I returned home from a meeting of the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses with more than the usual wealth of information and insight. 

I left the meeting with three prestigious awards. But awards I received just for doing what I love, supporting and promoting my colleagues and the medical aesthetics profession. The honours have me feeling humbled and deeply grateful.

They also underscore my steadfast belief in the importance of education and training, and how when nurses work together we can make amazing strides as healthcare professionals.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

I was named an International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses Fellow. That a huge honour. The Fellowship is described as follow on the association’s website:

“ISPAN’s highest acknowledgement recognizes years of dedication to exceptional education, leadership and commitment to the plastic and aesthetic nursing specialty. Achieving the ISPAN-F designation recognizes you as a leader dedicated to excellence in the field of plastic and or aesthetic nursing to your colleagues, patients, your practice and your specialty.”

Another award recognized my 8-year term as editor of the ISPAN journal. It was hard work doing that job, but also incredibly rewarding. I learned a lot about writing, of course, and about our profession through interactions with dozens of gifted nurses.

Last but certainly not least, ISPAN president Georgia Elmassian announced to the conference that I was the recipient of her annual President’s Award. I was totally surprised to hear my name called out, and don’t mind admitting that I cried on stage as I received a standing ovation from my colleagues.

That elation and pride was capped with this email I received from Georgia this week.

Tracey and Georgia

“Tracey, you above all people deserve it!! You have unselfishly given so much to ISPAN over the years. You were also extremely supportive of ISPAN going international and including aesthetic in our name change which to recognize the non-surgical aesthetic specialty nurses. You were extremely instrumental in the joint membership with the Canadian aesthetic nurses. I can’t think of too many other people who were so altruistic! You empower others and you have an extreme passion for patient safety and aesthetic nursing. You are the consummate professional and terrific role model. You definitely are an award winner!”

My warmest thanks go to Georgia and the many colleagues and talented nurses I’ve met over the years who have motivated and encouraged me. Endless thanks as well to my loving and supportive husband and kids. I can’t imagine being where I am today without them.

I am really truly blessed, day in and day out.