Thrive by IU Health

May 01, 2024

Celebrating National Nurses Week in the Indianapolis Suburban Region

IU Health West Hospital

Celebrating National Nurses Week in the Indianapolis Suburban Region

National Nurses Week, May 6 – 12, is a week-long celebration dedicated to honoring nurses and their contributions to healthcare.

This year’s theme is “Nurses Make the Difference” and nurses across the IU Health Indianapolis Suburban Region—which includes IU Health North, Saxony, Tipton and West hospitals—are sharing their nursing journey and what they’re most proud of in their careers.

Greg Livingston, RN, IU Health North

Greg Livingston

Greg Livingston is a registered nurse (RN) working in the hospital’s Endoscopy and Pre-Admission Testing department. He grew up in Nashville, IN, and loves animals, movies, music and being outdoors. He began working at IU Health in 2012 and began working at IU Health North in 2014.

What inspired you to become a nurse?

My path has not been that easy, but it's the one I needed to be on to make me the nurse I am today. Before I became a nurse, I worked several years as a cosmetologist. In a way, I was helping people with self-care, but I always felt something was missing. I ended up going to medical assistance school to break into the medical field. Though I enjoyed being a medical assistant, I still felt something was missing. I started applying for nursing programs and got into a licensed practical nursing (LPN) program first. I transferred positions from a medical assistant to a patient care assistant on a Medical-Surgical unit so I could attend school. I worked as an LPN for 10 months and then returned to school for my RN degree. You know how people ask you what you want to be when you grow up? When I was asked, I never got the chance to answer, because they would tell me I was going to be a nurse. Everyone else saw it before I did. When I told my mom I was going to nursing school she said, " I'm not surprised, you've always taken care of everyone else and you're very calm under pressure."

What are you most proud of in your nursing career?

I am proud of all I have accomplished to become a nurse.  I’ve had an opportunity to work on different levels of the care team. It makes me respect each team member and their role in caring for patients. I appreciate all the different departments I have worked with over the years because it has given me great experiences. I have been able to share these experiences with others. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Unfortunately, I am in Stage V kidney failure awaiting a kidney transplant. I go to hemodialysis three times a week. That takes a lot out of me, so I look forward to a good nap afterward. When I am not doing that or working, I enjoy going to the movies, going to dinner with friends, watching an assortment of streaming services and taking walks in nice weather. 

This year’s Nurses Week theme is "Nurses Make the Difference.” How are you making a difference at IU Health?

I feel the way I make a difference is by showing up. I cannot help others if I am not present. When I care for someone, I am not just helping them—I'm also helping myself. Having the fulfillment of knowing you made a difference in someone's day makes me want to continue doing what I do.

MaHnin Tun, RN, IU Health Saxony

MaHnin Tun

MaHnin Tun is a registered nurse (RN) working in IU Health Saxony’s Medical-Surgical unit. She has been at the hospital for a year and a half and describes herself as a curious individual who thrives on learning and exploring new skills.

What inspired you to become a nurse?

While I was an undergraduate student, I learned more about the scope and role of a nurse. What I learned about nursing connected with my values of compassion, empathy and service to others in a way other medical specialties did not. I was captivated by the holistic approach to patient care, the opportunity to form meaningful connections with people of diverse backgrounds and what I can do to help create a positive impact on each patient's health and well-being.

What are you most proud of in your nursing career?

When I was still a newer nurse, I had a patient who typically was very quiet, sad and did not engage much. I came in to do my assessment and noticed that they needed help getting their mouth and face cleaned. After I was able to help them, they looked at me, smiled and told me, “Thank you". This simple gesture from this patient has stuck with me and moments like this are why I am a nurse.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

When not at work, I love spending time with my family, cooking lots of different types of foods of various cultures as well as reading books of various genres and discussing them with friends.

This year’s Nurses Week theme is "Nurses Make the Difference.” How are you making a difference at IU Health?

I believe that I am making a difference at IU Health Saxony by taking what I have learned both in school, as well as the transition to practice classes, to grow into a nurse who looks beyond the disease and treats the whole person.


Pam Riley, RN, IU Health Tipton

Pam Riley

Tell me a little about yourself and your current role at IU Health Tipton. 

Pam Riley is a registered nurse working in IU Health Tipton’s Emergency department. She began working in the hospital in 2008, when the new Emergency Room opened. She then moved on to work in dialysis on a pro re nata (PRN), or an as needed, basis. She taught both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis to patients, allowing them to be independent at home. She came back to IU Health Tipton’s Emergency department part-time in 2001 and accepted a full-time position in 2022. Riley isn’t the only healthcare professional in her family, with her daughter in-law working as a Labor and Delivery nurse, her son working at a healthcare company that provides kidney dialysis services and her granddaughter plans to be a Pediatric nurse.

What inspired you to become a nurse? 

