DAISY Award | Marlene Armstead Ambler, RN, M.S.N., F.N.P. (2024)

DAISY Award | Marlene Armstead Ambler, RN, M.S.N., F.N.P. (1)Marlene Armstead Ambler, RN, M.S.N., F.N.P.
East 7 Neuroscience Unit/Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

I want to nominate Marlene Armstead from East 5. I’ve worked with a lot of nurses in my 20-year career, but Marlene stands out to me. She has been incredibly supportive of the Epilepsy Program, her staff, and the EEG Team. Even though we aren’t technically part of her direct reports/team, she makes us feel like family. She joins in our celebrations, brings gifts, remembers everyone’s birthdays, pushes us towards excellence and pursuing our goals. Even bringing people anatomy coloring books and crayons or colored pencils to encourage them to learn and go into nursing if she senses an interest!

She always exhibits compassion toward her patients and staff and motivates staff with a shared vision and enthusiasm to strive for excellence, and not to accept anything less. She celebrates the successes of her team (and mine) and she’s there in the trenches when the hard work needs to be done. She is always there with a word of encouragement, a warm hug, advice, or just a listening ear. She pushes for the best for her team, and her patients. She provides opportunities for continued professional development for her team, and in Neurodiagnostics in general whenever possible. She embraces change and is willing to listen to constructive feedback or ideas of how we could better partner together to provide excellent patient care. She never makes me feel “lesser than” because I’m not a nurse, but inspires me to wish I were! She shares resources, makes sure my team is kept up to date, focuses on best practice for patient care, and has partnered closely with the Nursing Educator on our team to bring quality education concerning the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit to our teams.

She comes in at 5 a.m. or stays as late as she needs to in order to make sure everyone has what they need to provide the best patient care, and everything is in order. She even comes in on the weekends. I admire that work ethic, because it resembles my own and I find it to be rare these days. She cares so much she gives 110% to her team (and mine), and they feel it! Her focus on inclusivity and diversity is admirable. She is truly a champion of DEI!

Her warm smile and bubbly spirit make me want to be at work each day, and I feel UC Davis is blessed to have her here. She embodies what patients and staff want to have in a Nurse, compassion, empathy, patient safety focused, not willing to cut corners, a drive for fairness/equitable treatment, and a willingness to go the extra mile for everyone around her. If she knows you’re hurting, she will find a way to help. She donates to children, and the less fortunate at Christmas (probably all year round). She throws parties and celebrations out of her own pocket to celebrate everyone around her. She makes people feel special, she even made sure their EVS person got an award and knows how much he is appreciated. Because we are a team, and everyone matters, and their work is invaluable.

I, Esmeralda Singh, nominate Neola Marlene Armstead, for role modeling extraordinary behavior. Marlene is the epitome of generosity. She is always giving to those around her and more importantly those in need. She purchases school uniforms for kids in needs, donates money to those that have less than her and recently paid for a purchase for a mom struggling to find enough money to pay at the store.

She often brings food for our staff, for the EMU staff and offers it to everyone she sees that day. She brings in birthday cards for all the employees and takes initiative to raise money when there is a staff member in need. She reaches out and checks in on them. She showers her AN2’s with gifts during their birthdays. She is not only generous she puts true meaning behind the gifts. She shows her appreciation for the hard work everyone puts in. She makes herself available at any time of the day.

She promotes leadership in her staff she pushes us to be the best we can be and pursue advanced degrees and growth through leadership opportunities. She promotes growth in our CN2’s by offering her guidance and support to climb the CN3 clinical ladder. I had an experienced nurse 20+ years say she never thought becoming a CN3 was achievable but she also never felt supported like she does now. They grow from her guidance, she describes the process the benefits of becoming a CN3 and openly tells them she is there for support/ideas anything they need to be successful.

Her reputation is well known throughout the institution. I have had multiple staff ask who my manager is and when I tell them they only talk about how kind, generous and amazing she is. CN3’s from other floors, new NPs anyone from her previous floor only have nice things to say. She offers her help when she is here, even placing an IV on a combative patient when all other nurses were unsuccessful. She is personable and makes a true connection with her staff.

We are truly lucky to have her as our leader. She offers a listening ear during hard times, guidance and lets you know she is here to support us in any way possible. She reminds us that this job is more than just a job, we are family as well. I transitioned to a new role after she became our manager, she truly wants us all to be as successful as possible. I know I look up to her and hope I can make a difference in the life of others as she has.

Marlene has been in her role as Inpatient Unit Director for the Neuroscience Department since February 14, 2022. I had this unit prior to Marlene gracefully entering this position and let me tell you that she has knocked this role out of the ballpark. Marlene embodies every core characteristic of a relationship-based leader. She has developed lifelong relationships with her staff in a very short amount of time with her charismatic can-do attitude. Marlene knows EVERYONE’S birthday around her and gives each person a card! She has wonderful innovative ideas on how to mentor coach and develop our future leaders of this hospital. Marlene always has someone knocking on her door asking for advice, mentorship and guidance and Marlene offers it with a loving, compassionate, and achievable approach. Marlene buys anatomy and physiology coloring books and pencils for employees that are interested in a nursing career, she sets up meetings and check ins and sets up an action plan for them so they can be successful in achieving their goals. In the short time that Marlene has been in this role she has made significant positive changes for her unit. Marlene’s team has been recognized for the first ever Above and Beyond Award from Guest Relations! This is a direct attribute to her loving leadership and how she brings new ideas, new strategized workflows, and ensuring her unit is both meeting and exceeding their metrics with staff enthusiasm to be a pillar of success for our health system. Marlene has gone above and beyond with our patients and their families. She has received many accolades and acknowledgements from patient letters, sweet treats, and acknowledgements in our PCS council from our colleagues and how she treated their family member with dignity and respect and went out of her way to find them their favorite soda! It is these little nuggets that are a true testament to her embodiment of nursing in our organization and what a profound impact she has on each person’s life! I cannot recommend Marlene enough for the Nurse Leader award and I know that Marlene would say that this is just who I am, and it truly is who she is and exactly why she is MOST deserving of this award!

DAISY Award | Marlene Armstead Ambler, RN, M.S.N., F.N.P. (2024)
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