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Salute to



Sunday, May 7, 2017


| SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017



Big hearts for tiny patients


Covenant Medical Center pediatric nurse Amanda Sparrgrove is handed 5-month-old Allison Brown by her mother, Stacy Brown, in the Covenant pediatric inpatient unit.

Pediatric nurses pour hearts and souls into caring for little ones

“It’s a very special area. You see families experience the most joy they’ll ever have and sometimes the most exhaustion they’ll ever have,” said Heather Benson, advanced registered nurse practitioner at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo. KRISTIN GUESS “The child is not our only patient, the kristin.guess@wcfcourier.com family is our patient too. Supporting the WATERLOO — From the first 30 days family is equally as important as supof life to 18 years of age, pediatric nurses porting the child.” serve as the front line health care providCaring for children, Benson said, puts ers to sick children in the hospital. life into perspective. “Not a day goes by

where I don’t learn something new or a kid makes me smile,” she said. Benson sees newborns in the pediatric clinic twice a week and also serves as a clinical specialist and staff resource/ educator. “You don’t ever want to give up your ability to care for patients. That’s the bread and butter of it all,” Benson said. A 1995 graduate of the West Virginia University Children’s Hospital and employee of Covenant since 2005, Benson

said she was destined to care for children. “I always knew, and I think if you ask any pediatric nurse, you just know. It’s kind of a calling,” Benson said. “Every day is an adventure. Every day a kid will make you smile, almost every day a kid will make you cry.” Caring for sick children, Benson said, takes special skills and is energizing because “they’re always honest, optimistic and resilient.”


“Even in the most challenging situations, they just keep going, they don’t give up,” she said. “You need to be able to play, you need to be able to have fun ... so you have to kind of get that inner child, you can’t take yourself too serious, you have to get down on their eye level and just learn how to relate to them.” For a typical pediatric unit, Benson said, the busiest time usually comes in late fall to early spring. This year, the staff at Covenant has seen an increase of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. “It’s been a very active season,” she said. “Children were more severely impacted from a respiratory standpoint and needed more oxygen therapy and more support than they’ve had in the past several years.” Katelyn Turnis, a registered nurse and certified lactation counselor, has worked at UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital in Waterloo since September 2009. Turnis graduated from Luther College in Decorah in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and initially wanted to work with oncology patients. “I realized I wanted to be a nurse while doing mission work in Brazil; however, while I was in nursing school I never thought I wanted to work in pediatrics. ... After shadowing, I was in love with how pediatric nursing truly cares for the entire family unit and knew it was the spot for me,” Turnis said. Turnis noted it takes the whole team to care for children, including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapy, lab techs and social workers. The generosity of the community also adds reward to Turnis’ job. “We have many people in the community who contribute so generously to our unit with blankets, toys, books and games that truly keeps the kids busy while they heal,” she said. “I love being able to encourage, educate and support our patients and parents.”


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Registered nurse Tracie Klemensen high fives patient Lynnzey Kingsley, 11, on the pediatric floor at UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital.

Klemensen assesses Kingsley during the girl’s recent hospital stay.

Heather Benson, an advanced registered nurse practitioner, talks about the benefits of her job on the pediatric floor at Covenant Medical Center.

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Allen College to begin hybrid accelerated BSN program ‌Allen College chancellor Dr. Jerry Durham has announced that following a year of planning the Waterloo college will launch a 15-month distance learning accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program this month. The program would be offered in a hybrid format that combines learning both online and in the classroom. Graduates of the hybrid accelerated BSN program will be eligible for registered nurse (RN) licensure. Durham reported that in planning the program Allen College nursing leaders worked with a consultant from a university that already offers a 12-month hybrid BSN program to address issues that might arise as Allen College implements the hybrid program. The college plans to admit up to 32 students to the new program. Students in the hybrid program will spend May

through August on the Waterloo campus and then complete the last 12 months of clinical study at health care agencies in the Des Moines area, primarily at UnityPoint Health hospitals. Throughout the 15 months of study, students will complete most of the coursework online and meet with faculty face-toface several times each semester in Des Moines. Allen College’s nursing dean, Dr. Kendra Williams-Perez, said the program was developed to address a growing shortage in Iowa of nurses with bachelor’s degrees and to increase access to the accelerated BSN program Allen College has offered for the past decade. She noted that there are more than 250 accelerated BSN programs in the nation, but Allen College offers the only accelerated BSN program in Iowa that prepares graduates for RN


