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Olinda Spitzer, MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN

Olinda Spitzer, MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN

Nightingale Award winner Olinda Spitzer with her husband Brian James Spitzer

 Acute care clinical nurse specialist, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services
Years in practice: 39

Olinda proved it's never too late to reach her goals when, after 34 years in practice, she completed her master's degree in nursing, advancing to the position of clinical nurse specialist in acute care for the Critical Care Unit, Cardiovascular Unit, and Bariatric/Back Unit. She is recognized by peers and leaders alike for her excellent teaching outcomes, working with new grads, experienced critical care nurses and physicians at Penrose Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center. The philosophy she shares with her students is: "The patient does not care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Olinda's first experience volunteering for disaster nursing was in her first year as a nurse following an earthquake in Peru. Over the years she has volunteered with Project Hope and three missions on the U.S. Naval Mercy Hospital Ship, helping tsunami and earthquake victims. The third trip was to educate doctors and nurses in Banda Ache, Tarakan, Kupang, East Timor and Delhi. Olinda has received multiple awards including the Nightingale Humanitarian Award and the Gold Award from the President's Council and the Excellence in Clinical Practice/Non-traditional Setting Award from AACN.

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