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On Nurses Week 2017, our nurses share their stories

To celebrate Nurses Week 2017, we asked our nurses to tell us why they went into nursing—and what makes them passionate about their jobs. Here’s what they had to say.
Clockwise from top left: Kelsey Tritabaugh, Natalia Olivier, Neil Tassoni and Susan Vold. Nurses Week is an annual event held from May 6-12 and hosted by the American Nurses Association

Susan Vold decided to become a nurse after witnessing the tender care her mother received from a hospice nurse. Neil Tassoni believes his career in nursing has made him a stronger, more thoughtful person.

To celebrate Nurses Week 2017, an annual event led by the American Nurses Association, we asked University of Minnesota Health nurses to tell us why they became a nurse—and what makes them passionate about their jobs. Scroll down to read their stories.

Please join us this week in thanking the dedicated, compassionate nursing staff who make our hospitals and clinics a caring, friendly place for patients and families!

Natalia Olivier, RN, BSN, PHN

Natalia Olivier, who cares for women and newborns at The Birthplace at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, knew she wanted to be a nurse from a young age because her family includes many healthcare professionals.

“I love working here because the birth of an infant is a very special and vulnerable time for families. I have the pleasure of working with mothers, fathers and siblings, and often form a meaningful bond with them during this very special time in their lives. I feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to be part of that experience.”

Neil Tassoni, RN

Behavioral health nursing is a good fit for Neil Tassoni, who enjoys providing clinical care for his patients and sharing therapeutic conversations with them:

“The job undeniably has its challenges, but I love it. Every day is different from the one preceding it; there is always a surprise around the corner. Working here has made me a stronger and more thoughtful person, because I have learned that every patient and situation deserves an individualized approach. No two patients or contexts are precisely alike. That is awesome.”

Susan Vold, RN, BA, HN-BC

Susan Vold, who helps patients diagnosed with movement disorders, decided to become a nurse at the age of 47 after a personal experience. 

“The hospice nurse caring for my mother, who died from leukemia, profoundly affected my life. He loved both of us through his professionalism and deeply caring attitude. I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life like he did in mine. I went back to school and became a registered nurse. Now, I continually pinch myself to make sure this isn’t just a dream. Nursing is a sacred privilege and pleasure.”

Kelsey Tritabaugh, RN, BMT-CN

Kelsey Tritabaugh graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2003 and joined our Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) program as a registered nurse. After 14 years, it’s safe to say she’s found her home within BMT.

“As a member of the BMT care team, I become a regular part of our patients’ lives for years. A blood and marrow transplant is an intense process; BMT patients must be kept isolated because of their weakened immune systems. They are away from their families, their friends and are often far from home. We become a part of their family away from home and form long-term bonds with them.”