Karmanos Cancer Institute nurse Ashley Kaake honored with Nightingale Award for extraordinary service

Ashley Kaake, RN, BSN, CCRN, critical staff nurse at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, was recently selected by Oakland University to receive the Nightingale Award for Nursing Excellence in the category of Staff Nurse Practice.

The Nightingale Award for Nursing Excellence is presented to a nurse who demonstrates excellence in direct patient care delivered in a hospital, clinic or sub-acute care facility. This individual is dedicated to quality, compassionate care of patients and promotes a positive culture of nursing through exceptional practice and excellent communication skills.

More than 700 nurses, physicians and administrators, as well as family members and nursing supporters attended this year’s awards ceremony held May 9, 2019 at the San Marino Club in Troy. Fox 2 News anchors Amy Andrews and Roop Raj co-emceed this year’s awards ceremony.

Kaake was just one of 10 individuals and 10 runners-up honored at the prestigious awards ceremony. The awards were created as a way to appreciate nurses from different clinical roles who excel in their caregiving of patients and their families.

Cynthia Ydrogo, nurse educator in the Nursing Education Department at Karmanos, nominated Kaake because of her passion, quality of patient care and commitment to Karmanos.

“Ashley constantly strives to create an optimal environment for patients and staff. She played a major role in the development of the SWAT nurse position at Karmanos. Her ideas were translated to action through her contribution to the action plan on how to implement the SWAT nurse position,” said Ydrogo.

Kaake received a solid bronze statue of Florence Nightingale, a special Nightingale pin ceremonial pin and a cash reward.

Kaake graduated from Wayne State University in 2012. She has spent her entire nursing career at Karmanos in Detroit. During her tenure, she has worked as a staff nurse in medical surgical, intermediate care and critical care units. She has spent the past six years in critical care developing her nursing skills and achieving her goal of receiving a certification in critical care nursing (CCRN). She also received the Joanne Macklebust Nurse Excellence Award by Karmanos nursing leadership during her tenure.

“Winning the Nightingale Award for excellence in nursing has been the highlight of my nursing career,” said Kaake. “To know that I've made such an impact on my patients as well as the staff I work with is an extraordinary honor.”

Kaake started her career at Karmanos in 2011 as a student nurse on 9 Webber North. After graduating with her BSN in 2012 from Wayne State University, she continued her nursing journey on 9WN and then transferred to the IMCU and eventually to the ICU.

Kevin Landon, BSN, RN, CCRN, clinical nurse manager at Karmanos, describes Kaake as someone who is very dedicated to her role – always going above and beyond.

“Ashley consistently demonstrates her dedication to Karmanos by going beyond the call of duty as a staff nurse. She possesses strong communication skills, outstanding clinical knowledge and exceptional critical thinking skills,” said Landon. “She utilizes these traits to advocate for her patients and families, to examine the practices on the critical care units and to set an example for those around her. Ashley consistently exceeds expectations of patients, families, coworkers and nursing leadership at Karmanos.”

In her role, Kaake has participated in the Karmanos Nurse Practice Council, Critical Care Safety Rounds worked as a charge nurse, acted as a preceptor for new staff and helped initiate the Critical Care Journal Club.

Kaake’s commitment to Karmanos’ patients and their families, and her motivation and example of excellence in nursing practice makes her very deserving of this year’s Nightingale Award for Nursing Excellence.