St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital nurse Ed Koen is a top-10 finalist in the national competition, The Amazing Nurses Contest. Koen plays an important role in the treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. As an outpatient infusion nurse, he administers chemotherapy, blood products, antibiotics and other medications. Koen has been a nurse at St. Jude for 19 years.
Educating others is a large part of Koen’s role. He helps educate patients and families about the proper use of their medications, the potential side effects of treatment and what symptoms are cause for concern. Koen also conducts cardiac life-support training for St. Jude staff to ensure they are prepared to handle emergencies involving patients, parents and visitors.
“St. Jude has a treasured nurse in Ed,” one patient’s parent said. “There are no words that will ever explain how special he is and how he makes his patients and their families feel.”
Koen said he is inspired by the children he treats, who often demonstrate wisdom and courage beyond their years, and by their families. Koen demonstrates his commitment to helping others not just at work, but also in his community. He is volunteers regularly at a medical mission clinic for the uninsured.
Colleague Bonnie Mason, RN, has worked at St. Jude for 35 years and with Koen for more than a decade on the hospital’s weekend shifts.
“We sing together, laugh together, cry together—Ed really helps make the group more of a family,” Mason said. “He’s smart, conscientious and truly makes patients and their families feel comfortable when they’re at St. Jude. There are many good nurses out there, but if I were a patient, I’d want Ed to be my nurse.”
Koen has received several awards for his excellence in nursing at St. Jude and in the medical community, including being honored as one of the top registered nurses in the Memphis area.
How to help Koen win: Beginning Tuesday, August 28, at 12:01 p.m. EST, visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/JNJNursingNotes and go to the Amazing Nurses Contest tab, or visit www.amazingnurses.com. Votes are allowed once every 24 hours until Friday, September 28, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The finalist who receives the most valid votes will be named as the Amazing Nurse. The winner will be announced at the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute show in December and will be featured in a video profile at the event. The nationwide contest, sponsored by The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future, provides families, patients and communities the chance to honor the contributions of individual nurses.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing overall U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent. Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. St. Jude is also a leader in research and treatment of life-threatening blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives. To learn more, visit www.stjude.org. Follow us on Twitter @StJudeResearch.
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