Allen College Barrett Hall licensure. “This program will be one of only a few hybrid BSN programs in the nation that prepares graduates for RN licensure. The program’s curriculum will be identical to the accelerated BSN program we have been offering in

a face-to-face context on the Allen College campus in Waterloo.” Students who want a more traditional accelerated BSN program can continue to spend their entire program of study on the Waterloo campus and complete their clinical study at hospitals

and other agencies in the Waterloo area. Qualified students who follow prescribed plans of study at Wartburg, Central, Loras and Simpson colleges, at Drake University and at the University of Northern Iowa can be admitted to Allen College’s traditional or new hybrid accelerated BSN program after their junior year and subsequently receive two degrees: a BSN degree from Allen College and another bachelor’s degree from their sending institution. According to Williams-Perez, students enrolled in Allen College’s accelerated BSN program have high retention and graduation rates and excel in passing the RN licensure examination upon graduation. More information about the new program is available by calling 226-2014 or at www.allencollege.edu.



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Top employers celebrating and hiring great nurses in the Cedar Valley Current Nurse Openings:

Want to make a difference in patients’ lives while taking advantage of flexible scheduling and advancement opportunities? Call or send your resume to Maria Powers at (515) 471-9843 Maria.Powers@unitypoint.org schedule an interview

Surgery Manager (full-time) House Supervisor (full- & part-time) Med-Surg RN (part-time) Emergency Department RN (part-time) Clinic Nurses (full- & part-time)

Cedar Valley Medical Specialists is proud to be one of the top employers in the area.

To apply go to



Find us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Wheatonlowa

For more information on available positions visit

For more available positions visit




6 | Sunday, May 7, 2017


“You may not always hear ‘thank you’ as much as you deserve; however, the care you provide and sometimes tireless hours that are put in do not go unnoticed. It takes someone with a unique soul to be in the nursing profession.” Nicole Lund, director of nursing has great respect for the nurses

u o Y k n a Th Our nurses help make NewAldaya great! Join our Team! 7511 University Ave. Cedar Falls, IA 319-268-0401 | www.NewAldaya.org



Nursing staff makes NewAldaya great ‌NewAldaya Lifescapes is the premier senior living center in the Cedar Valley. We offer independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, extended care, memory care, outpatient therapy and our Main Street Lifestyle Center with event and catering services. Our residents are the heart of the organization, and we do all we can to make their experience here the best it can be. At NewAldaya, living better is a priority, and our nurses make that possible. Having quality nursing staff means giving quality care, and nothing less is expected for our residents. NewAldaya provides opportunities and environments that foster a better life for everyone. Tracy Payette has been a part of the nursing staff for seven and a half years. Her favorite thing about coming to work is the residents. “I love getting to know them

because they become like family,” she said. As a team player, Tracy works with the aides to establish a routine for the residents. Understanding the essential role family members play in the residents’ overall wellness allows us to give them fuller lives here. Listening gives us the chance to get a better understanding of how to provide an environment that feels like home for them here — all in the interest of living better. Nicole Lund, director of nursing, has great respect for the nurses. “You may not always hear ‘thank you’ as much as you deserve; however, the care you provide and sometimes tireless hours that are put in do not go unnoticed. It takes someone with a unique soul to be in the nursing profession. Thank you for all your hard work and the compassion you continue to

show each and every day while caring for the residents of NewAldaya Lifescapes.” Our nurses are the powerhouse of the organization, and we want them to know we appreciate all they do. Not many understand the challenges nurses face in their day-to-day activities, but the nursing staff here come with open hearts to assist the residents. They make living at NewAldaya an unforgettable experience. “Each individual nurse brings something special and unique to our team,” said NewAldaya’s Director of Clinical Services Crystal Jasper. “Each bring special care in their own way to each patient and family. One of my favorite quotes by Mother Theresa that I feel fits our nursing team here at NewAldaya Lifescapes is, ‘It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.’”



Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 7

It’s never too soon to call Cedar Valley Hospice ‌At Cedar Valley Hospice, our staff go above and beyond the call of duty for the patients and families we serve. This starts on the front line with our nurses. Whether in a patient’s home, nursing facility or at our Hospice Home, a high standard of care is a virtue Cedar Valley Hospice nurses expect of themselves. Guided by the principles in our mission, these standards have allowed us to be the leader in hospice care, serving and supporting the community since 1979. Cedar Valley Hospice nurse Brenna Shaw feels honored every time a new patient and family welcome her into their lives. “It’s an honor and a privilege to guide them through this part of their journey,” she said. “I enjoy teaching families how to best care for their loved one while helping them face the challenges that may come. Ultimately, I en-

sure the patient and family have the best quality of life so they can enjoy living.” Guiding families and their loved ones on their final journey is not just a task or duty, it’s a way of life for those who work at Cedar Valley Hospice. Within our 15-county service area, dozens of nurses provide compassionate care every day. Beyond the emotional connection, our nurses, on average, have 18-plus years of health care experience. Ultimately, Cedar Valley Hospice are the experts in end-oflife medical care. Why? 1. We provide our nurses and clinical staff members with ongoing education regarding end-of-life medical care and new innovations that help our patients manage their pain and symptoms. We also support and encourage them to attain their hospice and palliative care certification when it is available for

them. 2. We are responsive to patient needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 3. We provide unique services that patients and families will not have available to them with other hospice providers. Our hospice home is the only stand-alone hospice inpatient facility in our service area. Our grief services are extensive and provide unique services that are not available anywhere else in our service area. “Our staff have the expertise and experience to give patients and families ideas or suggestions on meaningful activities, family projects or simply guidance on how to address certain issues with family and friends at the end of life,” said Stacy Weinke, Cedar Valley Hospice director of clinical services. “The examples are endless but the point is many patients and their families

have been able to create lifelong, meaningful memories with their loved one during their end-oflife journey when they have been given the gift of time with Cedar Valley Hospice.” For Rachelle Hahn, calling Ce-

dar Valley Hospice was not a step she felt her mother was ready for. “I said, ‘Hospice means end of life,’ and there’s no way she is at that point. ... She still had Please see HOSPICE, Page 8

No matter how you say it, we thank our nurses. COURTESY PHOTO‌

Nurse Rebekah Fogt, right, and social worker Heather Luetzinger visit patient Marlys Bolin. “I look forward to their visits and feel more comfortable knowing I have Cedar Valley Hospice by my side,” said Marlys. “They’ve given me back my quality of life with my family, and for that I’m forever grateful.”

Covenant Clinic | Covenant Medical Center | Mercy Hospital | Sartori Memorial Hospital


8 | Sunday, May 7, 2017


Nurse plants his roots at UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital Tyler Jensen likes to make ‌ plans. He’s not afraid to change plans when something feels right. Once he decided to work in health care, Allen College was the unexpected clear winner of

his 12 college visits. When his bachelor’s degree in nursing was completed in December 2016, Jensen said he was “100 percent dead set” on moving to the Des Moines area to start his career. His house was subleased; he was


For your commitment, passion and dedication. We’re here to help you expand your career. Registered Nurse Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing Degree Leadership in Health Care Delivery - Administration Master of Science in Nursing Degree Community/Public Health Master of Science in Nursing Degree Nursing Education Master of Science in Nursing Degree Leadership in Health Information Technology Master of Science in Nursing Degree Doctor of Nursing Practice Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

For or more information go to AllenCollege.edu

packed and ready to go. That’s when it became clear that UnityPoint Health–Allen Hospital, the relationships he had formed and the compassion he felt equaled too much potential to walk away from. “It was the environment I was looking for to surround myself in,” Jensen said. “I was looking for a career in an organization that is known for excellence, where co-workers feel and greet you like family and where the patients want to come to you and trust you with their care.” He also completed specific analysis as he lined up his future, and according to his research, Allen Hospital was able to offer benefits including: „„ $10,000 sign-on bonus „„ Best tuition assistance program „„ Tuition discount of 25 percent for the MSN Leadering/ Administration program at Allen College „„ Mentor program and transition assistance for new graduates The Carroll native is now a nurse in the Allen Hospital intensive care unit and calls Waterloo home. People who interact with Jensen will tell you he’s great at what he does and has a bright future. There isn’t much doubt he’s doing the right thing.

