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Suzey Delger,

Director of Nursing – Douglas Campus / Program Director – Health Sciences

Eastern Wyoming College

How long have you been a nurse?

44 years.

What type of nursing do you practice?

Nursing Education.

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

Many years ago I witnessed a Registered Nurse abusing an elderly patient. I decided then to go into this wonderful world of nursing because I knew I would never treat any human being so poorly.

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

The most rewarding part of my job currently is when our nursing students are beaming because they are proud to be at Eastern Wyoming College pursuing their passion. Challenges include keeping up on the ever changing field of nursing and medicine.

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

You must have a "PASSION" for Nursing. As Van Gogh said: "Your profession is what you were put on earth to do with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling." Nursing is more than just medical knowledge it is also the fine art of holding someone’s hand in death and helping a new baby with its first breath. It is worth every late night studying, every long shift and every single ounce of effort you put into it. Anything that is hard to achieve is most satisfying once finished. Never give up on your dream of becoming a nurse.

Nomination:

Suzey’s care for the people around her extends beyond the walls of her nursing school. She has started a food bank for needy people at the Douglas Campus, a food refuge that is open to all. Suzey works with all people who desire a nursing education, extending whatever help, both personal and educational, that they may need, even if they choose another life path. Suzey is a tireless supporter for anyone in need. She understands that healing is far more than a wound dressing in that she heals things that cannot be seen. -- Spouse

Monica Rogers,

ICU Nurse

Wyoming Medical Center

How long have you been a nurse?

14 years.

What type of nursing do you practice?

I recently switched positions to the Pre-Op department. Prior to that, I worked ICU/Critical care for 12 years. I started my career in nursing on the Surgical floor. I have also spent the last 12 years filling in and/or working part time at an OB/Gyn office.

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

When I was 9 years old, I started to tell everyone I was going to become a Pediatric nurse. I loved kids and wanted to help them. During my clinicals in nursing school, I decided to pursue Critical Care instead. I love being a positive moment in someone's life whether it's while they or their family are laying there sick or getting ready for surgery.

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

In my new position, I interact with all ages. I have had the privilege to take care of a couple kids the last few weeks. Helping them smile during such a scary situation makes every difficult moment of nursing worth it. My years in ICU gave me so many experiences both heartbreaking and heartwarming. From watching a woman fall asleep holding her husband’s hand while he fights for his life to witnessing someone transfer to the floor that none of us thought would live. Some challenges are knowing when someone's life is about to be changed so dramatically and all I can do is be supportive and caring. Finding the balance of staying professional and being human while breaking down with a family comes with time.

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

It's hard work but beyond rewarding. Sometimes patients touch your life more that you could ever touch theirs. Be present and patient with your patients. Welcome to the career of feeling happiness, sadness, confusion, self-doubt, defeat and heroism!

Nomination:

She is the nurse that will reach out and help other nurses or floors if they are drowning. Monica has found her way being a nurse. She is always on top of education and always making sure others are educated so the best care can be presented to the patients and also the patient’s family. It is very important for the family to know what is going on, and she makes sure she takes them every step of the way, so there are little to no questions ask, or concerns that their loved ones are being cared for correctly. -- Friend

Christine Rogers,

RN,

WMC

How long have you been a nurse?

13 years.

What type of nursing do you practice?

Medical, although I have worked on most units in the hospital at one time or another.

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

Two of my favorite aunts were nurses.

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

Making a difference in the health and well being of my patients. The other aspect of my job is teaching students and new nurses, and watching them grow and become more confident.

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

Nursing is a great career choice and there are more options than bedside nursing. The healthcare field is wide open and your services will always be in demand.

Nomination:

Chris is one of those people you are honored and thankful to have cross your path in life. She loves getting to know people and radiates kindness. She has great rapport with her patients, coworkers, doctors, housekeepers -even the operators for the hospital on a personal level. Her excellent bedside manner comes to her naturally. She connects well with her patients, really taking time to understand them and what is important to them during a very stressful and vulnerable time in their lives. -- Colleague

Rachel Land,

Acute Services Nurse Manager,

Wyoming Behavioral Institute

How long have you been a nurse?

Five years

What type of nursing do you practice?

Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

Overall, I chose to go into nursing because I had a desire to advocate for and care for people. As I completed my nursing rotations in school, I was immediately drawn to nursing interventions that were focused on communication and care that treated the patients entire wellbeing. When I had the opportunity to engage in a mental health rotation, I immediately knew it was the right fit for me. Psychiatric nursing care incorporated my traditional nursing skills and also presented an opportunity to truly treat and care for the whole patient. The communication based interventions were immediately fulfilling to me and the way in which the multidisciplinary team functioned in the mental health setting was really appealing. The ever changing environment and pace of mental health care was and is a great fit for me. As I like to tell others, in my field of nursing there is never a dull moment and the days go fast, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

As mentioned above, there is never a dull moment in providing care to this patient population and every day presents new challenges. The patients come to us in a true crisis, in as state of true risk, and what is quite possibly one of the worst days of their life. It’s our job to meet them where they are at in that moment and, at times, finding that spot in itself can be a challenge as that looks different for every patient. The challenge of meeting the patient where they are at, however, is one of my favorite parts of this job. It demands teamwork from all involved in their care, and that’s something we excel at at Wyoming Behavioral Institute. When a challenging situation or a crisis arises, you always feel supported. We all come together with our unique set of skills and as a team come up with how to help the patient. The people I have the privilege of working with in this field are some of the most outstanding, kind, compassionate and supportive people I have ever known.

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

Ultimately your degree in nursing, and your RN license, is a validation of your ability to critically think while maintaining patients’ needs with compassion and dignity. That’s why nurses are able to practice in such a wide capacity. When you break it down to the core, a nurse is the person that the patient and treatment team trust to discern the needs of the patient and then are depended on to meet those needs with empathy and knowledge. Be the person your license represents; be willing to critically think, practice with empathy and compassion, meet your patients where they are at, and remember you are the patient’s advocate. To the nurses who do not go into mental health nursing, but are lucky enough to do a rotation through a mental health facility; you will treat mental health no matter where you practice. Take away from your rotation the need to treat a patient holistically and meet not only their physical needs but also their mental health needs, you may be the first or only person who does.

Nomination:

As the field of nursing leadership becomes more and more challenging, the demands for those that work in the field are becoming increasingly more difficult to meet. Rachel is an individual who has demonstrated the ability to meet these challenges head on, with a positive and patient focused presence, in some of these instances with little more than a moment’s notice. She brings a very calm and compassionate approach to each problem that arises and one can always be assured that she will resolve the issue to the best of her ability, all the while ensuring that the quality care that the patient(s) receive is maintained. She is an amazing nurse, wife and mother and an incredible asset to this facility. -- Colleague

Bonnie Norris,

RN,

WMC

How long have you been a nurse?

I have been a nurse for 7 years.

What type of nursing do you practice?

I work on the Surgical floor at the WMC.

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

Nursing is a second career for me, so I started later than most. I wanted to be in a profession where I could help people, and make a difference. I worked in Corrections previously, but at some point I decided that becoming a nurse was what I wanted to do. I started working on the prerequisites to get into the nursing program. When I was accepted, I started working as a CNA, and I eventually made it through nursing school. It was tough, and I struggled at times, but I have not regretted that decision for one minute.

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

I love interacting with patients and their families, and helping them through this difficult point in their lives. That is my favorite part. I have laughed with them, and, at times, cried with them, and I have encouraged them when they are unsure. It is very rewarding, and it makes me happy if I later learn that a patient is becoming healthy, and doing well, after they have gone home. It can be hard, though, when a family receives a bad prognosis, or loses a loved one.

I think one challenge is the patient or family member who is not willing to follow the recommended changes needed for the patient's good health and continued road to recovery. It may be something like getting out and walking, or something bigger, such as quitting smoking or drinking. The younger person has their life still ahead of them. For the older person, it may be tough to change behavior. We want them to recover and have a good quality of life.

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

For the new nurse, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of yourself at times. But, you just get out there and do it, ask questions, and think about the positive things. Over some time, you will start gaining that knowledge through different experiences, and the self-confidence will come. It will happen.

Nomination:

Bonnie took care of my husband this January after he had surgery. Her professional yet tender and understanding approach to this very ill man gave me, his wife, the opportunity to relax no matter how each stressful moment occurred, knowing he was in good hands. – Spouse of patient

Nomination:

Bonnie is one of the most kind-hearted and caring nurses I have ever had the privilege of working with. She puts the needs of her patients and her team above her own on a daily basis. Her dedication to the nursing profession is above any I have ever seen. -- Colleague

Misti Bachus,

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Clinical Applications Specialist, RN, BSN,

Memorial Hospital of Converse County

How long have you been a nurse?

