Ashley Pryzbek, RN, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Scottish Rite Hospital

AJC Celebrating Nurses honoree: Ashley Pryzbek, RN, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Scottish Rite

Ashley Feddern Pryzbek walks into Atlanta’s Scottish Rite hospital every day, knowing she’s right where God wants her to be.

“Seeing kids come in sick and then seeing them leave healthy is a gift,” she said.

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Pryzbek grew up in metro Atlanta and initially was drawn to a career in the restaurant industry.

But at 28, she began soul-searching and “the light bulb went off:” A career in nursing would play to her passion for service, her love for children and her desire to leave the world a slightly better place.

Pryzbek attended Georgia Perimeter College and then Clayton State University, graduating in December 2012 with a bachelor of science in nursing. Two months later, she was hired by Scottish Rite, where she’d done her practicum on the third floor.

“I’ve worked on the same floor ever since,” she said.

Pryzbek is a bedside nurse and charge nurse in a 35-bed unit that handles a variety of diagnoses, including cystic fibrosis and pneumonia.

Nursing runs in her family — a grandmother, great-grandmother, and two aunts were all nurses, she said.

Pryzbek's passion for nursing extends beyond the hospital walls. She volunteers at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Camp Trach Me Away, at The Atlanta Mission's My Sister's House and at the Friends of Refugees in Clarkston.

That volunteer spirit came, she said, from her mother, who for 20 years helped out one day a month at the Clifton Men’s Night Shelter.

At age 4, young Ashley was out helping her mother deliver Meals on Wheels to seniors.

“She gave me the responsibility for giving out the milk or juice,” Pryzbek said.

She chooses to work every Christmas and celebrates with her family the day after. She wants to make sure she’s there for the children in the days leading up to Christmas and on the holiday, said her husband, Kyle.

Pryzbek is the nurse that families come back in to thank personally or stop on the street to tell her how important she’s been.

“She keeps in touch with many of her former patients by being present at their soccer games, graduations, and volunteer events,” her husband said. “They have shown up at her wedding, her events, and for frequent lunches and dinners — catching up and getting sage advice from a professional who lives the nurse’s Florence Nightingale Oath: ‘I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession.’’’