“I can’t imagine doing anything else:” local nurses passionate about their jobs on National Nurses Day

Did you know May 6th is National Nurses Day?

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – They’re some of the first faces you see in your time of need. We’re talking about nurses; what would we do without them?

“It’s been a year, it’s been a year,” Molle Barker, a nurse at Bryan Health said. “But we love what we do, I love my job, I love being the bedside nurse and my patients are what carries me.”

“With the pandemic, I just think it’s made us stronger and more resilient,” Elizabeth Jacobs-Fitzgerald, a nurse with CHI Health St. Elizabeth said. “I say game on. We’re ready, why not!”

National Nurses Day, May 6th, has new meaning this year after a global pandemic has taken over our lives and it was them, who stood on the front lines.

“To me, I feel like I trained my entire career for this last year,” Wendy Muir, the Nursing Director at Bryan Health said. “I trained my entire career to know how to take the science and help people get better.”

But their journeys started well before COVID-19. Some saying it was a job they never expected. Now, 45-years-later, Ruth Van Gerpen, a Clinical Nurse at Bryan Health, says she wouldn’t change a thing.

“The longer I have been in it, the more I realize, the more I believe, that this was where I was meant to be,” Van Gerpen said. “I really see this as, well I will tell you what I tell people, this is my ministry.”

The career, or should I say their calling, has given them the ability to make a difference in someone’s life. On top of that, they have been able to meet some pretty incredible patients and coworkers along the way.

“Over my 30 years, it’s just been so rewarding and so fulfilling, that I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Rhonda Souchek, a nurse at CHI Health St. Elizabeth said. “I’ll do this for the rest of my life, God willing.”

For nurses, the nationally recognized day is just another Thursday; being a nurse is a celebration everyday.

“It truly has been an incredible, an absolutely incredible, and exceptionally rewarding career,” Van Gerpen said.

“Without a doubt, kind of instinctively, put the care of our patients before everyone else,” Jacobs-Fitzgerald said. “So as long as that’s in place, we’re ready to give and ready to love and ready to care.”

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News