Skip to main content

The essence of nursing

Photos courtesy of J. Kiely Jr./Lightchaser Photography


This spring has been an exciting time for Carly Hutchings Caggiano ‘01 BSN, RN. On April 29th, she gave birth to her first child, Catherine, and was honored with the Essence of Nursing Award  by Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

Caggiano has been a staff nurse at BWH for 11 years.  Working with critically ill patients in the Medical ICU, she looks to them—and listens to them—to help direct their care.  She explains, “I consider myself an expert ICU nurse because of my ability to care, even when there is no cure.  Sometimes, our patients are telling us exactly what they need to end their suffering or aid in their recovery.”


Sharing an emotional story during a pre-recorded acceptance speech at the May 1 Nurse Recognition Dinner, the new mother relayed how she put wheels in motion—literally and figuratively—to move a terminally ill patient home to be with her dog. Caggiano cared for her en route and the patient died shortly after arriving in her bed, surrounded by family and her devoted pet.

Of her award, she notes, “This is all due to my nursing degree from Villanova.”