Nicole Nelson: ‘Helping others is what motivates me’

Sanford Health nurse at long-term care facility tells her story.

Nicole Nelson knows being a nurse isn’t just a job. “You can’t work in nursing just for a paycheck,” she says. “You have to be compassionate when working with patients and residents.”

Nelson started in nursing when she was 16 years old as a certified nursing assistant in long-term care. She’s been a licensed practical nurse for the past 10 years, and at Neilson Place — a Sanford Health long-term care facility in Bemidji, Minnesota — since 2015.

There, she works in the sub-acute rehabilitation wing, helping residents — often seniors — recover after an illness or injury. “There’s so many aspects of patient care you deal with in nursing,” she says, “that your day is never the same, and there’s always the chance to learn something new, especially in a fast-paced environment like this.”

She helps residents with their daily activities, and provides comfort and oftentimes humor in their conversations.

“Helping residents with their needs, and helping through what is often a difficult time for them, makes every minute worth it,” she says.

Also a mentor

It’s not just residents Nelson helps; her co-workers know she’s a go-to resource on any given day. She makes a point to help new employees feel welcome and comfortable. And if there’s a new technique or new piece of equipment to learn, Nelson is often one of the first people to step forward not just to learn it, but to help teach others to use it as well.

“There has to be teamwork in nursing,” Nelson says. “Communication is a big key. When you have strong relationships with co-workers, you know their expectations of you, and you of them, and that it’s all for the residents.”

It’s that supportive work environment that drew Nelson to Sanford Health in the first place. “They were so welcoming and friendly, I knew this was the place I wanted to work,” she says.

And it’s something she wants to make sure other employees experience, too.

“Co-workers here make you feel appreciated and valued,” she says. “When co-workers compliment the work you do, or say they missed you when you were gone, it makes a person feel good.

“I love what I do and where I work. Helping others, whether it’s residents or co-workers, is what motivates me.”

Posted In Faces of Sanford Health, Health Information

Leave A Reply