Cory Carlson

Cory Carlson

Cory Carlson, RN

Behavioral Health
Mayo Clinic Health System - Eau Claire
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
United States

Mental illness affects mood, thinking, behavior. “We can’t give someone an X-ray and say, yes, you have a broken brain — yet,” said registered nurse Cory Carlson of Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Maybe it’s that little word, “yet,” that shows the optimism and zest Cory feels for his Behavioral Health patients. “We get to see people generally on the worst day of their lives — just before they come in — and we have the ability to take someone from that lowest point and bring them up to the place where they are ready to try life again,” he said. A patient saw that sense of caring in Cory and nominated him for the DAISY Award. “Not only was Cory kind, patient and responsive to me, but he also was helpful in educating my family member about my illness,” the patient wrote in her nomination. “He thoughtfully spent a half hour offering resources and conversing about ways to help with understanding me and my illness.” Cory called the surprise DAISY ceremony a “highlight of my nursing career. I was really honored to get the award, not just me, but that a Behavioral Health nurse could win this award,” Cory said. “Sometimes it’s very hard to get recognized for what you do behind double-locked doors.” Cory, in fact, was never supposed be in nursing. He intended to become a football coach and teacher. He took a job as a certified nursing assistant 13 years ago as a way to pay for school. He loved the CNA job and continued his schooling to become a registered nurse seven years ago. “I kept going to school until I found a way to stay here the rest of my career, which was kind of my goal,” Cory said. “It pays to love coming to work.”