Nurses Have Many Faces And Ranges Of Experience


April 15, 2020 | View PDF

Health Fair last summer (L-R) Melanie Rangen, Lisa Iverson, Tracey Overton, Janey Salter, Rosie Daly, Anna Dragseth and Lynn Welker. (Submitted photo)

Stemming from my youth and now my role in handling public relations, marketing, and fundraising for McKenzie County Healthcare Systems (MCHS), I continue to be impressed and amazed with nurses. I've decided that those who are nurses are likely called to the profession as most that I've visited with say they've never considered another career. They embody qualities that are the fabric of humanity - like empathy, kindness, and decency - that stretch beyond the boundaries of the facilities in which they practice. I was raised by a nurse and watched my mom, Susan Welker, spend close to 40 years caring for patients and families. Nurses have a skill set that far spans the clinic, office, and hospital setting. They are nurses beyond their 8 and 12 hour shifts. Whether they are on vacation with friends and family or on a plane to another destination or at a local sporting event, when there is a need and duty calls, it's not unusual to watch a nurse snap into action.

There are many faces and ranges of experience in the nursing field. From Certified Nursing Assistants to Registered Nurses to Nurse Practitioners, they are working in hospitals, long term care facilities, home health services, corporate offices, the military, and in the field. I asked Rosie Daly, Clinical Nurse Manager, Visiting Nurse, and Care Coordinator for MCHS, what advice she would provide to an individual interested in a career in nursing. "They should start as a CNA to gain experience in the field. From there, one can determine their interest level and pursue school if they think it's a career they'd find meaningful." She has been in the medical field since joining the Navy in 1997 where after boot camp she completed Naval Hospital Corpsman School in 1998. Originally from North Dakota, Rosie was stationed at Pearl Harbor, then Quantico, VA. She was also part of the Fourth Medical Battalion overseas during the war in 2003.

Her pursuit of a degree in nursing was not one that was easy but in Rosie's words-"if you want to achieve something bad enough, you will find a way to succeed". Rosie's husband, Billy, continues to serve active duty in the military. Together, they have three children and much of their married life has been spent apart through deployments as they have and do so honorably serve our country. With three kids under the age of 5, Rosie embarked on her nursing degree graduating in May 2010 from Capital Community College, Hartford, CT. For two years, she participated in nursing clinicals on weekends. She is thankful to her military family in Connecticut, where she completed her nursing degree, for helping her with the kids so she could also pursue educational aspirations.

When asked about her background in nursing, Rosie explains that her experience spans "a little bit of everything". This includes having served as a staff nurse on a surgical floor, clinic nursing, clinic coordinator, home health nursing, ER, med/surg, and ICU. In conversing with her, though, it's clear that she's passionate about home health care and serving in the ER. Of her work in home health, she says, "Home health made me a better nurse. When patients are in med/surg, they are only there for a few days. In home health, you get the big picture. You can meet the patient's family, understand how they take care of themselves at home, and recognize what their diet is like. Because of this experience, I learned tools to help patients take better care of themselves." On the more difficult side of nursing, Rosie has also helped patients with end of life care where she's worked with the patient and their family. Of this experience, she remarked "it was eye-opening".

In addition to her daily functions at MCHS, Rosie assists in the ER when needed. "I love working in the ER in Watford City. I have seen more trauma in this ER than I have in other places I've worked. Working in the ER differs from other areas in nursing where you are never sure what the next case you see will be, and I enjoy acting quickly to make a difference."

Nurses handle stress on and off the job differently. When practicing, my mom liked to take a walk, read a book, or sew. Rosie likes going to the lake, reading a book, or hanging out with a close group of friends. Both Susan and Rosie both shared with me that in so many places you are surrounded by other great nurses who can be sounding boards for stress on the job. This is a career that carries with it exciting times and sad ones.

MCHS offers an amazing work experience program for high school students. It's an opportunity to participate in the healthcare setting alongside professionals who can mentor and guide young people that are interested. Currently, MCHS has a Continued Workforce Education position open. If you know a student interested in nursing, this could be an excellent place for them to start. Please encourage them to apply.


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