Allen College Class of 2003 – BSN
I began my nursing career in 2003 as a Medical Cardiovascular ICU full time nurse and charge nurse for 8 years at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. I am currently a weekend option adult ICU float nurse at UIHC. I enjoy the high acuity and variety of patient populations I care for in this position which also allows me to be available for my four children during the week.
What led you to pursue your education at Allen College?
When visiting schools in Iowa during my high school years, Allen College stood out to me as one of the top nursing schools that produced great nurses. I came from a small community and enjoyed the smaller class size and the 'at home' feeling Allen had to offer. My older brother graduated from Allen's radiology program as did my younger brother. My daughter will follow her mother and uncles as she has been accepted to Allen's BSN program!
Any awards, accomplishments or proud moments?
I have been nominated for numerous awards at my workplace over the past 17 years but was recently recognized by the Waterloo Fire Rescue after performing a civil duty. As a nurse, you will rarely get to leave work early. God had plans for me as I left my workplace early and traveled from Iowa City toward Cedar Falls at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning in April. I came up on a fresh accident that was not attended to by any emergency vehicles. A young man had fallen asleep on his way home from work and hit a cement pillar head on causing all his airbags to deploy, his engine to soon catch on fire, and him trapped inside unconscious. Another woman had stopped as I did and together, we were eventually able to get a door open and the incoherent man to safety before the car cab was engulfed in flames. The young man had minor injuries and was returned home to his girlfriend and infant child. The other woman and I were awarded the Waterloo Fire Rescue Civilian Commendation award. Praise God for first responders! This is not a job my heart could handle daily.
What advice would you give current Allen College students?
Be purposeful with your time in college. Soak up all the information you can and apply it during clinicals, internships, and work experiences. I was accepted into Mayo's summer III internship program and spent the summer in Rochester working with a nurse mentor in their CVICU. This hands-on experience allowed me to acquire a strong foundation to build on my senior year and gave me the confidence to begin my nursing career in an ICU setting. I also worked in the hospital as a CNA throughout my college years. I was able to see things we had learned in class and how it was used and applied. ASK QUESTIONS! Do not be afraid to ask why and how when you are in clinical or working. After 17 years of being a bedside ICU nurse there is not a single day that goes by that I don't ask a question.