Michael Jagielski
October 2021
Nerancy Neuro Intensive Care Unit (NNICU)
UVA Health
United States




Michael is consistent, dependable, generous of his time, and always available to serve.
As a bedside nurse, I am in the business of trends and patterns. I have the pleasure of working with other clinicians who demonstrate behaviors that make them comfortably predictable. When I first encountered Michael Jagielski, I had no idea that he was going to become one of the most outstanding examples of professional compassion in the business.

I have heard stories of his unique contributions to the morale of the unit that staff still talk about, nay, photographic evidence exists of where he has dressed up as a fully regaled member of KISS, an inflatable tyrannosaurus rex, Santa Claus. He invests his time into decor for the unit, organizes theme nights, and potlucks, and fully supports the efforts of others who try to do the same. To say that he tries hard is an understatement; even if there is no one else that will help, Michael will spend his time focusing on the goal because it is in his nature to make things better. He presides over shared governance, is an active leader among core staff, and functions confidently as a charge nurse. This behavior directed at the morale of his coworkers only pours out into his practice on the NNICU. Have anything that you need to accomplish? Michael will say yes. A patient dying? Michael will pull out all stops in order to ensure that the patient is comfortable and that the family will remember the death as a positive experience.

He is consistent, dependable, generous of his time, and always available to serve. His colleagues find no fault with him and I would like to be one of the first in line to put on record that he is an extreme contributor to the well-being of everything he touches at this institution. Outcomes of patients trend upwards when Michael is around. The event that tipped the scale for my writing of this nomination took place recently. To my understanding of the events that unfolded as charge nurse, Michael had come to UVA to complete his ACLS renewal and took his lunch among his peers on the NNICU. At the time that he was eating, a post-operative patient began to have a clonic seizure that ultimately required emergent intubation and preparation for cardioversion. In the rush of a guided team response, I looked up to see Michael standing at the foot of the bed. The words escaped my mouth of "Where did Michael come from?" I was answered in the most nonchalant reply of a colleague: "oh, he was just eating in the back." Michael was present and helpful for the duration of the stabilization of the patient. He lingered until I told him to leave because it is in his nature to be engaged in a process until he is sure that he is no longer needed.

I don't think it's possible for Michael to avoid working on a problem when he encounters it. He's always at work an hour before 7 so that he can be the extra set of hands if an emergency blossoms. He's always the last one to leave so the team on his shift can get home. I have only known Michael for just shy of a year and I sometimes wish I was a less experienced nurse so that I could be more solidly shaped by his compassion and engagement. I thoroughly enjoy seeing Michael precept new nurses, it gives me such confidence that his behaviors will spread into both his immediate team as well as the generations of nurses that will develop in his wake.