UCLA School of Nursing Honors 4 With Daisy Award

Since 2013, the UCLA School of Nursing faculty and students have honored outstanding members of our exceptional faculty with the Daisy Faculty Award.  We are proud to shine a spotlight on these individuals who have made a positive difference in our students’ lives as they prepare to make a difference in the lives of so many others.

This year, for the first time, we are also honoring two of our prelicensure students with a Daisy-in-Training award. 

The faculty members are selected for inspirational teaching that motivates students and serves as a role model for professional nursing.  They are:

Patti Taylor, a Lecturer, who was nominated by the entire cohort of the  Master’s Entry Clinical Nurse program, Class of 2017

Young Kee Markham, a Lecturer, who was nominated by her students in the Advanced Practice Master’s graduate Program.

Patti Taylor

Patti Taylor

Patti Taylor once said “nurses have to help people because it is our profession and our world.” And as everyone in the School of Nursing knows, Patti is more than a lecturer.  She is a mentor and role model, teaching students the art and science of being a nurse.  Late nights, early mornings, weekends, whatever it takes…Patti is there to help students through their studies to become the best they can be.

Patti has devoted her life to serving her country as a military nurse, both as a clinical nurse specialist and as a nurse practitioner.  One of her biggest passions is helping America’s Wounded Warriors by serving as a nurse case manager for Operation Mend.  That work touched others and led to a nursing scholarship being named for her.  Her experience in the Army and working in disaster zones led her to be named the unofficial team captain in 2010, when she was part of a seven-member medical team sent to Haiti after a massive earthquake devastated the country. They were in Haiti for two weeks aboard the U.S. naval ship, the USNS Comfort, which was deployed to provide humanitarian aid. In 2013, she had the honor to be selected as a float rider on The Nurses’ Float at the Tournament of Roses Parade.    Last year, she was awarded the American Association of Nurse Practitioners State Award for Excellence.  Patti has been lecturer at the School since 2008. 

Here is what the students wrote for her nomination:

The MECN Class of 2017 would like to nominate Professor Priscilla “Patti” Taylor for this year’s DAISY award. Professor Taylor deserves this award because she truly has been an extraordinary instructor. Although we have only spent a few months with Patti, she has connected with our class on a personal level and has made us feel important and valued as students. Ms. Patti understands the art of teaching and is aware that not all students learn the same way. She incorporates different teaching methods and makes herself available with flexible office hours. She has demonstrated her devotion to nursing through her work in the military, Operation Mend, the VA and the UCLA School of Nursing. Ms. Patti exemplifies what is it to love and live her passion. Our class is truly grateful, proud and honored to have her as one of our professors. She is certainly someone our class admires. 

Young Kee Markham

Young Kee Markham

Young Kee Markham graduated in the Family Practice specialty, with a gerontology specialty, from our Master’s program in 1989.  She currently lectures in the adult gerontology primary care specialty in the Advanced Practice Nurse graduate program.  For 15 years, she taught gerontology content to Gerontology Nurse Practitioners and for the past five years teaches teenager, adult and gerontology content.  Young Kee says she specializes in gerontology because her heart is with the elderly.  When she’s not mentoring students, she can be found visiting homebound elderly and caregivers and volunteers at the VA hospital care as a gerontology nurse practitioner consultant.  She also lectures on caring for the elderly at hospitals from Monterey to Maui and provide information about nurse practitioners and elderly issues to international nursing guests from China, South Korea and Taiwan.  She believes that the greatest attribute a nurse can have is the ability to mold themselves into delivering the right care needed at that moment for each specific patient.  As an immigrant originally from Seoul, South Korea, Young Kee said since she was a young child, she has benefitted from the California education system and now lectures because she believes she should give back to a School that has given her so much.

Here’s what some of her students had to say about Young Kee:

She is very passionate in teaching that it is contagious to all her students, including me. Her eyes always lit up as she teaches us how to make a difference as a nurse practitioner in wherever setting we will be placed. She is very knowledgeable and skillful; she teaches us some clinical pearls in each clinical conference and they are highly beneficial and practical in clinical settings.

“I have seen many different kinds of professors in my academic life but Mrs. Markham was exceptional. She embodies a compassionate caregiver and critical thinker whenever she shares her nursing experiences with me and with my group during conferences. She incorporates the complexity of nursing theories into a simple nursing intervention, which I easily adapt into my practice both as an APN student and registered nurse. She also always makes sure that each of her students is allowed to share feelings and insights about nursing care and what can be done to make nursing better.”

“She makes me appreciate and try to emulate her approach to patient care. She always tells us how the education, training, brainpower, and skills that UCLA APN bestows on us are a privilege and a responsibility to the community.”