Hospice From 7

her mind, was still witty as always and knew what she wanted and when she wanted it,” said Rachelle. Once they agreed to sit down with members of the Cedar Valley Hospice team, Rachelle’s mother was excited at the team’s insight and the thought of having someone besides family there weekly to visit with her, check her health


Tyler Jensen “He sees the value in having nurses like himself in this area. He would be successful anywhere, but in his heart, he knew he could affect lives in Waterloo,” said Jen Bruce, a nurse on the cardiac floor who was part of Jensen’s clinical education. “What a benefit that is to our patients.” The guidance he received from Bruce was added to the list of

reasons for staying at Allen Hospital, and he is now pursuing a master’s degree at Allen College with more plans ahead. “I want to set my feet in at UnityPoint Health. As time progresses, I want to grow within the organization, take on more responsibility and prepare for leadership opportunities,” Jensen added. “Whatever comes my way, I’m excited.”

and even “make her a sandwich” if she needed. “One week after engaging with their team, my mother said, ‘Why didn’t we do this sooner?’” added Rachelle. “Sadly, two months later our mother passed away peacefully in her home. I can look back at it now and know that I was in denial of my mother’s condition. She was my mom; she is supposed to be there for me forever. “I also know now that Cedar Valley Hospice was aware of it, as they see it all the time, but never

once did they focus on that. They always focused on each day and making it great for her. Despite the immense sadness we feel, those two months were probably the best, most comforting days she had in her last few years. I cannot say enough great things about this service. I truly believe they are angels here on Earth.” It’s never too soon to call the experts at Cedar Valley Hospice and see how they can help your loved ones. Call 272-2002 or visit cvhospice.org.



Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 9

Patient’s positive experience lands on a Christmas card Did you receive holiday ‌ cards this winter from family and friends? Did any include a photo of their doctor and nurse? Family and friends of Myrna and John Culbertson can answer ‘yes’ to this question. Dr. Cary Rose and nurse Lorie Henning, from Waverly Health Center’s Cardiology Clinic, left such an impression on the Culbertson’s that they were two additional smiling faces on the Culbertson’s Christmas card. John and Myrna moved to Waverly in 2013. The first experience they had with Waverly Health Center was a year ago when John had cataract surgery. They were impressed with the facility and the staff. On Oct. 5, John met with his primary care provider, Dr. Courtney Bochmann, at Chris-

tophel Clinic. “I felt extremely tired and weak. I could not walk across the room without sitting down,” said John. Bochmann called Rose during John’s visit and the two ordered tests for the same day. “I was confident that I was in the right place at the right time. The next morning, even though he was on holiday, Dr. Rose met with me to review the blood tests. I was impressed with his outgoing personality. It made me feel comfortable,” John said. “At every one of my meetings with Dr. Rose, he thoroughly and cheerfully explained how he was going to take care of me. On Oct. 24, I had pacemaker surgery. The next day, I confidently left the hospital knowing what to do during

my recovery period. Dr. Rose and staff went through ‘Rose’s Rules’ in detail. My follow-up appointment was on Nov. 15. Dr. Rose and Lorie gave me the ‘thumbs up’ and Myrna took a picture of the three of us. I had such a great experience with all the wonderful staff at WHC,” added John. “If you’re over age 50 and are experiencing the same symptoms John had, it may be heart-related. The good news is that we have treatment options — through medication or devices — to give people their lives back. Getting older doesn’t have to mean slowing down. In fact, that usually means something is wrong, COURTESY PHOTO‌ and we can often fix it,” said Dr. Rose, a WHC board-certi- John Culbertson, middle, along with Dr. Cary Rose, left, and nurse Lorie Henning from Waverly Health Center’s Cardiology Clinic. fied cardiologist.