I have been a nurse for 24 years.

What type of nursing do you practice?

Currently I am a Clinical Analyst.

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

I've always seen myself as a caregiver. Originally, I started out going to school as an Ultrasound Technician. When my son was two years old he got sick and it was a traumatic event for us. But we had great nurses. The nurses showed us so much compassion and that experience completely changed my trajectory. The next semester I enrolled in the nursing program at Oglala Lakota College.

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

The transition from the bedside to clinical IT was challenging and I struggled to find my place. Then I realized how I could improve patient care through technology by building evidence based assessments and order sets to assist clinicians at the bedside. I enjoy collaborating with staff to continue to improve or EHR.

The biggest challenge I face is limitations. We tend to think that technology is limitless, but it's really not. Sometimes no matter how good of an idea we have, the software just won't allow for us to follow through with it and that does get frustrating at times.

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

I would tell a new nurse to take the time to learn one specialty at a time and become competent in that before moving to a different area. I believe having that base will help make the transition to another department easier. You'll have your fundamentals and foundation to take with you as you move and grow.

I would also tell a new nurse to find a balance between work and family. Nursing is typically shift work and it can be difficult when you feel like you have to be in so many places at once. If you find that balance from the beginning between work and family, it helps prevent becoming overwhelmed.

For those considering a career in nursing, I'd tell them to first become a CNA. One of my son's nurses suggested that to me and I think that's what made me a great nurse. You spend so much time with the patients and you learn to really listen and take your time with the patient. That position gives you a wide range of viewpoints to really get a feel for nursing. For some it may solidify that they want to be a nurse. Others may realize that nursing isn't for them and they can explore other career options.

Nomination:

Misti is a very approachable nurse and has a calming effect on patients as well as employees. She’s very knowledgeable and always eager to help others. She takes her job duties seriously and works hard to not only understand them, but excel at it. Misti is a lifelong learner and has gone out of her way to research and improve her knowledge of drug diversion prevention and clinical quality measures. -- Colleague

Holly Sasser,

RN,

WMC

How long have you been a nurse?

Almost 10 years.

What type of nursing do you practice?

I am a nurse on the Cardiac/Progressive Care Unit.

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

I chose nursing because I enjoyed anatomy and was amazed by the human body and the mechanisms of physiology. But most of all I knew I enjoyed working so personally with people and serving my community.

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

My favorite part of the job is connecting with my patients. I love interacting with my patients and making them feel safe and at ease at such a vulnerable time. I get personal with my patients. I share my personal life with my patients as if they are friends which in turn makes them trust and share with me. I strive at advocating for my patients and I have been known to not quit until I get what I want for my patients. I struggle with leaving work at work. Nursing is not just an occupation it is who you are as a person. It is how I define who I am, before I was a wife and mother I was first and foremost a NURSE! It is not a career that you punch the time clock and it turns off. I often come home and I am emotionally, intellectually and physically exhausted. I give my patient and their family 110% and I struggle to give my family 10%. They deserve the "ME" my patients and peers see yet they never complain because they know nursing is my identity. I truly believe we must take care of ourselves to take care of others and I am blessed to work with a team that supports each other not only professionally but personally. If the day were ever to come that I no longer cry with my patient and their family during their time of despair, grief or death, hold their hand for reassurance that they are not alone or laugh/cry with them as they celebrate, that will be the day I hang up my stethoscope and scrubs. I am honored and grateful to call myself a Nurse.

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

Every time I teach a new graduate nurse I stress the importance of what it means to be a nurse. Though we find normalcy in the hospital chaos our patients do not. In reality their days in the hospital can be the worst days imaginable; stressful, fearful and painful. We cannot become complacent in what we do. For them all senses are firing; they will remember the way we spoke to them, looked at them and touched them. We cannot become neglectful in what we do, it can and will kill someone! It may just be another day for us that we will push to l the far depths of our soul but for our patients; it is a day they will never forget.

