Margaret Sorensen has been awarded the third annual Adirondack Health Nursing Legacy Award.
The Adirondack Health Nursing Legacy Award, sponsored by Joan Grabe, RN and the Grabe family, was created in 2021 to honor a nurse with more than 15 years’ experience and a demonstrated history of teaching, mentoring, and inspiring the next generation of nurses. Additional criteria include expert technical skills, the ability to pass on the art and science of nursing, strong intuition, and an excellent rapport with colleagues, patients, and families.
“I didn’t expect this, and I’m very touched,” Sorensen said. “It’s wonderful.”
Sorensen’s nursing career spans more than 40 years, having started as a registered nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy, New York in 1982. She earned her associate degree in registered nursing from Maria College, her Bachelor of Nursing from SUNY Plattsburgh, and her Master of Science in Family Nurse Practitioner from Russell Sage College.
She has a long history in obstetrical nursing and has held various administrative positions at Adirondack Health, including as the chief nursing officer from 2002 to 2013. She later served as chief nursing officer from 2013 to 2017 at Albany Memorial Hospital. In 2017, she returned to the North Country as a staff educator and project coordinator at Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake. Since 2018, she has served as Adirondack Health’s breast health navigator – serving as a hands-on guide for patients going through breast cancer.
Sorensen said her favorite part of being a nurse is helping patients and getting them through the issues they’re having.
“Even when I was in obstetrics, families are making a huge transition, and you help them get there. And you teach them how to handle the baby for the first time, and things like that. Now, in the breast cancer navigator role, I help walk them through their diagnosis step by step, so they know what to expect and they know where to go. They know they have someone to listen to them.”
Sorensen has mentored many nurses, both formally as a nursing instructor at various colleges (including North Country Community College in Saranac Lake), and informally in hospital settings with her peers, colleagues, and direct reports.
“When it comes to meeting the criteria for this award, all through Margaret’s career, she has shared her clinical and administrative skills, mentoring younger nurses,” said Chief Nursing Officer Dave Mader, who presented the award. “She has a strong rapport with families, which is really the hallmark of her current position, helping patients through a difficult time.”