Public Release: 

Children's Hospital Colorado nurse receives National Patient Safety Foundation DAISY Award

Rachel Whittaker selected among 400 international nominees for extraordinary pediatric nursing care

Children's Hospital Colorado


IMAGE: This is Rachel Whittaker, BSN, RN, CPN, of Children's Hospital Colorado received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses by the National Patient Safety Foundation view more

Credit: Children's Hospital Colorado

Children's Hospital Colorado (Children' s Colorado) is proud to recognize Rachel Whittaker, BSN, RN, CPN, for receiving the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). Whittaker was selected for her leadership, compassion and practice of patient and family-centered care, particularly during difficult end-of-life decisions.

Whittaker demonstrates clinical expertise as a high-level bedside nurse on the inpatient Pulmonary Unit at Children's Colorado. She also serves as an ethics nurse liaison for this pediatric specialty unit, where children with complicated medical needs receive care. Patients include children with cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, prematurity requiring ventilator dependence, asthma, and chronic lung disease. Whittaker is a critical member of the house-wide ethics committee and teaches ethics to fellow staff and interdisciplinary students entering the medical profession. In addition, Whittaker serves as a safety coach to her peers, with advanced training in coaching and quality improvement.

"Rachel continues to amaze me with her ability to prioritize patient safety and high quality care. She has an extraordinary gift of understanding and meeting patients and families' needs," said Traci Link, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, clinical manager at Children's Colorado. "She is the nurse clinical lead to our medically fragile patients and does not shy away from difficult medical conditions or uncertain social situations. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure her patients receive holistic care."

Whittaker was awarded the honor in May 2016, at the 18th Annual NPSF Patient Safety Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. This is the second year of this award program, which derives from the DAISY Foundation's signature program, the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The DAISY Award is given to a nominee from more than 2,300 health care facilities in all 50 states and in 14 other countries.

"I feel humbled and blessed to represent our nursing profession in such a celebratory way," said Whittaker. "I am continuously taken aback witnessing the profound love and commitment by my fellow colleagues, many of whom were my personal mentors and teachers. I would not be half the nurse I am without these individuals."

In addition, Children's Colorado recently was accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), making it only the second children's hospital to receive the accreditation since CCNE began accrediting new graduate nurse residency programs in 2009. Since its conception, Children' s Colorado New Graduate Nurse Residency Program has graduated 512 nurses.


About Children's Hospital Colorado

Children's Hospital Colorado (Children's Colorado) has defined and delivered pediatric health care excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, Children's Colorado is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and well-being of children. Continually acknowledged as one of the nation's outstanding pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and ranked on its Best Children's Hospitals 2016-17 Honor Roll, Children's Colorado is known for both its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research, education and advocacy programs, as well as comprehensive everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. Children's Colorado is the winner of the 2015 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize, and is a 2013-2016 Most Wired hospital according to Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. Children's Colorado also is recognized for excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Centers and has been designated a Magnet® hospital since 2005. The hospital's family-centered, collaborative approach combines the nation's top pediatric doctors, nurses and researchers to pioneer new approaches to pediatric medicine. With urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Metro Denver and Southern Colorado, including its campus on the Anschutz Medical Campus, Children's Colorado provides a full spectrum of pediatric specialties. For more information, visit and connect with Children's Colorado on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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