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Suzann Armstrong

Nurse Spotlight

Illinois Valley Community Hospital

Stories of Florence Nightingale’s compassion, bravery, and leadership have shaped modern nursing and influenced and inspired millions. As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of her birth, we are honored to shine a light on today’s #NurseHeroes on the front lines by sharing some of their stories.

This is Suzann’s story.


“Often times the heroic measures of care coordinators are not spoken of because they do much of their work silently with heavy hearts”


Describe why you chose to become a nurse 

I wanted to be a doctor and “help people,” but decided I would have to go to school for a long time to be a doctor, so I’ll “just” become a nurse… I didn’t know at the time that, as a nurse, I really am helping others more than if I had become a doctor.

Describe your most rewarding day on the job

Yikes… I’ve had so many!

Describe your most challenging day on job

I had just had a very busy and stressful day that ended with a patient’s family yelling at me and calling me names. That was the day that I realized not everyone appreciates what we do.

Do you have any nurse hacks or lessons learned in the field you would like to share with others?

Lean on the experts: pharmacists, therapists, specialty doctors, etc. They support us with their knowledge as we support them. “We are all in this together.”

What’s a favorite quote of yours?

“This too shall pass.”

Anything else you’d like to share?

I have always believed nursing to be a “calling.” It comes from the heart… and THAT makes the BEST nurses!!

For those looking for a way to help others, is there a charity you suggest?

The American Heart Association – My father died of a heart attack at the age of 50.


Thank you for all you do, Suzann!


Suzann’s Nomination

“I think this is a WONDERFUL story from the Director of Care Coordination. It speaks so highly of an often overlooked segment of nurses: those who coordinate the care; the patient navigators; the clinical coordinators; the case managers… I hope you enjoy the story.

Robert Fortney MS, RN, NEA-BC
VP Patient Care/Chief Nursing Officer
Illinois Valley Community Hospital

The unrecognized role of care coordinators is often not seen because so much of their work is done behind the scenes. Often times the heroic measures of care coordinators are not spoken of because they do much of their work silently with heavy hearts due to the stressors of caring for patients and caregivers all while working closely with providers and often times insurance carriers.

This week at IVCH an infant patient was discharged home with an order for an apnea monitor. Prior to discharge, social workers worked judiciously to locate a pediatric apnea monitor. The patient was discharged with the insurance authorization still pending.

Fast forward a few days; the care coordinator reaches out to the patients mother whom is trembling in fear and sacrificing sleep to watch over every moment of her infants life to not miss a life threatening apneic moment because the authorization was DENIED. In this moment, the RN did what care coordinators do best. She reached out to the primary care provider and started to brain storm. She located a resource whom taught this panicked mother how to perform infant CPR for free because she could not afford the $35 class. She put in place prompt follow up care with a Children’s Hospital in Chicago. And not to mention, she worked closely with a local foundation to help fund an apnea monitor for a month in which the DME company still denied.

The frustrations felt by care coordinators is endless but with compassion and composure, the nurse care coordinator is able to direct the caregiver or patient to every avenue possible for appropriate care. The infinite work of a care coordinator goes well beyond the four walls of our hospital.”

 Hope Turigliatti, BSN, RN
Director of Care Coordination
Illinois Valley Community Hospital

Thank you for helping us honor Suzann and the profession of nursing, Hope and Robert. We salute you! 


Do you have a story to share?

While our team at ShiftWizard believes all nurses are heroes, we’d like to hear who you feel has gone above and beyond. Help us honor a fellow nurse or nurse leader whose actions have inspired others in these unprecedented times, and let’s celebrate nursing together!

Did you know that ShiftWizard significantly lowers staffing costs for healthcare organizations? 

These are incredibly challenging times for nurses as well as the organizations they serve, and there’s no better time to learn how ShiftWizard can deliver significant cost savings and best prepare your team for success. One client saved over two million dollars in overtime costs within the first eight months with ShiftWizard.

Our industry-leading workforce management solution is quick to implement and was developed by nurses— it is built specifically for healthcare and solves the complexities of scheduling staff for any department within a hospital. And, especially for times like these, our powerful communication center excels at getting messages (text, email, and automated calls) to staff securely and quickly, maximizing accountability and teamwork.

We are honored to support our frontline teams and we are here to help you meet your challenges head on.

Send your nurse story to us at or let us know how we can help you.