Published on May 18, 2017

Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center & Clinics Honors Nurses

Essentia Health-St. Joseph' Medical Center & Clinics celebrated National Nurses Day on Wednesday, May 10 with a ceremony recognizing nurses who model Essentia Health values in their daily work.

As the largest employer in the County, one in three of our nearly 1,500 colleagues are nurses. At Essentia nurses have many different areas of expertise and training and fill important roles in almost every part of our organization. Some examples include registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), nurse practitioners (NP), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA), and clinical nurse specialists.

Pat DeLong, Essentia Health-St. Joseph' Medical Center & Clinics Chief Nursing Officer says, "Our nurses are an incredible group. Whether they're in our clinic or hospital, each department I go to is filled with smiling people who have a passion for caring for our community. Being an Essentia Health nurse is about witnessing our values to others in a caring and compassionate manner, it makes nursing here a very special thing."

Essentia honored twelve nurses who embody six values, Quality, Hospitality, Respect, Justice, Stewardship, and Teamwork.

  • Wendy Davidson, RN, BSN from Baxter and Louise Severson, LPN from Brainerd received the Quality award for finding ways to improve care and consistently seek learning to provide the highest level of care.
  • Jessica Noonkesser, RN ADN from Brainerd and Kim Hemmerich, RN BA from Nisswa received the Hospitality award for consistently making patients, visitors and coworkers feel welcome at Essentia Health.
  • Rachel Vopatek, RN, BA from Brainerd and Julie Goshey, RN from Ironton received the Respect award for treating patients, coworkers, and families as their equal, and respects their input into the care of the patient.
  • Tanya Hanson, LPN from Brainerd and Heather Mutch, LPN from Baxter received the Justice award for ensuring patient and family needs are addressed and that patients and visitors are treated equally at Essentia.
  • Julie Smith, RN, BA from Nisswa and Marjet Lowe, RN from Brainerd received the Stewardship award for not only maintaining cost effectiveness in their department, but promoting wellbeing of Essentia patients to ensure the highest quality care within financial and resource limits.
  • Shannon Paysse, RN, BA from Baxter and Deb Ferrell, RN from Brainerd received the Teamwork award for being an active participant in daily activities and openly promote teamwork and interdisciplinary communication among others.

"I was very honored to be recognized at our National Nurse' Day celebration for the value of Quality. This nomination coming from my peers is truly an honor to me, knowing the caliber of professional nurses I have the privilege to work with every day at Essentia. I love that our organization sets aside this time to acknowledge the work of all of our nurses, who put their hearts and souls into making a difference for our patients," said Wendy Davidson, Nurse Manager for Pediatrics and Obstetrics/ Gynecology.

Although only a few nurses were honored today, they quickly praised their colleagues for their teamwork.

"Honoring hardworking nurses and celebrating them is a great way to build better nurses for the community," DeLong says. "We want to have great nurses here because our community deserves absolutely the best care. We want every patient who comes to Essentia Health and their family to feel welcomed and to know they're getting the best care possible."

National Nurses Week was May 6-12 which is the anniversary of Florence Nightingale' birthday.