“I watch how my coworkers interact with our residents; they are here for all the right reasons. The love, care and pride is outstanding and it shows every day. We become family to the residents and their families. I can’t imagine working anywhere else!” -Jessica Nieman, Nurse Mentor

Thanks to ALL our nurses for the meaningful work they do each day. Want to join them? LPN and RN benefits include:

• Competitive pay • Health insurance • Student loan repayment • Matching 401(K) • Tuition reimbursement • Paid time off accrues • Continuing education immediately

Call human resources at (319) 277-2141

to ask about starting your career with an Employer of Choice and the Cedar Valley’s first place choice for Best of the Best in assisted living and nursing care.


10 | Sunday, May 7, 2017



Some misconceptions about nursing ‌Nursing may be one of the oldest and are men, according to the same Census most well-known professions, but there survey. are still a number of misconceptions about this growing field. Here are some Myth 2: Advancing your nursing cacommon myths about the nursing pro- reer means going back to school full time. fession. There are countless paths you can take in a successful nursing career. Once you Myth 1: Only women choose the nurs- earn your registered nurse license, you may choose to complete a bachelor of ing profession. There have always been significantly science degree in nursing or pursue an more women than men in the field. advanced degree to become a nurse pracHowever, studies show men are entering titioner. Additionally, there are plenty of the profession at an increasing rate. Ac- specialty degree and certificate programs. cording to a recent U.S. Census Bureau In many instances, degree and certifreport, men accounted for 9.6 percent icate programs such as those at Kaplan of registered nurses in 2011, compared to University offer options for part-time or just 2.7 percent in 1970. Among licensed online nursing classes, allowing nurses practical and licensed vocational nurses, to advance their education while keepmen accounted for 8.1 percent, up from ing their job. 3.6 percent in 1970. Myth 3: Nurses are only found in hosIn addition, certain specialties have an pitals. even higher concentration of men. For inThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stance, 41 percent of nurse anesthetists Occupational Outlook Handbook shows

61 percent of registered nurses work in hospitals in state, local or private settings. Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses may also work in physicians’ offices, nursing and residential care facilities, home health care services and in government positions. Further, not all nurses treat patients. Some may manage a facility and oversee the nursing staff, while others may work in a customer service role at a health care corporation, and many enter the teaching profession.

In addition, while a nurse may occasionally lend a doctor a hand, the majority of nurses work independently and focus on patient care.

Myth 5: It doesn’t matter where you go for your nursing education. There are many universities and colleges offering certificates and undergraduate and advanced degrees. Make sure the school you choose is accredited and the nursing professors are experts in their areas of instruction. Ideally, the professors, such as those at Kaplan University, should Myth 4: Nurses work crazy hours and have vast experience in the field. are at physicians’ beck and call. For as many nursing career options Myth 6: A nurse, is a nurse, is a nurse. available, there are as many variations in Differences in education are vast, with work schedules. While those in private an associate’s degree being the entry level practice will work typical office hours, education for a registered nurse. A nurse others may work a series of 10-12 hours may also have a bachelor’s, master’s or shifts for three to four days, with the fol- doctorate degree. lowing three to four days off. Two of today’s growing areas are nurse

We salute our compassionate nurses!

La Porte City Specialty Care NorthCrest Specialty Care - Waterloo Pinnacle Specialty Care - Cedar Falls Ravenwood Specialty Care - Waterloo Care Initiatives Hospice - Waterloo

careinitiatives.org ves.org | careini careinitiativeshospice.org



Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 11

practitioner and the doctor of nursing practice degree. A nurse practitioner is an independent, advanced health care provider offering advanced practice, treatment and diagnosis of patient diseases. Nurses can also focus on a specialty, such as pediatrics, oncology, dermatology or cardiovascular or other areas. They can pursue a certification, which can enhance earning potential.


