Thrive by IU Health

May 03, 2024

‘I just know I love nursing.’

IU Health White Memorial Hospital

‘I just know I love nursing.’

“I just know I love nursing.”

For Denise Hauser, RN, a 30-year career in nursing has brought more twists and turns than she can count, taking her from the medical/surgical unit to the Critical Care floor to the Emergency department (and back again). She’s worked at the bedside in direct patient care, led hospital-wide nursing teams and taught as an adjunct faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College.

But what’s remained the constant throughout her career’s journey has been her love of her profession and her passion for caring for her community.

Today, Hauser is a nurse in the White Memorial Hospital Emergency department, where she considers it a special privilege to be a familiar face to the patients she sees.

“They come in and say, ‘Ah, Denise, I’m so glad you’re here,’” she says. Caring for the people she knows in the community, the people she goes to church with, is a point of pride.

“Not only do I love getting to serve my community, I also love, love the team,” she says. “I know just about everyone here. I am blessed to call so many of them not just my peers, but my lifelong friends as well.”

In her 27 years at White Memorial, she’s worked with many of the same people for that time, and she’s quick to share praise for her fellow nurses.

“I’ve learned more from my peers than from any class over the years,” she says.

A calling for rural healthcare

“When I was little, my mother would ask me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The answer was always the same: ‘I want to be a nurse,’” she says.

She’s never doubted that decision (a brief stint studying accounting notwithstanding—it just wasn’t where her heart was at).

Now, she’s helping other young nurses fulfill their dreams as an adjunct instructor at Ivy Tech in Lafayette and while mentoring students who are on clinical rotations at White Memorial.

“I want them to see the atmosphere here at a small-town hospital,” she says. “We sure do a lot of good here.”

She hopes that her work will inspire the future generation of nurses to consider building their careers at community hospitals like White Memorial.

“I want them to know they don’t have to go to Lafayette or Indianapolis to have an awesome career.”