Amy Nix Smith, PCM, RN, BSN found her calling with Frontier Hospice.

Frontier Hospice has been rapidly growing this year with expansion outside of Oklahoma City, into Edmond and Shawnee. Service will be provided to the Lawton and Tulsa areas in the coming months.
And that’s because the quality of care delivered by one of the state’s oldest hospice agencies continues to be sought-after.
Frontier Hospice Executive Director Mandi Schulz says it’s nurses like Amy Nix Smith, PCM, RN, BSN who are helping lead the way.
The Hospice Foundation of Oklahoma agrees and recently awarded Nix Smith with a prestigious Khader K. Hussein Award.
These awards are made in honor of Khader K. Hussein MD, who served as Volunteer Medical Director for Hospice of Oklahoma County, Inc., from its inception in 1990 until December of 1995.
This award program is designed to recognize and encourage graduating medical and nursing students who demonstrate an interest in palliative care and end-of-life issues. The annual awards are presented to a graduating medical student from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine and a graduating nursing student from the University of Oklahoma School of Nursing, Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing, the University of Central Oklahoma Department of Nursing and the Southern Nazarene University School of Nursing.
“Palliative and hospice care mean something different to everyone,” Nix Smith said. “To a large percent of the population, it is something unspeakable or to be feared. To families who have walked a loved one through the process of hospice, it is an unexpected blessing they often knew little about before utilizing it. To other clinicians that I meet, it is something to pity that I work in hospice. To me it is everything.”
Nix Smith started her nursing career as an associate’s degree nurse in the ICU of a rural hospital.
Death and dying washed over her.
“I remember crying in my car before a shift because a neuro patient who was either not going to survive their condition or be left with no quality of life if they did would still be on the ventilator when I walked in,” she remembered. “Patients with mortal trauma or terminal conditions passed in the cold environment of the ICU rooms behind glass walls and doors.”
It was there in that ICU Nix Smith met her first hospice nurse and their patient.
“His hospice nurse was with him for most of the night, and she was full of peace and care for this patient,” she said. “He was surrounded by family, and comfortable in his bed without IV drips or machines to help him breathe.”
“Even in death, you could tell this was a patient who had died peacefully and comfortably. That’s when I knew that hospice wasn’t something to be feared but something to be encouraged and destigmatized.”
It’s this peace and dignity that Nix Smith and her coworkers help bring to Frontier patients.
And each will tell you it works both ways.
“Working in hospice has brought me so much peace and a feeling that I’m truly making a difference in people’s lives,” she said.
The quality of nursing care is above and beyond and each nurse that works for Frontier has the mission and vision of excellent hospice care in their hearts, says Schulz.
“I’m beyond proud to have the privilege of working along-side each of our colleagues, loving on our patients and families,” she said. “The Frontier Family is unique in every way and I’m so excited for what the future holds for all of us.”
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