TMC features Final Round of its Fab 50 Nurses

More than one-fourth of the nurses who will be honored this year as Tucson’s Fabulous 50 Nurses are associated with Tucson Medical Center.

The Tucson Nurses Week Foundation celebrates each year with city-wide events honoring the community’s dedicated nursing professionals. The annual Showcase of Tucson Nurses Conference will open the event on Friday, May 11, followed by the Fab 50 Nurses Gala on May 12, at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort.

TMC has been featuring the winners this week in random order. Here’s a look at the final round of TMC nurses who will be honored:

  • Carolyn Bertschy, neurology

Bertschy, who joined TMC in 1980, has provided patients with care as a Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse for many years, serving as a clinical lead nurse on the neurology unit. She was drawn to nursing because she was so appreciative and impressed by their professionalism when she had her children. The job security was another plus.

What her colleagues say: “Her personality, kind demeanor, and knowledge truly make her an exceptional leader and team player in our hospital. Her star quality shines above all others.”

Her favorite part of nursing:”I like to help people and I am empathetic.”

  • Julie Ward, chest pain coordinator

Ward, a nurse for 19 years, joined TMC in 2008. She knew as a child she wanted to be a nurse. Her dad was in and out of the hospital frequently and she became familiar with caregiving and learned the importance of compassion. She has done rotations in many units, from the emergency room to pediatric intensive care, trauma and cardiac units, which has helped inform her approach to her current role.

What her colleagues say:  “She treats everyone with exemplary care with her attitude that no matter what a person is hospitalized for, they are scared and vulnerable and so are their families. It doesn’t matter how much money they come from, what language they speak, or if they are 96 or 6 years old, she believes they deserve the best care every time.”

What she likes best about nursing: “The diversity that is available. You can gain so much experience by working in different areas.”

  • Pamela Morris, supply chain/purchasing

Morris began her career at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. She came to Tucson as a travel nurse and came to love it so much, that she chose to begin her career at TMC. Morris is also involved in volunteer work at Sabino Canyon and serves on the bike patrol for the U.S. Forestry Service. She said she takes the patient experience seriously. “You give people your best every day, welcome them with a smile and try to deliver great customer service.”

What her colleagues say:  “She desires that her giving and highlights not be publicly known. She is an invisible angel looking down over all her patients, friends and family members, and the community in which she lives.”

Her favorite part about nursing: “Helping patients to feel safe and cared for as if they were a member of my family.”

  • Jon Sumner, main operating room

Sumner was recruited to TMC from Illinois in 2007 for his first nursing job. “When I came for the interview, TMC won me over. Everyone was really friendly and they were honest in response to my questions.” Sumner said he was inspired to be a nurse because his older sister is a nurse and because he watched a friend struggle with cystic fibrosis. “Plus, I love people,” he added.

What his colleagues say: “This nurse cares deeply for his profession, and cares for his colleagues. It is common for him to check in with his peers and simply ask “How can I help you? What do you need me to do?”  He is a person you want to be around; his love of his work is contagious, and his zeal for education is palpable.” 

His favorite part about nursing: “Being an advocate for the patients I care for during invasive procedures.”

The Nurses Week Foundation grants this award each year in honor of Cheryl McGaffic, Barbara Monroe and Robin Rogers, nursing professors who lost their lives in 2002. The award recognizes a member of the Tucson nursing community who demonstrates significant leadership, skill ability in being a role model, coach, motivator, advocate, teacher and visionary.


  1. Kathleen hart says:

    April 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm
    Long before she became a CNL, Carolyn Bertschy precepted and mentored more new nurses than we could count! There is no one who knows policy and procedure better than Carolyn. She has excellent clinical skills and puts it all together with great organizational skills. I couldn’t even begin to count the committees and councils she’s served on. She’s an asset to unit 850 and TMC.

  2. Claire Aragon says:

    Wow! What excellent choices! I am honored to work with each and every one of these terrific nurses! Congratulations to all 13 – each of you so deserve it!

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