Andronica presented with 25th annual Meghan E. Handler ‘Excellence in Nursing’ memorial award

Nickole “Kiki” Andronica is pictured with her family after being presented with the 2023 Meghan E. Handler ‘Excellence in Nursing’ Award Thursday. Pictured with Kiki is her boyfriend, Jacob Heverly, her mother Lisa Andronica (also a registered nurse at Adirondack Health), and her father Billy Andronica.
December 13, 2023

Adirondack Health has named registered nurse Nickole “Kiki” Andronica as the 25th annual recipient of the Meghan E. Handler “Excellence in Nursing” memorial award.

The award was established by Dr. Richard and Leslie Handler in memory of their daughter, Meghan. It is given annually to a registered nurse employed by Adirondack Health with one to three years of professional experience. The recipient must show a commitment to improving and expanding their knowledge base, excellent technical skills, and efficiency, as well as demonstrate compassion and rapport with patients’ families, significant others, and colleagues.

“I’m extremely honored. I was not expecting this at all,” Andronica said. “It’s an amazing experience, and I am thrilled to be the one to receive it.”

2023 Meghan E. Handler Award winner Nickole “Kiki” Andronica, right, is pictured with Ambulatory Care Center Director Nicole Frenette, left, and Director of Critical Care, Tracey Amell, center.

Andronica graduated from Husson University in Bangor, Maine in 2020 with a Bachelor of Nursing. She began her nursing career at the University of Vermont Medical Center on the medical/surgical floor and advanced to UVM’s cardiothoracic step-down unit. She came to Adirondack Medical Center in 2022, beginning in the intensive care unit and then cross training to the PACU. She continues to work in both the ICU and the PACU.

Andronica’s mother, Lisa, is also a registered nurse at Adirondack Medical Center, having been with the organization for more than 20 years. Kiki said since coming to AMC, she’s grateful that she can quickly reach out to her mom with questions, and they even get to eat their lunch together sometimes.

Kiki’s mom Lisa said when Kiki started nursing school, she wasn’t sure how she would take to the profession, but as time went on, she not only embraced nursing but kept excelling and progressing in her studies and then in her career.

“We’re very proud,” Lisa said. “Many colleagues tell me she’s such an inspiration, compassionate, smart, and that they really enjoy working with her. It makes me very proud that she was recognized with this award.”

“Kiki truly exemplifies all the characteristics requisite for the Handler Award,” Chief Nursing Officer Dave Mader said. “We are very fortunate to have gotten Kiki back on this side of the lake to continue practicing exceptional, patient-centered, evidence-based nursing care.”

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