ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The U.S. Air Force has named its top nurse for 2017 and the award goes to a nurse practitioner stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Maj. Cindy Callisto is assigned to the 377th Medical Group. She says the honor comes as a shock.

Callisto says she enjoys her patients and staff and feels like she owes it to them to do her best. She credits her team with helping her through an undermanned summer at Kirtland, where staffing levels fell to 50 percent during one of the most critical times of the year.

Originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, Callisto joined the Air Force in 2000.

Callisto says she has aspirations of being a chief nurse someday and mentoring other nurses with an aim toward retaining more young airmen.