Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin nurse awarded Nurse of the Year

Michelle Czarnecki, MSN, RN-BC, APNP, was recognized by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with their 2015 Nurse of the Year award.

It’s well-known that Michelle Czarnecki knows her stuff! As an advanced practice nurse in the Jane B. Pettit Pain and Headache Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Michelle works with kids to help manage pain that comes as a result of a medical condition or surgical procedure. She also helps wean them from pain medications after they leave the hospital. It’s no surprise to me, or any of her patients, that she was selected as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Nurse of the Year.

Michelle was selected out of nearly 300 nurses from across southeast Wisconsin who were nominated. This award showcases the compassion and dedication she has for her work, which has made major differences in the pain control of thousands of kids hospitalized throughout the years.

Michelle is an amazing nurse

Michelle has taught me and many other care providers different tricks and techniques to solve the acute pain issues our patients experience. Surgeons and pediatricians call her directly for advice on pain management. Michelle embraces Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s role as a teaching hospital, and she often educates floor nurses and resident physicians about pain-related issues while tending to her patients’ needs.

We’ve built a strong reputation for managing acute and chronic pain among children’s hospitals across the U.S., and I believe Michelle is a big reason for this. When she isn’t caring for patients, she spends many hours researching pain management. She’s led several research initiatives directed at improving pain management for children, resulting in several journal publications.

Right now, Michelle and her team are working on a study involving pain management in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The study may lead to a new way of managing pain for babies not only in our NICU, but for babies across the country.

On a very personal note, Michelle has experienced firsthand a major health struggle. She was diagnosed with cancer about one year ago. She underwent a major surgery, chemotherapy and radiation — yet this seemed to be only a small “hiccup” for her.

We’re proud of all our nurses

For three consecutive years, the Nurse of the Year winner or first runner-up has been from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. I have to think that’s not by chance!

As we celebrate National Nurses Week, I am excited to recognize the work of Michelle and all our nurses at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin who live our values and support our mission. Every day, they provide the best and safest care for the children and families we serve.

Lynn Rusy, MD– Lynn Rusy, MD, pediatric anesthesiologist, Jane B. Pettit Pain and Headache Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Pain management specialists in our Jane B. Pettit Pain and Headache Center provide solutions that work for kids of all ages — even for the most painful conditions.

Learn more about Lynn Rusy, MD.


Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin nurse honored with Nurse of the Year award — 13 Comments

  1. Just wanted to give a big shout out to my cousin Michelle Czarnecki. Love You Shelly.

  2. I don’t know you but I am very proud and happy for you! I am a medical assistant for 10 years now and while I am not a nurse, I still place value on patient care and I’m so greatful for some of the amazing nurses that take pride in service! My daughter in law is currently in school for nursing also! It means so much to families to have someone in their corner in a sometimes scary time! Way to go!! Great Job!!

  3. Michelle!!! I am over the top thrilled to read that ‘Nurse Of The Year’ honor went to you. Anyone that knows you knows there is no doubt in this selection. So extremely happy for you.
    Would LOVE to talk more with you. If ever in your busy schedule you have the time and urge to reach out, I’d be extremely happy to hear from you.
    Be well and again Congrats!!!
    Shari E.

  4. Congratulations! I am proud to have worked with you. You have always strived to improve patient care and pain management expertise amongst all healthcare professionals. I am happy to see you recognized.

  5. I had the privilege of working with Michelle. This award comes as no surprise. Well Deserved.

  6. Congrats on this award Michelle. I too am proud to have worked with you. You are a great clinician and I am glad that you are Nurse of the year. You definitely deserve it!

  7. Congratulations to you Michelle !! I have had the pleasure of working with you the past 14 years, and can say first hand that I always appreciate your expertise and willingness to really listen to the nurses when we have a patient with pain. You are a great advocate for our patients and are very deserving of the Honor of Nurse of the Year !

  8. Congratulations, Michelle!!! I am so happy for you to receive this very well-deserved award. I was lucky enough to be mentored by Michelle when I first came to Children’s and worked on the infant med-surg unit. Later, after I went to the O.R., I had intermittent contact with this excellent nurse and wonderfully kind, intelligent, and hard-working person. Even now, after having been retired for the past 7 years, I have fond memories of you, Michelle. I am so glad, but not surprised, that you are being recognized with this award. And to Lynn Rusy, great job of doing a wonderful write-up for Michelle! Hi to all my friends in the O.R.

  9. Congratulations Michelle!! I was so happy to learn of this latest honor you rec’d! YOu are not only nurse of the year, but nurse of many fortunate kids and co-worker of many grateful persons like myself who get to collaborate with you on a daily basis for the past 20+ years! You are a blessing to many and I’m honored to say I’ve worked with the Nurse of the year!

  10. Congratulations Michelle. Though I’ve you peripherally, you’ve had a major Impact on many patients through the years. I’m sure you’ll recall the variance of opinions that we’ve had, but I always respected the interest you had in the patients you saw. You certainly represented the matrix of the Pain Program. I was blessed to have been able to work with many superbly qualified nurses through the years, which not only made my life more bearable, allowed me to be assured that my patients were in very capable hands in my absence and through the years became dear colleagues and friends.

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