Works at Mercy Clinic
Age: 46
Hometown:  Salem

Education:  Graduated from RTC LPN Program in 2007 where I served as Class President and received the Spirit of Nursing Award.

Family:  Husband, Todd and 3 children.  Oldest daughter Cassie Oliver is 22 and is currently a LPN in Jefferson City and is enrolled in an RN Program, Kurtis Hodge who is 20 and Mahala Hodge who is 15 years old and has shown interest in the medical field as well.

Hobbies/other interests:  Anything outdoors.  Love horseback riding and gardening.  Enjoy crafts, spending time with family and church activities.

How long have you been a nurse:  Six years

Why did you decide to become a nurse:  I remember wanting to be a nurse when I was very young.  I have always liked helping people.  My mom and aunt both worked in the medical field so I was exposed to it frequently.  Unfortunately, I did not pursue it right out of high school and just started working clerical jobs and ended up working in Accounting for many years.  I then had an opportunity to work as the Office Manager at Daisy Outdoor Products in Salem, MO before the manufacturing of BBs was lost to Foreign Trade.  I then was offered an opportunity to go to nursing school through TRA funding (Trade Readjustment Allowances) through the Missouri Career Center.  So my devastation of losing my job was actually a blessing in disguise.

Were/are you inspired by any other nurses?  I would have to say that I was mostly inspired by Cindi Stroburg.  I’m not certain if she is even in this area any longer but she was my grandpa’s hospice nurse and I will never forget her kindness and compassion to not only him but to my grandma and the rest of the family.

What is the best part of your job?  Definitely helping others.  I particularly like to make the unlovable feel loved and the unwanted feel wanted.

What is something people may not know about your job?  That we see a lot of critically sick patients.  I have heard it said many times that being a clinic nurse is boring but I can vouch that it is not boring at all and definitely will keep you using many of your nursing skills.

What advice would you give to people who may be considering going into nursing?  Nursing is not just a job or a paycheck.  It requires a passion to serve others.