The Daisy-in-training awards. 

The Daisy-in-Training award was recently created by the Barnes family who created the Daisy awards. The winners of this award are prelicensure students who have demonstrated the skills to provide the best clinical care possible and treat patients and families with human spirit and kindness, two tremendous assets to the art of nursing and healing.  We asked faculty mentors and clinical preceptors to nominate students who:

  • Demonstrate commitment to compassionate care of patients and families
  • Connect meaningfully with patients and families by being respectful and building trust
  • Advocate strongly for safe, high-quality care for patients and their families
  • Act in a manner that is consistent with the UCLA values of integrity, respect, teamwork, excellence, and diversity

The two students who were selected were Sarah Wall, a 4th year Bachelor of Science student and Jacob Merkel, a 2nd year MECN student.

Sarah Wall

Sarah Wall

Sarah Wall followed a roundabout path to nursing and is proof that it is never too late to learn or to go back to school.She was born in Nigeria and immigrated to London with her family as a small child. Sarah met and married a surfer from LA and after marriage and giving birth to her daughter, she moved to Los Angeles where she has become a permanent resident.Curious about how “children work” she started taking science classes at Santa Monica College and then volunteering at Santa Monica Hospital.It was there she witnessed firsthand the work of nurses and decided to return to school to become one.She transferred from Santa Monica to UCLA in 2013 and will graduate summa cum laude in June.

Her nominator shared:

"While older than her peers, Sarah has a youthful excitement for nursing. At our clinical site, she eagerly volunteered for experiences to educate herself to the needs of the children and families. Whether it was listening to the group of adults discuss their struggles with managing their chronic diseases and their efforts to change behavior, working with the adults as they struggled to learn a new language, or running around the playground with preschoolers and school age children, Sarah displayed the maturity and passion for the population served. She was an active, patient, and warm participant yet knows when to hold back and observe. Her clinical logs were exceptional as well, as Sarah shared the many new connections she was making with the population-based focus of public health nursing in a community based organization. She was always early and prepared for clinical, ready to contribute. The students do a group project and clearly Sarah took the process seriously, enlisting the assistance of her 12-year old daughter to give her honest opinions about the proposed activities then sharing with the group that while their original plans sounded good, there were issues that the group needed to consider to make their station successful for the age group. The final product was enhanced by Sarah’s creative efforts above and beyond the classroom."

Jacob Merkel

Jacob Merkel

Jacob is a 2nd year student in our MECN program and will graduate in June.His undergraduate degree was in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing.For Jacob, the call for nursing has been strong his whole life. He grew up around many nurses, healers and caregivers and was exposed to people who were suffering.For Jacob, there is something very special and extremely sacred about spending time with a human being and their family in time of suffering and during a crisis that has always appealed to him.

When asked what area of nursing he wanted to pursue after graduation he said “

After finishing my mental health rotation at Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital as a nursing student, I completely fell in love with psych nursing. I was blown away by the skills of the nurses, the nuances of this specialty, and I ultimately felt a connection and an overwhelming level of respect and empathy for the patients that was impossible for me to ignore. I loved this experience so much that I applied for a Care Partner position and was lucky enough to get a job in the adult psych unit. Resnick exudes a level of warmth, support, and fosters an extremely healthy work environment that I am very attracted to. I hope to grow here and continue to learn about how to better serve this population. In the future, I hope to participate in research, eventually becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, and maybe even work in conjunction with mental health public policy.

Jacob also said that the most important thing he’s learned is “to trust my instincts and to not be afraid of who I am. The UCLA School of Nursing experience has been a catalyst in discovering and developing these instincts and has ultimately built the confidence needed to succeed in whatever comes my way.”

His nominator shared:

Jacob is a student who has the rare ability to take theory to the bedside and proactively use critical thinking in developing nursing care in an exceptional manner.  Jacob decided from his life experiences that nursing was his true calling and passion.  He is a superb nurse who consistently strives to provide the best care to his patient.  Jacob is comfortable with diversity and all levels of socioeconomic backgrounds.  By placing patients as the focus of care, Jacob is committed to providing the best patient care at all times.  He has many strengths and qualities to offer.  He is a skilled, responsible, efficient, enthusiastic, and kindhearted individual.  Jacob consistently provides safe compassionate nursing care to patients and their families.  He is always eager to go a step further than expected and consequently made many collegiate connections with the multidisciplinary teams.  Moreover, Jacob always keeps a professional relationship with all staff and had an admirable attendance record. He is a very mature and responsible novice nurse!