COLUMBIA– A local nurse was one of six national recipients of the Excellence in Nursing Award for her work at Truman Veterans Hospital.
"I didn't grow up in my life wanting to be a nurse, but it was meant for me," Faith Andrulot said.
Andrulot traveled to Washington, D.C., and received the award from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. She said visiting the Capitol was an "unbelievable" experience and said the staff treated the men and women like "kings and queens."
When she first heard the news of receiving the award, Andrulot said she was in "absolute shock." She said her job is special due to her work with the veterans.
The awards were given to nurses in four categories– nursing assistants, practical nurses, registered nurses in staff roles and registered nurses in expanded roles. Andrulot won for her work in the practical nurse category.
Each year, Veterans' Affairs medical centers determine local winners in each of the four categories. Then, local winners are considered at a network level. Finally, network-level winners are nominated for the national awards from 21 integrated service networks.
An employee at the veterans hospital since 1994, Andrulot works with patients in the hospital's primary care division.
"It's like taking care of your family every day. We develop close bonds with them," she said.
Andrulot was cited for her "demonstrated effectiveness in improving and delivering patient care, her teamwork and her demonstrated performance through a personal development plan to improve job-related skills," according to a hospital news release.
Additionally, Andrulot received "recognition from co-workers for her excellent performance in providing care to veterans," according to the release.
Andrulot said she attributes her success to a positive attitude. "As much as possible, I like to have fun at my job," she said. Andrulot called her relationship with her co-workers, "one big happy family."
Andrulot is the third nurse from Truman Veterans Hospitalto receive a national Excellence in Nursing Award.