As a result of her quick thinking that snowy morning, the Indianapolis Star awarded her its annual $3,500 "Salute to Nurses Student of the Year" scholarship, surprising her recently during clinicals at Wishard Hospital.
"My instructor disappeared into another room, and she came back with about 10 people who were all there to see me get this scholarship. I just started crying, I was so happy," Martin said.
Martin, 22, will be honored at the "Salute to Nurses" awards luncheon Wednesday, April 25, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis. Nursing faculty nominated Martin for the scholarship.
The scholarship will pay for about half of her senior year tuition, and is a blessing to her and to her parents, Jerry and Chris Martin of Wabash.
"My parents are helping me pay for school, and I've had some student loans," she said. "This scholarship means I won't have to borrow as much for my last year. I really appreciate the School of Nursing faculty for nominating me for it, and I am honored to have been chosen."
Carrie Bernhardt, events manager for StarMedia, said nursing programs statewide select top students to submit an essay entry each year. Representatives of the Indiana State Board of Nursing read the essays and select the student of the year.
"It is our hope to encourage more individuals to enter this noble profession and help them along the way," she said.
Linda Wallace, dean of the School of Nursing, said Martin is "very deserving" of the award.
"Alexis' rapid, calm response in an emergency is an example of what we hope for from all of our students and graduates," Wallace said. "She did us all proud, serving our community in a meaningful manner in a time of need."
The day of the accident, Martin called 911 on her cell phone, waited for emergency responders, meanwhile checking the passengers in both vehicles. One passenger was trapped and unconscious in her vehicle, and Martin's nursing training kicked in.
Martin said she now knows she made the right decision to be a nurse.
"That was confirmation I had it in me to have a positive impact on someone's life. That was the moment I knew I was meant to be here and to be a nurse."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.