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National Nurses Week

In 2024, National Nurses Week is held May 6 through May 12. National Nurses Week always coincides with Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale is considered the founder of modern day nursing.

“It’s been 32 years since I started my nursing career, and I do not regret one day.” So says Theresa Scheer,  Chief Nursing Officer, at Crawford County Memorial Hospital.

“I’ve just made a big circle. I’m a local girl from Schleswig. When I started my journey in nursing, I had an associate’s degree. After more education and training and worked at CCMH from 1998 to 2007 as the OB manager. I left, then came back again as a travel nurse for 13 weeks. After a little more travel nursing, and five years of being in California, I came back home, you know? The roots are strong here, and I love it. CCMH is the best place to work.”

National Nurses Week – Nurses Make a Difference

Sheer enjoys celebrating National Nurses Week because she believes nurses make a difference in someone’s life every day.

“We have a lot of nurses in our building, and they work in all kinds of different departments. We’ve got nurses in education. We have nurses on the Med Unit, in obstetrics, in the Emergency Room, in utilization review. A plethora of areas have nurses in them, and some people don’t realize that. There’s so many opportunities for nurses. Nurses don’t only take care of patients, but they also do the behind the scenes work of educating our nurses, nurses educating nurses, which really helps develop the skills of the staff we have here at CCMH.”

Nurses are In High Demand

One out of every five healthcare jobs in Iowa are currently vacant with many of those in nursing. Sheer says CCMH is currently recruiting nurses as well.

“Like any healthcare organization, we have nurses that come and go. We’re currently in the market for nurses for our medical unit. The Med Unit really sets the groundwork for nurses in terms of learning about real world nursing. After a while, just like me, some nurses get an itch to go on to bigger places and specialize in other areas. Along with retirements, that’s why we have openings. We’re always looking for good nurses to come to CCMH.”

Sheer does understand the difficulty some nurses have with the hours needed to fulfill the demands of the job.

“Healthcare never stops. It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We are never closed. That’s the one thing about nursing. It’s such a profound career. It’s so rewarding, but you also have to take the negative with that, too. Many people don’t like to work nights or holidays or weekends, but you  also get the accolades that go along with that. Patients and families are so thankful. They’ll see you in the community and say, ‘you are my nurse’, ‘you made a difference in my life’. While that only goes so far, nursing is really caring from the heart. I think a lot of people really get joy from that. So why not be a nurse?”

Education, Training and Scholarships are Available

Higher education is a requirement to begin a nursing career. Nonetheless, Sheer says you can begin a nursing career with as little as one year of education and training.

“CCMH employs certified nursing assistants (CNAs) on the Med Unit. The education and training for a CNA typically lasts about a year. In some instances, that could be a six month program. We also employ licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and they work on the Med Unit, in Surgery, and in ER. That’s also yearlong program. An associate’s degree for a registered nurse (RN) is two years. You get your basic nursing skills in school. They teach you everything that you need to know about nursing to pass the board. Then you come on site and that’s when you get on-the-job training. From there, you can go on to get your bachelor’s degree and your master’s degree. It just doesn’t stop; you can also earn a doctorate in nursing.”

Sheer notes there is plenty of money available for healthcare careers including scholarships.

“In order to be able to entice more people into the nursing profession, the state of Iowa has implemented many scholarships including last dollar and first dollar scholarships. The CCMH Auxiliary gives scholarships to people who are pursuing a healthcare career. The Iowa Hospital Association will award $80,000 in scholarships this year. There’s a lot of money out there. If someone is concerned about cost, I think this is where I can say, let’s not worry about that, let’s get into the program first. There’s a nursing program in Denison at Western Iowa Tech, which is an offshoot of the program at the main WIT campus in Sioux City. Western Iowa Tech has a great nursing program. Their students do their clinicals and precepting at CCMH. We really like these homegrown students to come and work locally. We take pride in having the Western Iowa Tech students here with us.”

Nursing Recognition

The theme for this year’s National Nurses Week is ‘Nurses Make a Difference’. Sheer explains the DAISY Award is one of the ways CCMH provides nursing recognition.

The DAISY Award is a nationally-known recognition program. It recognizes nurses that really are extraordinary. They show compassion. They go above and beyond and really make a difference in a person’s life. If there’s a CCMH nurse out there that you’d like to nominate for this award, you can go to the CCMH website, and the DAISY Award is listed there under the ‘Contact Us’ tab. We encourage patients and families to submit a nomination.”

Find Out More

Those interested in learning more about the nursing profession and current openings at CCMH can contact Sheer or Macy Webb, Director of Human Resources.

“If they have any questions at all, call the main hospital number at 712-265-2500 and the switchboard can direct your call to Macy or me. You can go on our website and send us a comment or question. Macy and I are always open to talk to anybody about a nursing career. Nurses really do make the difference, and no matter where you’re at in your career, you know you have touched somebody’s life.”



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