Allen College

Amy Dagestad

Allen College Class of 2005 and 2010

Employment History

I am currently the Director of Maternal/Child Services, which includes Birthways, Pediatrics, NICU and Lactation Services at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames. Previously I worked in Maternity Services for UnityPoint Health – Des Moines as a staff nurse, Unit Based Educator, and Supervisor.

What led you to pursue your education at Allen College?

I was a student at UNI taking general courses and did not have a major. I took a class called Career and Decision Making and the results pointed me towards nursing. That led me to apply at Allen College and begin nursing school. As I look back, I am very thankful that I took this class because I without it, I am not sure I would be working in a career field that I love.

Please share any accomplishments, awards, proud moments, published articles, etc.

I am certified in Inpatient Obstetrics through the Nation Certification Corporation (NCC) and certified as a Nurse Executive through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). I am a member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders (IONL). This year I joined the Iowa AWHONN leadership committee. I received a Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nursing in 2012, was named one of the top 100 great Iowa nurses in 2011, and received an Always Committed to Excellence award in 2014. In 2015 I had a poster presentation at the national AWHONN conference and presented a Malignant Hyperthermia case study at the Cooperative Caregiving Conference. I co-authored “Keeping Cool When Things Heat Up During a Malignant Hyperthermia Crisis” which was published in the Nursing for Women’s Health Journal in Oct/Nov 2017.

How did Allen College help prepare you for where you are now?

I would not be where I am right now without the education I received from Allen College. Among the many things I was taught during nursing school, I am most grateful for the commitment my instructors had to the nursing profession. They inspired me to be a creative leader and to take chances.

What was your first job out of nursing school?

My first job out of nursing school was as a staff nurse working in Maternity Services at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. I worked night shift for three years before taking the Unit Based Educator position and moving from nights to days.

What piece of advice would you give to current Allen students?

Nursing is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding careers out there. It can be scary, exciting, fun, sad, and happy all in the same day. Know, as a nurse, you are making a difference in the lives you touch.

What led you to your exact career path?

When I graduated and passed boards I was looking for jobs and one of the girls I graduated with was working at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines and told me they had an opening. I applied and was hired. After working as a staff nurse, I knew I wanted to do more and that I wanted to be a leader. This led me to obtain my MSN in leadership and helped progress my career as a leader and mentor.

Share any hobbies/ interests

I have been married to my amazing husband, Kyle, for 10 years. We have two children, Brinley and Brayden that keep us busy. When we are not running our kids around, we love to spend time outside gardening, hunting, and fishing.