Myth 7: Due to a nursing shortage, it’s easy to get a job. Although a nursing shortage offers great potential for those looking to start a career or make a change, facilities are no less prudent in their hiring practices. Hiring managers still look for a strong educational background from an accredited school like Kaplan University. If you are considering pursuing a nursing degree, find out more about Kaplan University’s School of Nursing at www.kaplanuniversity. edu/nursing.

Thank you to our extraordinary team of nurses!

319.272.2002 :: cvhospice.org :: 800.617.1972 waterloo . grundy center . independence . waverly . hospice home


12 | Sunday, May 7, 2017


Advancing nurses at the bedside: Clinical Ladder ‌Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-Iowa encourages bedside nurses to join our Clinical Ladder Program, an initiative to promote professional growth and develop leaders in our clinical staff. The ladder not only furthers career development, but also boosts excellence in the patient and family experience. The program gives clinicians incentives if they choose to continue up the ladder to its top tiers. Nurses are able to work their way to higher ladder levels through certifications, memberships in professional organizations, pursuing continuing education and earning a degree

“There’s a personal satisfaction that comes with the things you have to achieve. You can compete with yourself. You set goals in specific areas and work to achieve those goals.” Jenny Miller, a registered nurse in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit at Covenant Medical Center. in higher education, such as a bachelor of science in nursing or a master’s degree. Nurses can also earn credit through cross-training in other specialties, teaching, leadership, community service and research projects. “You do have to meet certain

standards, but there’s always extra education in any project that you choose to dive into,” said Jenny Miller, a registered nurse in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit at Covenant Medical Center. Miller has been a nurse for nine years and has enrolled in the Clinical

Improving Care Is at the Heart of Our Advanced Nursing Programs. Ready to take your nursing career to the next level? From bachelor’s to doctoral degrees, Kaplan University’s nursing programs help you gain the knowledge and credentials you need to provide a higher level of care to patients, families, and communities. Learn from nursing professionals who understand your needs and objectives.

Choose the online program that’s right for you: • Bachelor of Science in Nursing • Master’s Degree and Post-Master’s Certificates • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Learn more at kaplan.edu/ns Accredited by the CCNE The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and the post-graduate APRN certificate programs at Kaplan University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org). For comprehensive consumer and gainful employment information, visit kaplan.edu/info. Please note that most states require nurses to be nationally certified in order to obtain licensure as a nurse practitioner. Students are responsible for determining whether they will be eligible for state Board of Nursing approval and certification as a nurse practitioner or advanced practice nurse in their state. Students can obtain additional information from their state’s Board of Nursing, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). 5/17


Jenny Miller


Ladder Program for the past few years. “There’s a personal satisfaction that comes with the things you have to achieve. You can compete with yourself. You set goals in specific areas and work to achieve those goals.” Jenny said participating in the clinical ladder has provided her experiences she otherwise would not have had, such as volunteering at the Catholic Worker House, a community organization in Waterloo dedicated to helping people in need. “That was the most humbling. I probably would not have been so involved with that had I not been in this program. It’s just an eye opener.” Since her first experience with the Catholic Worker House, Miller has gone on to put together meals to donate to the organization. Amy Gehrke is also a product of the Clinical Ladder program. She has been a nurse for 21 years, but recently moved into a leadership position as chief flight nurse with the Air Care team at


Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 13

Covenant Medical Center. She said being active in the clinical ladder prepared her for her new role. “I never thought I would enjoy management but I think by pushing me to get active in certain committees, the ladder really made me take a look at leadership and I really enjoyed it.” Amy said the program can help others discover their potential as well. “I think it brings out the leaders in nursing ... the ones that want to step up and do extra and be a leader. It’s very rewarding, seeing everything written in your clinical ladder portfolio and seeing what you’ve all accomplished.” There are currently 68 nurses at Covenant Medical Center enrolled in the Clinical Ladder Program and an additional 30 applicants whose portfolios are currently being reviewed. Participants will be selected and recognized at the annual Iowa Wheaton Outstanding Nurses Amy Gehrke ceremony on May 31.

