Corridor nurses honored in 100 Great Iowa Nurses list

100 Great Iowa Nurses Honoree Diane Hander (right) talks with her supervisor Brenda Oehler after finding out her name is on the list.

The University of Iowa's College of Nursing unveiled its annual 100 Great Iowa Nurses list on Thursday. More than twenty names off that list come from healthcare facilities in the Corridor.

"It was not really expected and I just thought what an honor," said Diane Handler, a 2018 100 Great Iowa Nurses Honoree who works at UnityPoint-St. Luke's Hospital.

Diane Handler started out as a bedside nurse when she started in the field years ago, but she soon made a slight change.

"I found that I kind of wanted a little bit more flexibility and so I took the job in the area of stroke," said Handler.

Handler is now a Stroke Advanced Practice Nurse after making that transition, an action that many people in her career field could do as well.

"You can work out in the community. You can become a public health nurse. You can do home health nursing. You can work in a long-term care facility," explained Handler. "There's just so many opportunities."

Some healthcare professionals say the nation's nurse shortage comes from the idea there isn't much flexibility in the career.

"When I went to nursing school, bedside nursing was where everyone wanted to be," said Brenda Oehler, Director of Nursing Operations at UnityPoint-St. Luke's Hospital. "But really truly we have nurses that are going into patients homes. We have nurses in clinics. We have nurse educators."

That's why nurses like Diane Handler are thankful for the 100 Great Iowa Nurses recognition, which they hope will show future generations that becoming a nurse can open many doors.

"There's lost of opportunities in nursing because again you can do so many different things and it can be a stepping stone to other areas," said Diane Handler.

Diane Handler will be joined by fellow UnityPoint-St. Luke's Hospital nurse Ann Overton, who is the manager of the hospital's pediatric unit and NICU, when they're recognized in Des Moines in May.

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