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2013 Amazing Nurse Gloria Kindzeka, RN, Hiawatha Home Care in Coon Rapids, Minn.

September 2013

Q. When did you decide to pursue a career in nursing and why?

A. My nursing career started in 2006. I was inspired by my sister, who is a home health nurse. In Cameroon where I grew up, we do not have nursing homes or group homes, and we take care of our family members in the comfort of our own homes.

Growing up, I helped take care of sick relatives, neighbors and friends, so the decision to become a nurse was an easy one. I knew I would love to go through life taking care of those who are sick – especially those who are helpless.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your profession?

A. The nursing profession gives me a chance to help someone who is in need, work for their best interest and hopefully contribute towards their improved health. It is often said that “health is wealth,” and being a nurse truly gives me the opportunity to help provide my patients with the greatest wealth of all – health.

It is such an amazing experience to bring a positive change to someone’s life. I like to see a positive outcome, and I enjoy seeing people smile again. Knowing that the care I provided changed someone's situation for the better makes me happy. It’s also very rewarding when I see how much my patients appreciate the little things I do while caring for them, like making them comfortable throughout the healing process.

Q. What advice would you offer to those interested in becoming a nurse?

A. I would advise them first and foremost to view it as a vocation, not just an opportunity to make a living. Nursing is a profession that calls for people who truly love what they are doing – this love or passion translates to how your patients are treated. It’s important to have a lot of patience, practice active listening, be caring, and always plan to work above and beyond your nursing duties.

Q. How has nursing impacted your life?

A. Nursing has given me a positive mindset. I truly appreciate the little things people do for me in life. I'm also more proactive – I think prevention and safety first. And more importantly, I don’t take good health for granted.

Q. What does it mean to you to have been selected as the 2013 Amazing Nurse?

A. I'm still stunned by the whole process! It's as if I'll wake up tomorrow and find out it was all a dream. Being selected as the 2013 Amazing Nurse is a great recognition in my professional life. There are many amazing nurses out there doing amazing things for patients every day, and for me to be selected is just unbelievable!

The disbelief has started to give way to a humbling feeling of gratitude, extreme happiness, excitement and joy. I want to say thank you to everyone for caring about nurses and taking the time to vote. There are some things in my life that will never go away, and one of them is the sense of gratitude I owe to the people that voted for me. It’s a reminder that I should continue to render only the very best care for my patients.

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