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MMC emergency nurse wins national award

Heidi Cote said it's nice to be recognized, especially since this was the toughest year of her 27 year career.

PORTLAND, Maine — COVID-19 restrictions may be easing for the general public, but emergency rooms are still buzzing. Maine Medical Center beside ER nurse Heidi Cote said she is seeing some of her busiest days ever. 

She's still seeing COVID patients, as well as injured tourists, and the regular flow of elderly patients who experience problems.  

"It's exhausting," Cote said.

But in the midst of all this chaos, Cote just found out her colleagues nominated her for an award from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing, which she won. 

The announcement reads: The BCEN 2021 Distinguished CEN Award winner is Heidi Cote, BSN, RN, CEN, CPENClinical Nurse III and Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine. Cote will be spotlighted, along with all of BCEN’s 2021 nurse and organizational award winners, during BCEN’s virtual celebration event on Thursday, July 22.

BCEN said it looks to recognize nurses who have demonstrated advanced knowledge, expertise, and clinical judgment across the entire body of emergency nursing knowledge for patients of all ages.

“Heidi Cote represents the best of certified emergency nursing practice. Every shift and every day, she raises the standard of care through her own bedside practice, her role as a nurse educator, and her commitment to helping her colleagues achieve the highest levels of clinical and professional excellence through CEN certification,” said BCEN CEO Janie Schumaker, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CENP, CPHQ, FABC.

Cote said she is humbled by the award, and really sees this as an acknowledgment of the whole team of people it takes to make her emergency operate efficiently and with heart. 

While she said this year has been trying and exhausting, she still can't imagine doing anything else.