Q&A with K4C Excellence in Nursing Award Recipient Cat


The Karma for Cara Excellence in Nursing Award was created to honor and recognize the love, support, and compassion nurses give and the sacrifices they make on behalf of their patients.  Our first Excellence in Nursing Award was presented to Cat Henderson of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2013.

1. What inspired you to become a nurse?

I wish I could tell you some big revelation as to why I became a nurse. I have none. I left my social work degree in Scotland and became unemployed. It was a Scottish custom that kids helped their parent with an income, so I saw an advertisement for nursing, applied for it and got the job. Simply to help my mum and dad. But the first day on the job I felt like I had just put on the most comfortable pair of jeans ever. I knew this was what the universe wanted for me.

2. What is the most rewarding part about your job?
The most rewarding thing for me…well that’s easy…when you can take a patient’s fear and completely take it away. It’s all through eye contact.

3. What did receiving the Excellence in Nursing Award mean to you?

The award…Well I appreciated Mr. and Mrs. Becker’s thoughtfulness that they deemed me to receive this. I’d never really had such a thing, I always want to fly under the radar, so I kinda struggled with the attention. That’s where Cara and I clicked. I just want to nurse, don’t need no pomp and fuss. Even on the night of that award, truthfully I would rather have been hanging in a quiet pub with my friends, loving the pat on the back the Becker’s gave me. But I sincerely was humbled by Cara and all her family, so that award for me was from Cara.

4. What message do you want to share to aspiring nurses?
New nurses– that’s easy. Listen to your patients, talk to them. Don’t focus on pleasing your peers, or mastering all the clinical equipment, that will come. Master the art of friendship and respect of your patients. If you are meant to be a real nurse it will come naturally.