DAISY Award Presented to Brenna Irlmeier, RN

May 19, 2023

Atlantic, IA – Cass Health proudly announces that Brenna Irlmeier, RN was honored with the DAISY Award during Nurses Week. 

Irlmeier has had her sights set on becoming a nurse since she was in kindergarten. Brenna was inspired by her dad, who was a volunteer EMT and firefighter in the Elk Horn community. She became a nurse in January of 2019, and after working in Omaha at a large hospital, she returned to the area and began working in the Cass Health Surgery Department in August 2021. 

“It is an honor to receive the DAISY award. The hard work you put in going to school, the hard work you put in each day, it’s just awesome to have someone remember what you did for them,” said Irlmeier. 

This case in particular was special. “I was shocked, because of the nature of our job most people don’t remember us. This was an on-call case, and knowing it was a pediatric case, it pulls at the heart strings more. As a mom, it’s hard to put your child in someone else’s care,” she said. 

She says being in surgery is a great fit for her, and she loves the team she works with. “It takes all of us a whole to do what we do, and it’s something new every day. I love it,” she said. 

Irlmeier’s nominator wrote: “Rising above all the amazing caregivers we encountered that day, was Brenna Irlmeier. Brenna was the surgery nurse that took my daughter down for her appendectomy. She came to the room, gathered a quick report, did the time out, the whole nine yards. She made sure to explain to my daughter what was going to happen and addressed her directly making sure she didn’t have any questions. Although my daughter is stoic and brave, it was then that the tears began to well and reality hit her. I looked into her eyes and could tell that she was scared, nervous, and crying. As her mother, I had to say goodbye and release her into Brenna’s care trusting that she would be in good hands. In that moment, I could see Brenna making it her highest priority to make my little girl feel safe. Although I couldn’t be present with her in the OR, I am confident that Brenna gave her best to my little girl. The first thing my daughter said to me when she woke up after surgery was, “that nurse was so nice mommy, she held my hand the whole time.” That is when the tears started welling in my own eyes because I knew in my heart that my baby felt safe and was well cared for. I’ve been to larger organizations with my children before and I never felt that they were cared for with the same compassion and empathy as was shown to us here at Cass Health and especially shown to my daughter by Brenna.” 

Nurses at Cass Health are honored twice annually with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.® The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate care nurses provide to patients and families every day. The DAISY Award committee at Cass Health thanks all nominators for their submissions. Each nurse who was nominated will be presented with a special pin and a copy of the nomination. 

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.)  The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. 

This is one initiative of The DAISY Foundation to express gratitude to the nursing profession.  Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, The DAISY Faculty Award to honor inspiring faculty members in schools and colleges of nursing, and The DAISY in Training Award for nursing students. More information is available at An online nomination form is available at