Society Nurse Nationally Recognized for Leadership
Crafting birthday cards with residents during activities is a treat these days for Alena Goergen, RN, BSN, at Good Samaritan Society – Miller Pointe in Mandan, North Dakota.
“I like to participate when I can because that’s part of the reason you get into this job, it’s just to be able to be with people,” Alena says.
Alena got her start in nursing 25 years ago as a certified practical nurse at Sanford Health. A love for long-term care brought her back to a nursing home after a short stint in acute care.
“I do well in trauma. I tried helicopter nursing for a while. I loved it, ”says Alena. “It was great, but I missed that connection you can have with people here.”
“I don’t know anything else and I can’t imagine doing anything else, honestly.”
“She leads by example”
Exploring her passion for geriatrics, Alena earned her CDONA (Certified Director of Nursing Administration) in Long Term Care and is certified in Gerontology.
“I am so lucky to have Alena as Director of Nursing,” said Society Administrator Kayley Cartmill.
When Kayley was interviewing for the position of administrator of the long-term care facility, she remembers meeting the head of nursing for the first time.
“(Alena) like, ‘We’re team players here. When there’s a mission, I like to stay until the end to make sure everyone does their job and try to help in any way ways I could. At that point, I knew I wanted to work with this establishment,” says Kayley.
Residents and their families also want to be around Alena.
“I will see Alena and I will see her in a blouse, which means that she is actively pursuing her profession,” said Jolene Kline, whose father lives in the Society. “She’s not sitting behind a desk. She works with her team members to ensure residents’ needs are met.
“It means she loves her job and values her team and leads by example.”
NADONA Award Winner
This leadership brings Alena recognition as the NADONA Nurse Administrator of the Year for the Northwest Region, a highly competitive and prestigious award.
” It’s humiliating. That’s not why you do a job like that. I was very moved. I don’t do this job for the praise. It means a lot to me just to know that hard work is recognized I guess. I was very honored,” says Alena.
Alena was nominated for the award by a handful of colleagues.
A new nurse at Miller Pointe, Sarah Schillo, RN, is learning a lot.
“Everyone loves Alena. She’s kind. She’s passionate. I feel like I can go to her with anything and she’s not going to judge me. She also helps me become a better person,” says Sarah.
“I really enjoy it here. Over a year now and there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t wanted to come to work.
News of the culture on campus travels outside the nursing home and helps recruit employees.
“They hear good things in the community and they want to work here because Alena Goergen works here,” says Kayley. “Alena has very good clinical judgment and very good clinical knowledge. I know many senior leaders look to her for advice on process and policy changes. »
“There is no work like that”
Perfecting processes and prioritizing people is a winning combo.
“We are touching lives. It’s heartbreaking to see how many people are better because you showed up for work today,” says Alena. “The days are not always easy. You don’t always come home and think, wow, I had a really great day and the work was really great. Then there are days when you go home and that person’s life will always be better because I got up and put my blouse on.
“There is no job like this.”
Be part of a care team that cares for residents every day.
“They are the reason you enter this field and why you stay,” says Alena.
100 acts of kindness celebrate 100 years of caring
Posted in Rewards & Recognition, Healthy Living, Nursing & Nursing Support, People & Culture, Services for Seniors