Michael Desjardins, RN
University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute
Salt Lake City, Utah
NATIONAL WINNER
2003 CHEROKEE INSPIRED COMFORT AWARD

Michael Desjardins, RN

Charge Nurse Michael Desjardins mentors nurses to make a difference.

Michael Desjardins, RN, entered nursing in 2001, and in three years, served as the president of the National Student Nurses Association, charted the future of the Nursing Organizations Alliance and became vice president of the Utah Nurses Association. As a leader, clinical nursing instructor, and registered nurse serving patients at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute, Michael believes that with a united mind and vision, America’s nurses can redesign the nation’s healthcare system to better meet the needs of patients and those who take care of them. He mentors nurses so they can shape the future of healthcare through involvement in the legislative process.


Michael helped initiate a national interdisciplinary student health alliance among 13 national student organizations to help them learn more about each other for increased ability to work together in their professions.
- Tresa Glenn          
Winner's Nomination

Michael Desjardins' nomination was submitted by Tresa Glenn, charge nurse, University of Utah, Neuropsychiatric Institute, Salt lake City, Utah:

Michael Desjardins is an exceptional nurse who cares for his patients with incredible empathy, unconditional positive regard and caring. He works with me at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute in Salt Lake City and simultaneously attends full-time graduate school and cares for his family. In 2002, Michael finished his term as president of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) and was actively involved in measures to combat the nursing shortage and other issues important to nurses, such as helping the NSNA partner with Johnson & Johnson, overseeing the association’s approval of a headquarters location move, and representing nursing students in most major nursing initiatives and meetings. His energy, service and sacrifice led to his election to the board of directors of the Nursing Organizations Alliance, the first student nurse ever to hold a national position with fiduciary responsibility for over 55 national nursing organizations (see nursing-alliance.org). He contributed to the grass roots efforts of the organization’s formation, chaired the bylaws committee and was an annual meeting planning chair. In 2002 Michael was nominated to serve as VP of the Utah Nurses Association, consenting to bring his national experience to serve nurses in the state of Utah. In this role he has worked on bylaws, government relations and association/healthcare relations. In 2002 Michael helped initiate a national interdisciplinary student health alliance among 13 national student organizations to help them learn more about each other for increased ability to work together in their professions. In his spare time, he serves food to the homeless and donates time and energy to the underserved. He definitely embodies service, sacrifice and innovation and is an example to us all.

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