I am the only girl in my family, with three accident-prone brothers. I have always been a "fixer.” I started nursing school in my early 20's while living in Kentucky. However, my parents lived in Kokomo and my dad worked at Chrysler and helped me get a job there to support my young family. We moved our family to Indiana and I postponed school to raise a family. Though I was very thankful for the opportunities I had, factory life was not for me. I wanted a stable job where I never had to worry about being laid off. I wanted a job that made me feel I could make a difference in other people's lives. At age 32, I resumed taking prerequisite classes and graduated from nursing school at age 38. While in nursing school, I actually did two of my clinical rotations at IU Health Tipton with Debbie Bennett as my clinical instructor. That is how I fell in love with the hometown hospital environment.  As far as how I came to the Emergency department, it was not on purpose, but it's perfect for me. I think the ED chose me. Some might say this would relate to my slight Type-A personality.

What are you most proud of in your nursing career?

I am proud of many things in my career and all I have been blessed to be a part of over the years. I am most proud to have had the pleasure of precepting the capstone programs for three Indiana University – Kokomo senior baccalaureate nursing students in their final semesters.  I absolutely love seeing the new graduates learn so much in the ten shifts they get to be with us in the ED. I am excited for the next seniors to come our way. I am also honored to have been chosen for the Nurse Excellence Award in 2023 and I can't wait to see who this award is given to in 2024. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’m busy—I love family time. I enjoy every second with my kids and grandkids.  I listen to audiobooks while doing everything. I love to be outside, working in the garden or with flowers. My favorite place is anywhere with my husband that has sun, sand and the ocean.

This year’s Nurses Week theme is "Nurses Make the Difference.” How are you making a difference at IU Health?

Birthdays are my favorite holiday of the year. It's the one day of the year to celebrate just that person. It's my pleasure to initiate birthday (and other special events) cards for team members to sign to recognize our team member's special day. I have recently joined the Patient Experience team. I am excited to play a part in trying to make our patient experiences here at IU Health Tipton the best they can be. As mentioned above, I love sharing our ED with the capstone students, to help develop some skills while they’re still in school and hopefully recruit some new graduates to IU Health. 

Cheyanne Pritchard, RN, IU Health West

Cheyanne

Tell me a little about yourself and your current role at IU Health West.

Cheyanne Pritchard is from Plainfield, IN, and has been a nurse for almost 11 years. For about four years, she was a travel nurse, working across the country in California, Iowa, Texas and Arizona. During that period, she took an assignment at IU Health West. She fell in love with the nightshift team and ended up taking a permanent position in 2019. Since then, she’s worked at IU Health for five years, journeying through different experiences. She started out on night shift on the Med-Surg 3B unit, transitioned to day shift, and then took a shift coordinator position. Once she was ready for something different, she transitioned to the hospital’s Cancer Center in the Infusion Center.  

What inspired you to become a nurse?

My grandfather had pancreatic cancer when I was young. I remember my mom really struggling with my grandpa's fight and mentioning several times how the nurses were a source of kindness for her and helped ease her pain. It inspired me to do the same. Once I was going through school, I found I enjoyed science and the human body, so it felt natural to follow this career path. I think overall in life, when humans take good care of humans, we all end up better and the world a better place for it. The best thing about being a nurse is that you will always have a life filled with passion and purpose.

What are you most proud of in your nursing career?

There have been so many moments and so many patients that resonate with this question. I think I am very proud of my travel nurse career, the ability to work so flexible and the skills it takes to be so adaptive in travel nursing was something I did well, and I was very proud of that. Second to that, I would say it was my role as day shift coordinator for the team I served on Med-Surg 3B.  Being in leadership and helping young nurses to grow and develop was so fulfilling to me. I had so much fun pouring into them and knowing that just having that one nurse, leader or friend can change a nurse's entire outlook on their career—especially new nurses—they need an environment that is safe to learn and grow, and I loved being a part of creating that space. Being a shift coordinator in the IU Health leadership format also allowed me to sit at a lot of important tables. I was able to be a voice for the nursing bedside team members and advocate for them in places and spaces they weren't in while they were working bedside. Having a voice and bringing that bedside view into the light of leadership has always been something I will be proud of. When bedside nurses and leadership come together with common goals and common ways to meet said goals, magic can happen. The Med-Surg 3B team changed me and helped me grow as a person and a professional and I will always be so grateful for those people. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I love spending time with my fiancé, Tyler, and my 2-year-old golden retriever, Jack. We love traveling anywhere we can to have a new adventure. I like to read and hike as well. The outdoors really fills my bucket. 

This year’s Nurses Week theme is "Nurses Make the Difference.” How are you making a difference at IU Health?

I feel that I make a difference at IU Health by working through the values and I try to hold the nursing profession to a high standard. The COVID-19 pandemic really took the importance of good, quality, excellent nurses to the forefront of healthcare issues. Without passionate and competent nurses, the system as we know it cannot function. It is so important to connect back to why we became nurses, the reasons we find passion and purpose in our careers. My fiancé always reminds me of how cool it is, to live a life with such purpose through my career. I truly have been blessed in my career to work alongside some of the best nurses ever.

IU Health is looking for skilled nurses to join our team. To explore nursing opportunities at IU Health, visit iuhealth.org/careersRN.

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