Congratulations to the PCNA 2019 Nurse of the Year, Cooksey Trent! A bedside nurse for 38 years, Cooksey retired in January 2019. Cooksey graduated from nursing school in the Spring of 1981. After spending 2 years working on a Med Surg unit in Lexington, Kentucky, she married and moved to Maine “on a whim” and began her career in the ICU. She would continue in the ICU for the next 36 years.
Early in her career, Cooksey worked as a traveler for 5 years spending time in “all four corners of the US.” She really enjoyed her time as a traveler and would recommend it to “anyone without pets or kids.” Cooksey has loved knowing that she could “work anywhere in the world.”
When Cooksey and her husband decided that it was time to “have stuff”, they chose to settle in Washington in 1991. She began working in the Tacoma General ICU on night shift. “All the time at the bedside. I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s were nurses have the most effect.” “[When you’re the patient], you know you’re taken care of if your nurse in there.”
Cooksey loves “the investigative work [of nursing]. You gather all the info and make a plan. Knowing the person following you would continue.” Cooksey shared that over the years, she’s moved into more of a teaching role with young nurses. This role as a teacher was echoed in the nominations. One nominator shared “When I was a new RN 20 years ago, she taught me most everything I know and use in my practice today.”
Cooksey shared that she has always said “When it stops being fun, I’ll stop doing it. But that wasn’t the case for me because I loved, loved, loved the people I worked with – [we were] our own posse.”
In January, Cooksey was celebrated at two retirement parties and is now hitting the road for a long planned 3 month road trip across the United States. Her and her husband have a new c-class camper and plan to spend a lot of time traveling. At the PCNA Nurses Week Banquet on Friday, May 11, 2019, Cooksey asked that Dan Estrada and Jill Robinson to accept the award in her honor.
We are very proud to honor Cooksey Trent as our 2019 Nurse of the Year!