Julia Quigley began her nursing career when she was small child. She may not have been an official employee, but she was helping her mother with an infant brother who needed specialized care when she was just eight years old. She figures it was that experience, along with her mother as a role model, that guided her to nursing.
After growing up in Omaha, NE, she went straight into nursing school at Creighton University and graduated in 2004. Her first four years as a nurse were spent in the hematology and oncology special care unit at the Nebraska Medical Center. “I worked with all ages. We did chemo and bone marrow transplants and critical care when it was needed,” she said. “Patients there are going through the hardest time of their lives, and they’re often there for a long time. When you’re a nurse, you try to make it better for them while they’re going through their struggles.”
After marrying in 2008, she and her husband moved to Chicago where she continued to work. When her daughter was born, she slowed her schedule and did agency nursing when she was needed. She took time away from nursing when her second child came along. “Life was just too busy, so I stayed home with them for a while,” she said.
In 2013, for a variety of reasons, the family moved from Chicago to Lamoni. “God just wanted us to move there! And we wanted to be closer to both of our families who are now only three hours away.” In addition, they wanted a lifestyle that is impossible in a big city. “We’re hobby farmers with lots of fruit trees, chickens, and goats. We wanted to have the freedom to do that and create a better spot for our kids.”
Five years ago, she decided to go back to work full time. She interviewed at a hospital in Missouri, and with Denise Coleman at Ringgold County Hospital. “Once I met the staff here, it was no contest,” she said. “I knew this was the place for me.” She no longer works full time, but does one, 12-hour shift every Monday on the acute care floor.
“I think RCH is a wonderful place to work,” said Julia. It’s a really healthy and positive environment with good leadership. We all feel like we’re part of the family and we look out for each other.”
Inspiration can come from many places. Sometimes it’s found in a book or a movie. Sometimes it comes from a teacher or church leader. And sometimes it’s a person close to you who inspires you to follow in their footsteps.
For Tara Gilmore, it was her older sister who inspired her to become a nurse. “She’s done it all, from patient care to management,” said Tara. “I watched her and learned from her perspective every step of the way,” said Tara. Although she was inspired to pursue nursing, “life got in the way,” so it didn’t end up being Tara’s first career. The mother of two girls, she started working in the medical field as a pharmacy tech after her children were born. “Back then, you didn’t need to be certified to start. I studied and passed all the tests so I could be hired. I became a Certified Pharmacy Tech while I was working,” she said.
When the pharmacy where she worked closed, she took the opportunity to go back to school, and graduated with her RN degree in 2014. A native of Creston, she started working at the hospital there, did a short stint with a hospice, and has been at Ringgold County Hospital for the past five years. “I really like working in surgery,” said Tara. “It’s my passion to ‘fix’ people and make them better. Most of the surgeries we do are elective, and I love seeing people go home better than they were when they came in.”
It’s her coworkers and the atmosphere at RCH that Tara loves. “We have the best team. It truly helps coming to work every day when you love the people you work with. We’re like a family!”