That’s me in the driver’s seat!

I worked at Valley VNA for more than five years while I was a student at Winneconne High School and in nursing school at Marian University. Once I earned my RN degree from Marian, I took a job at Parkview Health Center in Oshkosh because at the time, there were no open RN positions at Valley VNA. It was very hard to leave my coworkers and all the residents I loved.

When I went to work at Parkview, I really had to rely on the skills I was taught in nursing school. I was the only RN on an entire rehab unit and my confidence really grew. I took care of people from age 30 to 80, recovering from hip and knee surgeries and lots of other things. After a year, I accepted a nursing job at Generations Hospice in Fond du Lac. That’s where I realized how much I loved having close relationships with patients and residents and their families, just like I had at Valley VNA.

In the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted to come back to Valley VNA, so when Gwen moved out of state, I jumped at the chance to apply for her RN position. I got the job last October and now I am an RN clinical consultant on three courts (Alex, Amber, Emerald) at Valley VNA, and I love it. Some of our residents are in hospice and I work with our staff and the hospice agencies to give them the best care possible. My job is to keep tabs on residents and respond to problems that the resident assistants tell me about, before they become bigger. I do a lot of communicating with physicians and families. I like it when residents with dementia recognize me. I can see it in their eyes, and it makes me feel good to know they feel safe when I walk in the room.

I have been roommates with my good friend Makenna since we were CNAs together at Valley VNA. We also both went to Marian for nursing, and she works at ThedaCare now. We were even in the same sorority in college. We live in Oshkosh with my extremely chatty rescue cat, Saffie. Makenna’s family is really into tandem biking, and they actually got us a special tandem bike because we are both pretty short. We go on group tandem bike rides in the summer. We stop at bars and restaurants. Our biggest group was 16 bikes. My boyfriend thinks it’s kind of an odd hobby, but he’ll get used to it!