The Melissa A. Fischer Nursing Award
The Melissa A. Fischer Nursing Award honors the dedicated nurses of NurseRegistry for their outstanding and continual commitment to exceptional patient care.
The award is named in honor of Melissa A. Fischer, COO of NurseRegistry, who has for over ten years devoted herself to supporting independent nurses as they grow in their careers to improve health care for patients.
We are honored to present the recipients of the Melissa A. Fischer Nursing Award.
Thea Smith, RN
Thea had always wanted to be a nurse. When the opportunity came for her to do her residency in Texas, her husband and two children stood by her. The whole family relocated to Texas for her two-year residency, to be with her as she pursued her dreams.
Her story began as a licensed vocational nurse, in 2006. And as anyone who’s met Thea knows, she believes strongly in learning and growth. She pushed herself through a registered nurse program finishing in two years, while raising her children. You can imagine the euphoria around her as she graduated and passed her boards.
Little did she know that real joy would find her working with MOVE! a program serving diabetes patients in the VA Health Care System. There they aimed to go beyond prevention and management but to reverse diabetes. Working with her patients, Thea successfully helped them lower their glucose and A1C levels, in what were everyday medical miracles.
A member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) or the Philippine Nursing Association of America (PNAA), when she isn’t reading articles and learning, she’s having fun and staying healthy. Zumba, tennis, long walks, and karaoke keep her positive and laughing. On weekends, you might find Thea with her family fishing for striper bass at the delta in the Burlingame Bayshore.
True to her love for nursing, Thea helps aspiring nurses-to-be by tutoring difficult subjects like med-surg, neuro, GI, and motility. At NurseRegistry, we know that with Thea’s knowledge and experience patients rely on her to handle all types of cases, going above and beyond to care for her long-term and short-notice patients.
What advice does Thea give to new nurses?
Continue on growing as a nurse. Don’t be stagnant. Be proactive. Find out what you really want for your career and life, to be well-rounded and wholesome.”
Nancy Aziz, LVN
Nancy began her journey into a nursing career by searching for humanitarian work.
I was considering the peace corps but decided I could probably do more good as a nurse. I have been an LVN for 6 years and graduated from the RN program last year and now awaiting NCLEX.”
Working with NurseRegistry, Nancy loves “the flexibility and the different types of assignments that offer a variety of experiences.”
We asked Nancy what makes her smile while working—she shared that it’s “patients who have not lost their sense of humor.” Her least favorite part of her work is seeing patients suffering.
Not so surprisingly, Nancy’s favorite podcast is Medicins sans Frontières.
We know Nancy would have done a lot of good in the peace corps, but we and her patients are glad she chose nursing.
Joy Malaga, RN
Joy began her journey when she took nursing as a pre-med course, where she was so inspired by her nursing professors that she decided to pursue it full time. As she puts it, they taught her “the passion and beauty of nursing.”
Twenty years later, Joy is still loving her profession. Patients love her—if you met her, you’d understand why. Joy carries a bright, cheerful energy that lights up any room.
When we asked Joy why nursing is so fulfilling to her, she stressed the importance of advocacy—she enjoys advocating for her clients and providing them with the tools to advocate for themselves. Joy truly loves making a difference in someone else’s life, no matter how big or small.
Joy shared her most treasured memory as a nurse—a time when she cared for a patient with liver, heart, and kidney failure. While the patient was in the ICU for 3 months, Joy and their team did everything they could for the patient. As she recalls,
He finally got his heart, kidney, and liver all at the same time! He came back to us after surgery looking healthy and happy and thanking our crew. He also left us a picture book of his journey. Seeing him happy and healthy after his journey was the most rewarding experience I had in my nursing career.”
As Joy loves to say, “Life is good!”—and we couldn’t agree more. We’re so pleased to celebrate Joy as an honoree of the Melissa A. Fischer Nursing Award.
See past award recipients.
Freshta Azami LVN
Allan Cronin RN
Mirasol Dang LVN