November 09, 2010
Story by Barbara LeBlanc
Danielle Salvas '07 was with a patient when she received a message that the State Board of Nursing was on the phone. On her way to the phone she couldn't help wondering what she had done. As it turns out, the caller was from the New Hampshire Nursing Association announcing that Salvas had indeed done something - she had been named New Hampshire Direct Care Nurse of the Year.
"I was really surprised, really honored and humbled," says Salvas. "The award means so much because my job is everything to me. " Salvas decided to become a nurse after working with kids in a variety of settings, including summer camps. "I was always drawn to the kids who had a lot of special needs," she says.
Salvas joined Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center's pediatric/adolescent unit, in Lebanon, after graduating from Saint Anselm College's nursing program in 2007. She had completed her senior practicum there while still a student at Saint Anselm. "In school I wondered if the reality of nursing would be as exciting as all the information we were getting," says Salvas. "As soon as I started working, I loved it."
The pediatric/adolescent unit serves oncology, surgical, and medical patients. Since joining the unit, Salvas has developed a special interest in oncology cases. "I always sign up to be on the primary care team for oncology patients," she says. "I talk about the kids I'm treating to my co-workers all the time. They're really my kids. They really teach me a lot."
Salvas received her recognition on October 20, 2010 at the New Hampshire Nurses Association Conference. "This award is about the kids I take care of, the team I work with, and the people who have believed in me along the way," says Salvas. "There are tough days when I run into my supervisor's office or talk to a friend and fellow nurse and they just believe everything will be okay, that we can change the world. They just give an energy that allows anybody to be the greatest nurse around."
Photo: Mark Washburn, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center