CVMS Medical Assistants Admira Arapovic Dannielle Becerra Emily Brown Kimberly Browning Mary Farris Tanya Greiner Carmon Halligan Jessica Howard Dominque Jones Rebecca Maldonado Myeisha Meador Kaiti Mergen Roberta Meyer

Vanessa Miranda-Grundy Melissa Nieman Kelly Rourke Kathy Schmidt Jennifer Schoville LeAnna Smith Toni Thompson Cari Thompson Danielle Ungs Kayla Utter Karina Valdez Rachel Williams


CVMS Nursing Staff Chelsea Anderson Joan Blanchard Jennifer Brandt Katie Bries Barbara Burkle Kandis Ciesielski Jon Clinton Kara Coon Brenda Cooper Jan Davis Kelli DeSerano Hannah Djoumessi Holly Dorn Scott Doyle Tracy Elliott Sandra Fulcher Melinda Greiner Kari Haislet

Ashley Hall Lindsay Hall Sonja Hartson Mary Heatley Jonathon Hennings Barbara Hershberger Elizabeth Hoy Andrea Hunemuller LenaMarie Johnson Sarah Johnson Jacqueline Jorgensen Renee Keninger Shawna Kuehl Jennifer Laube Heather Loy Lisa Maher Shiela McCormick Rhiannon McCully

Meagan Menken Rebecca Moothart Tracy Mudd Kem Mulder Carmen Mundt Mary Nading Melanie Neff Kate Nicholson Kathryn Ogburn Jeanne Olson Erin Pattison Anna Persson Lisa Phillips Karen Plum Samantha Pruess Jenny Puls Krystle Roberts Elizabeth Rogers

Abbie Schaa Kelcie Schmit Abbie Schrader Jennifer Schreiber Brandy Shull Stephanie Smith Jamie Snyder Justinia Speer Mattie Testroet Tricia Thompson Carol Tinker Heather Troyna Amy Weber Crystal Wilken Sara Yoder Jody Zolondek


14 | Sunday, May 7, 2017


“I grew up with very little money so I had to work really hard to get through college for my RN and BSN degrees. Education can change someone’s life and their kids’ lives. I feel like if I did it, anybody can do it.” Wendy Ager



Waverly Health Center appreciates our nursing team for providing high quality, patient-centered health care.


Martin Center resident Ivy Colvin, left, shares a laugh with Wendy Ager, RN, BSN, senior director of skilled care at Western Home Communities.

One of Iowa’s Great Nurses leads skilled nursing at Western Home Communities ‌Honored earlier this month as one of Iowa’s 100 Great Nurses, Wendy Ager traces her successful 20-year career back to a fifth-grade experience, when her school started an adopt-afriend program with a Sumner nursing home. Wendy met Clara, who left a lifetime impression. “She was so sweet and kind, with her white hair,” Wendy reflects, “and her family was amazing to me. Later in nursing school, I always loved clinicals with older people. So long-term care nursing became my first choice.” Working with residents remains her favorite part of the job, followed by cheering on co-workers who further their educations. “I grew up with very little money so I had to work really hard to get through college for my RN and BSN degrees,” says Ager, who is also a licensed nursing home administrator. “Education can

change someone’s life and their kids’ lives. I feel like if I did it, anybody can do it.” As senior director of skilled nursing for Martin Center and The Cottages at Western Home Communities, Ager works to create lasting change. In 2015, Ager helped create an in-house certified nurse aide (CNA) class. She investigated requirements, lobbied for a full-time trainer and in-house training lab, secured funding so students could be paid as they learned, and structured the program to teach workplace values along with professional skill. More than 80 students have graduated in less than two years, and more than 80 percent of them remain employed with Western Home Communities. Many wouldn’t have a health care career if not for Ager’s efforts. Ager also changed the lives of residents by leading a three-year transition to a new model of care

focused on letting residents determine what creates their best day: when to get up and go to bed, when and what to eat, how to spend their time. It culminated in June 2015 with the opening of Iowa’s first two freestanding small house nursing homes specifically designed for people with mid- to late-stage dementia (see them at westernhomecommunities.org/ the-cottages). This resident-directed approach to care, as opposed to staff-driven, is such a radical change that few nursing homes have taken the risk. It requires leadership willing to invest countless hours in research, coordination, training and implementation. Ager is willing to go the extra mile so residents can live with dignity, purpose, spontaneity and independence. “It is worthwhile for them,” Ager said. “If we don’t make the change, who will?”



Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 15

Nurses at BCHC are not just taking care of patients, they are taking care of familiar faces, friends, co-workers, their child’s teacher and sometimes family.


At Buchanan County Health Center, nurses care like family TARA MCENANY

‌ ursing care in a rural hospital N is unique and multi-faceted. At Buchanan County Health Center, a critical access hospital in Independence, nurses are required to be flexible and wear many hats. Because of the smaller size, nurses are needed to fill multiple nursing roles to support the fluctuations in patient census. Some of the staff are crosstrained to assist in other departments as the need arises. Many of the nursing staff thrive on the variety, as no two days are alike. Depending on the day, a staff member on the medical surgical unit may be needed to assist in the emergency department, help on the ambulatory surgery unit or outpatient infusion. It is this type of flexibility that keeps rural hospitals viable and provides access to care for our patients. Staff values the diversity in job functions a small hospital provides and the chance to explore all aspects of their chosen profession. They appreciate the opportunity to learn multiple arenas of nursing rather than focusing on one specialty. This helps nurses grow their clinical skills and critical thinking.

At BCHC our focus is not only caring for patients but caring for the community. As the chief nursing officer of a critical access hospital, it is my obligation to the community to assure access to necessary care and offer the services that our community needs. Keeping health care close to home is essential for our patients. I’m proud that as a county hospital, we offer a vast array of services for our patients. Some of these offerings include surgical services, total joint surgeries, in-house CT and MRI, inpatient and skilled care, a wound center, urgent care, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and a specialty clinic with 15 specialties and 37 providers from Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Worthington. Our ability to offer this array of services is what helps attract nurses and keep them fulfilled in their career. We are very fortunate to not only know our patients but because of our smaller size we are able to provide the additional attention that our patients expect and deserve. Nurses at BCHC are not just taking care of patients, they are taking care of familiar faces, friends, co-workers, their

child’s teacher and sometimes family. Over the years, I have had many patients tell me how thankful and appreciative they were to see someone they knew and could trust taking care of them at such a vulnerable time. Working in a rural hospital has many rewards. We truly are a family here. We are all part of the community, we work together, our children grow up together and most importantly we support one another in times of need. We know our co-workers and that cultivates great teamwork and excellent care for patients. I would like to extend my gratitude to all of the nurses, as you continue to provide the highest level of quality care to your patients. For many of us, nursing is not just what we do, it is who we are. The caring and compassion that is demonstrated throughout our work day also flows over into our personal lives. Many thanks to every nurse for their essential role in providing safe and quality care to patients. You all deserve special recognition for your efforts. Tara McEnany is the chief nursing officer at Buchanan County Health Center.

A few of our nurses are pictured above. Back row: Iris Qualls, Chris McFarland, Carol Laurie, Carol Laurie, Tonya Wilder, & Robin Gedusky. Front Row: Roberta Scarrott, Monica Shea, Amanda Kirchhoff, & Deloy Rainey.

At Country View, our nurses make a positive difference in the lives of those we serve by offering exceptional compassionate care. Country View appreciates each one of you for your dedication.

Thank you for all ThaT you do! Country View

1410 W. Dunkerton Rd. Waterloo, IA 50703



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Congratulations to DAISY Award honorees at UnityPoint Health – Allen Hospital! The DAISY Award is a program that recognizes excellence in nursing for the clinical skills, extraordinary compassion and exceptional care exhibited by nurses every day.

Shaunda Miller, RN, BSN


Alecia Bloker, RN, BSN

Do you want to work alongside excellent nurses? UnityPoint Health – Waterloo is hiring. If you’re a nurse, consider joining our team by visiting unitypoint.org/careers.


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Salute To Nurses 2017  

Salute To Nurses 2017