Nurses Week 2018: Meet three Hennepin Healthcare nurses


National Nurses Week is an annual celebration that starts on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. We take this time to honor nurses for the work they do, and learn more about nurses’ role in health care. This year’s theme is “Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence.”

In honor of this year’s theme, we interviewed three nurses across the Hennepin Healthcare system and talked to them about what inspires them to do the work they do.

For more information on National Nurses Week, visit the official National Nurses Week website here – and be sure to thank a nurse at your next visit to Hennepin Healthcare!

Amber, RN, BSN, CPN
Staff Nurse, Inpatient Pediatrics

What do you like best about being a nurse with Hennepin Healthcare?
Hennepin Healthcare – and the pediatrics unit, in particular – serves an underserved population. Fifty percent of our patients’ first language is not English, and people come to us with a lot going on. It’s nice to feel that you are really making a difference in someone’s life who’s in need, especially when it’s one of the worst times of their life.

What do you like the best about working in the area that you do?
Our Pediatric ICU has one of the nation’s best outcome rates, which is one of the things that drew me to work at Hennepin Healthcare. And while all the nurses on the pediatrics team are trained in the ICU, we get a say in the area that we want to be in, whether that’s the ICU or somewhere else in our area. I’ve worked at two other health systems and I’ve never felt more cohesive and autonomous as I do at Hennepin Healthcare.

How do you re-charge your spirit after a challenging day or shift?
My coworkers and I make up a smaller unit, comparatively, to the rest of the hospital. We’re very tight knit. In addition, our management team is very good at checking in with us. They see how we are and take an interest in all our lives…it’s a huge plus.

Who inspires you in your career?
My nurse manager. She started out at the bedside, worked at Life Source as a nurse, and is now in her current nurse manager role. She always manages to have a great, upbeat spirit…always positive, always smiling, all while managing multiple units including the newborn ICU and pediatric ICU. She is someone that everyone in our unit really looks up to.


Margie, RN, BSN
Staff Nurse, East Lake Clinic

What do you like best about being a nurse with Hennepin Healthcare?
Working at Hennepin Healthcare offers a lot of variety. I speak Spanish, so I was looking for a nursing job that would enable me to do most of my interactions with patients in Spanish. I knew I would feel really at ease here with our patient population, and I felt that I could really help the patient population at East Lake Clinic.

What do you like the best about working in the area that you do?
I like the idea that we’re right in the neighborhood. Our patients literally walk in sometimes – they come with a lot of problems, a lot of issues. Most of the time I feel like I can help them, even if it’s not directly medical. Maybe I have to read a form for them because they don’t speak English, or they don’t read and write Spanish. I was a float nurse for a while, and that was fun, but I also like being in the neighborhood.

How do you re-charge your spirit after a challenging day or shift?
I love to walk – I try to walk about 4-5 miles a day as fast as I can. My kids are all grown up now, so I do have that quiet time at home. Walking is the best stress buster I’ve been able to find.

Who inspires you in your career?
The people at East Lake Clinic – what a unique group of people! We have people from all over the world who work here and who come here. Our manager here is an inspiration, and she gives us a lot of good feedback.

Describe how nursing and Hennepin Healthcare had changed over the time you have been a nurse.
I’ve only been a nurse for about fourteen, fifteen years, but the biggest change has been using the computer and other technologies like Epic in our day-to-day work. But when it comes right down to it, nursing is taking care of patients – that never changes. Nurses are asked everything, and we’re very trusted…I find it to be a great honor. I love the spontaneity of this job.


Sue, RN, PHN
Quality Analyst at MVNA, a subsidiary of Hennepin Healthcare that provides specialized services including home healthcare, community palliative care, family health services, and other specialty home-based and community health services.

What do you like best about being a nurse at Hennepin Healthcare?
I like the fact that not only are we able to serve the underserved, we have the resources to do so, thanks to the Community of Caring and United Way funding. That’s been the case for the whole time I’ve been at MVNA with home health, family health, and hospice.

What do you like best about your specific area?
It’s a very autonomous role – I have a lot of freedom to work how I want. I really like the opportunities to work with less experienced, newer nurses. I always learn a lot from them!

How do you recharge your spirit after a challenging day or shift?
I have a relaxing commute home on the bus or my bicycle. I study piano in my spare time, too, which requires total concentration from me. When I play piano, it’s hard for me to stress or think of other things.

Who inspires you?
The leadership has always inspired me for the most part over the 25 years I’ve worked at MVNA. I’ve been in lots of departments, and had lots of different managers. But as I do my work and read about what our staff do out in the front lines…that is most inspiring to me.

Describe how nursing has changed since you started.
Family health and home health and hospice have become much more regulated since I started working in the field. Especially hospice – it’s now evolved into an industry of its own.

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