By Kathryn Mulligan
The College of Nursing at Brigham Young University is partnered with the DAISY Foundation to recognize nursing students and professors who exemplify compassion. The DAISY Foundation was started by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he passed away from complications associated with an autoimmune disease at the age of thirty-three. As a way to give thanks to the compassionate nurses who helped care for Patrick, they established the DAISY Foundation (an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) to recognize compassionate nurses all around the globe.
In addition to awarding nurses and professors, the DAISY Foundation gives out the Circle of Influence award which recognizes faculty members that demonstrate compassion beyond the hospital setting. This semester, the DAISY Circle of Influence Award was given to Cara Wiley, the director of the Nursing Advisement Center. She was nominated by Dr. Julie Valentine, association dean of undergraduate studies and research at the College of Nursing.
“Cara Wiley is dedicated to our students,” Dr. Valentine explains. “As the director of our Nursing Advisement Center, Cara is responsible for advising approximately 400 nursing students and 600-800 pre-nursing students.” Despite being responsible for over 1000 students, Cara and her team always finds the time to meet with them, especially the ones seeking extra guidance and advice.
Cara’s compassion for her students became clear when 254 students applied to the College of Nursing for the Fall 2021 cohort. She was responsible for contacting every student who did not make it into the program, a task that requires compassion and love. “She spent her summer meeting with every student who did not get into the College of Nursing to offer advice and direction,” Dr. Valentine says. “Cara deeply cares about the students who are admitted into the program and those who are not accepted. To me, this is true compassion.”
While many nurses demonstrate their compassion by becoming advocates for their patients, Cara demonstrates her compassion by advocating for her students. “She keeps a running list of students who need additional support due to family or personal circumstances, financial needs, or mental health issues.” Cara consistently checks in on these students and advocates for them to receive the necessary help they need in order to be successful.
“I was so excited to be nominated and to win the DAISY award for Circle of Influence,” Cara says. “It is so touching to be recognized for all the hard work that goes into my job. I love working and collaborating with the students, faculty and staff at the College of Nursing. I wish I could do even more to help students successfully navigate their time at BYU and in the College of Nursing. They are wonderful students! It just feels nice to be appreciated for my work when a lot of it is unseen.”
The College of Nursing is thrilled to present Cara Wiley with the DAISY Circle of Influence Award.