Chamberlain University is recognizing DAISY Co-Founders Bonnie and Mark Barnes’s exceptional contributions to the nursing profession by bestowing upon them honorary doctorate degrees.
The Barnes' formally accepted accept the degrees - Doctor of Humane Letters (h.c.) – at Chamberlain’s October 16 virtual commencement.
Chamberlain University president Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN, has worked closely with the DAISY Foundation and the Barnes family since 2014.
“Bonnie and Mark Barnes have devoted more than 20 years to ensuring nurses are honored and recognized for their compassionate care, extraordinary clinical skills and patient advocacy. The Barnes’s tireless efforts to support and humanize the nursing profession is inspiring and humbling,” Dr. Cox said.
She added, “We can’t think of two people who deserve this honorary doctorate more than Bonnie and Mark Barnes.”
The Barnes family created the DAISY Foundation in 1999 in the memory of Mark’s son J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of an auto-immune disease. During his eight-week hospitalization, his family was so touched by the skill, kindness and compassion that his nurses provided for him that they created the DAISY Foundation specifically as a way to say “thank you” to nurses.
“We have profound respect for the work nurses do for their patients and their families,” Bonnie said. “What touched us to our core was Pat’s nurses’ sensitivity, kindness, compassion – not only to him but to all of us in our family during such a confusing, fearful and vulnerable time. We know from experience that there is no hug like a nurse’s hug.”
Today, the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, faculty and nursing students is presented at more than 4,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing around the world.
“These honorary doctorate degrees are not something we ever expected, and we are so honored to receive them,” Mark said. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you so very much.”
“Thank you to Chamberlain’s leadership for welcoming us into your arms,” Bonnie said.
“Chamberlain’s commitment to a culture of care brings such extraordinary nurses into the healthcare system, the very nurses that DAISY was created to honor and celebrate.”
The Barness believe that nurses are the world’s humble heroes: “Every day you will be someone’s hero,” Mark advised current and future nurses. “Every day you will have the opportunity to make your patient’s life better in some way, and every day you will make the world a better place because of what you do.”
By Chamberlain University
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