Nomination:

I was Officer Carlson who was shot in 2018. When I was on the PCU i was in extreme pain and highly depressed. One nurse helped me through it and showed me the most passion, commitment and caring. Holly took the time to explain things and even share some of her own experiences in a similar situation (her husband Colton Sasser) was blown up in the military and lost his leg. Holly made a terrible situation better and she will always be in my memory. Without Holly I feel my mental state would not allowed me to have been here. – Jacob Carlson

Nomination:

My husband is Casper Police Officer Jacob Carlson, and he was shot in the line of duty in May 2018. While there are many nurse who truly deserve recognition, there was one that stood out - Mrs. Holly Sasser. Jacob struggled while on the PCU floor, he was increasingly anxious and frustrated that he wasn’t progressing as fast as he thought he should be. Holly went above and beyond to help him through his struggles, she related with him on a personal level as her and her husband had previously been in our shoes. She spent time to talk to him like he was a real person/friend, and not just a patient. Holly gave suggestions on what might help him sleep better as he struggled with that, and she was there to answer any questions that we might have. Holly is the prime example of an exemplary nurse, who we are now proud to call a friend. – Tiffany Carlson

Jean Tucker,

Director of Nursing,

Life Care Center of Casper

How long have you been a nurse?

24 years.

What type of nursing do you practice?

Geriatrics.

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

I wanted to try to change peoples view of what a nursing home can be. A great place to live and work!

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

The residents I serve!

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

Lots of opportunities to make a difference! Specifically in geriatrics, our residents are so thankful for everything we give to them. It's very rewarding!

Nomination:

She truly wants the resident/patients to feel at home. She is always advocating for the residents/patients. She collaborates well with other disciplines, involving herself in wheelchair maintenance (with therapies and maintenance), resident engagement (with activities), and nutrition (with dietary). She knows the importance of a collaborative healthcare team. In her role as DON, Life Care obtained their CMS 5 Star Overall Rating and she continues to emphasize the need for continual growth and improvement in quality care. She is a fearless leader. She is adaptive to changes, whether regulatory, technological, or operational. -- Colleague

Darlene Pisani,

Adjunct Instructor, Clinical Nursing,

Casper College; A.D. Nursing Program

How long have you been a nurse?

45 years.

What type of nursing do you practice?

Nurse Educator and Rehabilitation Clinical Liaison.

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

I am literally that person that knew since I was 8 years old that I wanted to be a nurse.

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

The privilege, and with that the great responsibility, of providing a rich learning environment for our future nurses. My philosophical belief is that we (nurses) are servants in a culture of caring, gentle of heart and strong of courage and knowledge. That we are the patient advocate. I have been blessed to be a part of the journey of literally hundreds of our C.C. nurses. As I am retiring from teaching, my personal challenge will be to adapt to this new chapter in my life. I will keep my finger in the" nursing pie", so to speak in one capacity or another! My career in nursing.....priceless!

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

The buffet of nursing opportunities is so diverse! In my 45 year career I've done hospital nursing, public health nursing, rehabilitation clinical liaison nursing, nursing for the VA, and have all totaled been a nurse educator for 21 years. My advice if considering this career path? If you have a caring and giving nature, are not afraid of hard work, you are service driven, you are a committed worker, you want to be a positive impact in our healthcare system with all of the ups and downs that that entails in your community, state, and nationally........then you should strongly consider being a nurse. I have not once regretted the choice of that 8 year old.

Nomination:

Darlene Pisani is a very caring, skilled, intelligent nurse, who has been a strong patient advocate both in the past as a nurse at the VA Clinic in Casper ,Wyoming, and as a nursing instructor working with Casper College Nursing Students at Wyoming Medical Center. She recognizes when patients are not doing well clinically and does not hesitate to go up the chain of command to the supervisors and physicians to have the patient re-assessed and given the care needed. Her students are seeing what it means to be a strong patient advocate and a caring nurse. – Friend, physician who worked with Ms. Pisani at the VA Clinic in Casper

Jenea Goddard,

Nurse Manager,

WMC

How long have you been a nurse?

28 years.

What type of nursing do you practice?

Intensive Care.

Why did you choose to pursue this profession?

Have always wanted to be a nurse!

What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?

Taking care of people is my most favorite part of the job. Making a connection and truly caring for people is the best!

What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

Love what you do every day. Even when it is a rough day, remember why you came into healthcare and remember that as a nurse as you care for people you are becoming a part of their story so make it an amazing part of their story.

Nomination:

Jenea is an advocate for critical care and life-saving interventions. When my family member was a patient in the ICU, Jenea checked on us and made sure we were all comfortable. In high stress and anxiety moments when you don’t know if your loved one will live or die, Jenea comes along with a soft smile and tender demeanor that brings comfort to those in her unit. -- Colleague

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