Nicholls Nursing Alum Earns Ochsner’s Rookie of the Year

THIBODAUX, La. — Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans named a Nicholls Nursing alum Rookie of the Year for her frontline work during COVID-19.

Ochsner honored Kim Gooden (BSN ‘19) at the nursing excellence awards for improving the lives of patients and the work environment. The hospital lauded the cardiac medical ICU nurse for her role as a leader and professional role model during the pandemic.

“I am shocked and honored to get the Rookie of the Year award,” Gooden said. “None of us do this job for recognition, we do it for the impact we can make on our patients’ lives and health. That someone went above and beyond to recognize my work, means the world to me, especially since I work with so many amazing nurses. What an honor for me.”

Gooden, whose unit became the COVID-19 unit, compares the beginning of the pandemic to working in a war zone. Practices have improved as more information about the virus becomes available. The hospitals have also become better prepared to deal with the spikes.

Gooden says Nicholls nursing laid the groundwork for her professional success.

“The experiences I had in clinicals and the basic knowledge I learned from the very best instructors set me up for success,” Gooden said. “Nursing school was hard, but it’s hard for a reason. The support that we receive from our instructors at Nicholls is like no other school I’ve ever attended. They truly care about us and want us to succeed.”

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