‘The heartbeat of the hospital’: meet viral HCA Healthcare nurse Caty Nixon

A female nurse hugs a female patient who is holding her newborn baby
A nurse holds a sign saying Women's and Children's Services Employee of the Year

HCA Healthcare labor and delivery nurse, Caty Nixon

Nurses, like HCA Healthcare labor and delivery nurse Caty Nixon, are our differentiator. They make the greatest single contribution to our patients’ experiences.

“Nurses are called to care,” says Jane Englebright, senior vice president and chief nurse executive for HCA Healthcare. “Helping others is part of our very nature, and we take pride in the care we provide our families, in our communities and to the millions of patients we serve every day.”

A nurse cries while sitting down to eat at home

This photo of nurse Caty Nixon has been shared on Facebook more than 133,000 times to date.

Last month, Caty went viral thanks to a photo posted to Facebook by her sister, Laura McIntyre. The photo, shared more than 133,000 times to date, serves as a reminder of the dedication, devotion and passion that HCA Healthcare’s 94,000 nurses exhibit every day.

Caty gives it her all, and recently Good Morning America took note and surprised her at affiliate Medical City McKinney, with a cheering crowd and a limousine that ushered her off to a special spa day.

A nurse being interviewed by a reporter in front of fellow hospital staff

Good Morning America paid a surprise visit affiliate Medical City McKinney to recognize labor and deliver nurse, Caty Nixon.

(Watch Good Morning America’s surprise visit here!)

The post that prompted the national attention was snapped after Caty experienced a particularly emotional day at work. Her sister unassumingly took a photo of Caty in her blue scrubs, with a plate of food in her lap. Her sister posted the photo, along with this caption:

“She’s gonna kill me for this pic, but can we just give it up for nurses for a minute?” the Facebook post begins.

“She delivered a stillborn. have you guys ever really thought about what a labor & delivery nurse sees? They see great joy in smooth deliveries & healthy moms & babies. they see panic & anxiety when a new mom is scared. they see fear when a stat c-section is called. they see peace when the mom has support from her family – bc not all new moms do. they see teenagers giving birth. they see an addicted mom give birth to a baby who is withdrawing. they see cps come. they see funeral homes come.”

The post wraps up,caty (& all other nurses) – you are SPECIAL. you bless your patients & their families more than you will ever know. thank you for all that you do.” 

Caty has been amazed by the outpouring of love that spurred from her sister’s post. “I’ve had patients reach out to me via Instagram, mail, and most importantly, some have come back to the hospital to just to say ‘thank you’ and hug me,” she says. “It has been the most gratifying experience of my life thus far!”

Three smiling nurses in scrubs

“Nurses deserve every ounce of recognition they get,” Caty’s sister said. “They are the heartbeat of the hospital, and they are truly angels on earth.”

The viral post is filled with supportive comments for Caty and the nursing profession:

  • “Nurses are beyond amazing people! They are angels on earth,” one Facebook user said.
  • “Thank you for being so strong and brave for people during what should be the most amazing time but unfortunately is the most devastating. You all carry that burden, massive respect for all that you do,” another commented.
  • “This beautiful, amazingly sweet nurse helped deliver my nephew last year. She was so kind and nurturing to my sister who was having her first baby and had to have a last minute c section. She did everything she could to make us feel comfortable and safe.” 

A labor of love

“As a labor and delivery nurse, I am responsible for caring for pregnant women, their unborn baby, as well as their families not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well,” Caty explains. “Nine times out of ten, the day is smooth with a healthy, happy mom and baby; but, there are also heartbreaking times that you can’t prepare for.”

Two female nurses smile while taking a selfie“The best part of nursing is making connections with people, being the calm in the storm, being their cheerleader when they need encouragement, and being the shoulder to cry on when they are hurting,” Caty told Good Morning America. “I love everything that I do, but my favorite part is watching parents meet their child for the first time. The joy is almost palpable!”

“The worst, though, is knowing that even when you’ve done everything you can for someone, we’re not able to change the outcome (for fetal loss, poor prognosis, etc.); always feeling like you have to be strong for your patient, when on the inside, you are falling apart.”

A female nurse hugs a female patient who is holding her newborn baby

“I’m proud to work for HCA Healthcare because I know that my team and I are making a difference in the lives of patients and their families just by recognizing and meeting their needs and making sure they are heard,” says Caty. “I raise the bar for patient care by being personal and making connections with people. I do my best to put myself in their position and how I would feel in their situation, and then try to be the nurse I would love to have.”

This year Medical City McKinney named Caty as their Women’s and Children’s Services Employee of the Year. “Caty Nixon is a wonderful example of the incredible knowledge, skill, and compassion of our dedicated HCA Healthcare nursing colleagues,” said Ernest C. Lynch, III, Medical City McKinney’s chief executive officer. “A nurse’s responsibility is huge, their commitment is endless, and their impact immeasurable — we applaud Caty for exemplifying the dedication and compassion of nurses everywhere.”

Thank you, to Caty and all HCA Healthcare nurses, for uplifting and elevating our purpose to give our patients a healthier tomorrow.

Connect with HCA Healthcare nurses, grow as a nurse and make an impact with 94,000+ nursing colleagues. Learn more here.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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