Alicia Cornelison
September 2023
Northside Hospital Duluth
United States




She was genuinely concerned. Alicia’s compassion was evident as I watched her interact with the patient. She got down to his level and asked him how he was.
Nursing is a work of heart. The sacrifices we make on a daily basis, the care and compassion we pour into our job, cannot be taught. A good nurse can make all the difference in a patient’s stay. A great nurse can impact a patient’s life forever. An amazing nurse can teach us all. Alicia Cornelison is all of these things and more.

Alicia is a member of the Ortho-Surgical floor here at Northside Hospital Duluth. She cares wholeheartedly for her patients and shows it, not just with her words but her actions. Over the past few weeks, I have been honored to witness some truly inspiring interactions between her and our patients – some of which weren’t even hers. 

Last week, Alicia recognized a change in her patient. She quickly activated the Rapid Response Team. As the flurry of people arrived at the room to assess the situation and provide care as needed, Alicia provided a clear, concise report. I watched as she took the time to care for, not only her patient but their family. Making sure to walk them through every step of the event. She calmly explained, in terms they would understand, what was happening and why each thing was necessary. She acknowledged the fear in their eyes and, through her caring nature and tone, put them at ease. She kept them updated each step of the way all while getting vitals, hanging medications, and updating the chart. Unbeknownst to the family, she also made sure her other patients were being properly cared for in her absence. 

This is not something new but rather a part of who she is. Any time a Rapid Response or critical situation is happening on the unit, she is one of the first to respond. She is always there to help in any way - grabbing needed medications, transporting patients to imaging, or getting equipment. But if things are under control, she will offer to pass medications or help the primary nurse with their other patients while they focus on the critical situation without ever being asked. She is always there to lend a helping hand. She never lets anyone struggle if she is able to help. 

Today, I was finishing up a Rapid Response on a patient and although he was not her assigned patient, she stopped in to make sure there was nothing she could do. She was genuinely concerned. Alicia’s compassion was evident as I watched her interact with the patient. She got down to his level and asked him how he was. She wasn't just curious or doing her job. She cared. And it made me pause. She offered to call his daughter for him and update her on the situation. He gratefully accepted her offer, and I could tell meant the world to him. A simple human connection.

In what can be a task-driven profession, I am grateful for nurses like Alicia. Nurses who genuinely care. Nurses whose compassion is evident in every interaction. Nurses who go above and beyond for their patients, families, and coworkers not because they have to but because they genuinely want to, because it’s part of who they are. 

Thank you, Alicia.