2006 Inspired Comfort Award Top National Winner — Student Nurse Category

Janet Orlin

Janet Orlin, RN, BSN

2006 Top National Winner— Student Nurse Category

Dedicated Student Nurse Illustrates Heart
and Soul of the Nursing Profession

Janet Orlin is not only admired for her many academic and professional achievements, but also for her unique ability to help others faced with serious health issues. For her willingness to utilize every tool at her disposal on behalf of patients and for her tireless demonstrations of compassion and caring for those that she treats, she has earned the deep respect and admiration of her peers.

Additionally, she completed 2 years of training as a healthcare chaplain, worked for more than 10 years at academic medical centers, holds two master's degrees, and recently completed her nursing degree at Johns Hopkins. For all of this, she has received the prestigious Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award. She is one of only 11 honorees nationwide in 2006.

The award is granted annually by Cherokee Uniforms - a leading designer and manufacturer of healthcare apparel - to recognize nurses and other non-physician healthcare professionals who demonstrate exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation and have a positive impact on others' lives.

I didn't realize the critical role that a nurse plays in the care of a patient until I was a patient. Nurses were at my side as I needed help to the bathroom, a dressing changed, or pain medication. The nurses were the ones that related to me as a human. And being treated as a human by another human did a lot to make me feel whole despite my medical problems.

— Janet Orlin

Hardship in her own life inspired Orlin to become a nurse. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, and it was the comfort she received from nurses that made her want to provide that same feeling for others. At the time, she was already two years into her studies at Fuller Theological Seminary and although times were challenging, she continued with her education after recovering from the disease.

While studying at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, those around her were impressed with her undeniable talent as a nurse and her ability to relate to patients. During her clinical rotation in Labor and Delivery, she met a woman with a history of multiple-substance abuse who had just suffered a miscarriage. Orlin immediately offered to help care for the woman. She was not hesitant to employ her knowledge from seminary and clinical training to produce a positive outcome in a situation that could have been overwhelming for the patient. Despite how uncomfortable the circumstances were, she chose to take a risk to communicate with and assist the patient at a deeper level that could benefit the patient and positively impact the patient's outcome. She remained therapeutic in a complex dialogue and then communicated with a social worker in support of effective post-discharge intervention.

Says Orlin, "Even with challenges, frustrations and aggravations, every time I leave work I feel satisfied. I'm proud of what I do. I'm proud of nursing. I can't imagine a more rewarding profession."

Orlin was nominated for the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award by her clinical instructor at Johns Hopkins University, Mary Terhaar, who said, "Janet is an outstanding student nurse who serves as a role model for many. I hope she is at the bedside when someone I care about needs help." Terhaar added that Orlin's inquisitive nature and thirst for knowledge prompt her to become actively involved with her education, and that her compassion makes her an exceptional caretaker.

As a Top National Winner in the award's Student Nurse Category, Orlin receives an all-expense-paid trip to a 2007 U.S. medical conference of her choice, an annual membership to a clinical organization, a $500 donation to the nonprofit organization of her choice, a wardrobe featuring the best of Cherokee Uniforms and Rockers Footwear worth more than $1,000, a 2006 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award trophy and placement in Cherokee's 2007 Inspired Comfort Award calendar.

Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, more than 4,200 healthcare professionals have been nominated in the Registered Nurse, Advanced Practice Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse, Student Nurse and Non-Physician Healthcare Professional categories. A panel of nursing professionals and Cherokee representatives evaluates nominations and grants the awards.

For every nomination, Cherokee Uniforms donated $1 to Nurses House, a national fund that provides short-term financial assistance to registered nurses facing serious hardship. Since 2005, Cherokee has donated $2,200. Proceeds from Cherokee Uniforms products support healthcare professionals through initiatives such as the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award, an annual calendar and the A Nurse I Am Film and Scholarship Program. Cherokee Uniforms will be accepting nominations for the 2007 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award beginning March 1, 2007 through May 31, 2007.

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