience.”
The DAISY Nurse Leader Award for Nursing Clinical Educators, formerly known as the DAISY Nurse Leader Award for Extraordinary Nurse Educators, was established in 2021 in collaboration with the Wisconsin League for Nursing and The DAISY FoundationTM. The WLN expanded collaboration in 2022 to include the Arizona and New Jersey Leagues for Nursing. The purpose of the award is to recognize exceptional nurses in clinical practice or simulation who exhibit, inspire, and nurture compassion and respect amongst peers, mentees, students, or colleagues. These nurses directly influence learning in clinical practice/simulation and play a crucial role in the formation of exceptional frontline nurses. In turn, these individuals encourage nurses or nursing students to exhibit acts of compassion and build relationships with patients and families.
“The Arizona League for Nursing is excited to recognize Joe as our first ever recipient of this prestigious award,” said Diann DeWitt, AzLN President. “After reading Ms. Shepherd’s nomination letter, it was obvious the impact Joe had on her students and his dedication to the nursing profession made him the ideal choice to be our first honoree.”