We are celebrating the hard work, compassion, and dedication of nurses everywhere. Here at Ringgold County Hospital and Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic, our thanks go out to all the nurses in our hospital and clinic who care for our community every day. Each month, we’re profiling two more outstanding nurses for their contributions.
Jillian Donovan, RN has been in healthcare since she earned her EMT certification in high school. She grew up on a horse farm in Stanberry, MO and headed off to Northwest Missouri State as a pre-med student. “When I was a junior in college, I realized I wasn’t going to spend as much time with people if I continued on the path to become a physician,” she explained. “So, I transferred to Northern Central Missouri College for nursing school and graduated in two years. I had oodles of the prerequisites!”
A 2009 graduate, along with her RN, she’s a certified ER nurse and a certified sexual nurse examiner. “I’m blessed that we live in a wholesome community,” she said. “I don’t have to use that very often.” Jillian’s nursing career has been varied. She’s been the director of nursing for a nursing home, the director of a hospice, and a pediatric hospice nurse, as well as working in hospitals. In 2017, a friend recommended she reach out to Molly Kayser, the nurse manager at Ringgold County Hospital. “I was hired on the spot!”
She works three 12-hour shifts each week, primarily in the ER and in acute care. “I love working the night shifts,” said Jillian. “The friendships I’ve formed have been absolutely unbelievable. They’ve made every minute worth it.”
The most satisfying part of her job as an ER nurse is knowing that critical thinking and her nursing skills can make a life or death difference. “When someone shows up in the ER who needs help, I have the privilege to help them get through it.” Jillian also says that RCH has fantastic Emergency Room physicians. “They respect the nurses, they’re knowledgeable, and they’re truly patient oriented.”
A resident of Missouri, she says she was initially worried about transitioning to RCH. “I wasn’t a member of the community, but I was welcomed with open arms. Feeling part of a team has made this a rewarding experience. Molly has been an exceptional manager and given me a lot of opportunities.”
A wife and mother of two small children, Jillian is balancing it all. She sums it up, “My husband is a paramedic, too. We chose to do this with our lives. It’s clearly what we were meant to do!”
Sarah McCord, RN grew up five miles outside of Grant City, MO on a cattle farm. “We had lots of animals and taking care of them really inspired me to want to take care of people,” she said. In high school, a friend talked to her about a career in physical therapy and that started her on her path in healthcare. But after starting school to become a physical therapy assistant, Sarah determined it just wasn’t her thing and that nursing was a better fit.
After earning her LPN, she took about two years off from school and worked in a nursing home in Mt. Ayr. Then Sarah enrolled at Southwestern Community College and became an RN. Not satisfied to stop there, she worked full time at Ringgold County Hospital while attending WGU to earn her MSN degree. Plus, she managed to have a baby boy at the same time! “It was hard,” she admitted.
She’s been at RCH for almost four years now and works in the ER and on the Acute floor. “I work three 12-hour days normally, but during the pandemic I picked up another shift to help out. Thankfully, it’s a lot better now,” she said.
According to Sarah, her job is really rewarding. “It’s the patients. Some people are so humble about the care they receive, and they appreciate it so much,” said Sarah. “We build great relationships. It makes it all worthwhile.”
When Sarah first started at RCH, she only knew a few people. But the staff has really become like a family to her now. “People just don’t leave,” she said. “It can be hard to get a job here. And once you do, you become very bonded. I don’t ever want to leave!”