Cynthia Hulm said she got into the nursing profession to help people.
Hulm started her nursing career 28 years ago at CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck. She has since continued to heed her calling and working at the hospital's Heart & Lung Clinic.
"It's so much better to give than to receive," she said.
Hulm was one of 10 nurses recognized by the Tribune at the first "Nurses: The Heart of Health Care" luncheon held Wednesday at Bismarck State College's National Energy Center of Excellence. The event also was sponsored by CHI St. Alexius Health, the University of Mary, BSC and Dvorak Motors.
Hulm and other nurses shared their reasons for becoming nurses, a profession that can go unnoticed.
"Our goal is to simply lift up the profession and let everybody in the community see what a great group of nurses we have, and just health care in general," said Bismarck Tribune publisher Gary Adkisson.
A total of 171 nominations were received for 32 nurses. An independent panel of judges selected nine nurses to be recognized on Wednesday, and a 10th nurse was selected by Tribune readership.
"There was such a wide array of experiences and backgrounds," said judge Glenda Reemts, who is also chairwoman of the nursing division at the University of Mary. "It's a phenomenal group of people that put their heart out there everyday, above and beyond."
Hulm said she and other nurses "work hard at what they do" and their work can often be taken for granted.
"A lot of people don't realize what all goes into nursing and the fact that we rotate shifts, we spend holidays away from family," she said.
Jill Wiese, a nurse at Sanford Health in Bismarck, who also received an award, said nursing was not her original career choice, but after serving in the U.S. Army National Guard, she was drawn to the profession.
Wiese said it's important to recognize all nurses and their hard work.
"It's just fun to bring everybody together and cheer everybody from all of our medical facilities," she said.
On Wednesday, Adkisson also announced a $1,000 scholarship fund for both BSC and U-Mary in name of the Bismarck Air Medical team that died in a plane crash on Nov. 18 en route to Williston to transport a neonatal patient. Adkisson said the scholarships will go to nursing students.
"It's an absolute honor to their memory," said Dan Schaefer, operations director for Metro Area Ambulance. "We miss them dearly, but I also think it's an absolute wonderful honor to the folks that are going to be receiving the money."
On Sunday, the Tribune will publish a special section featuring stories of the 10 winning nurses.