Nursing at Good Samaritan
When Good Samaritan opened its doors in 1924, all of the hospital's functions—administration and patient care—were carried out by the Sisters of St. Francis. Originally two Sisters were sent to get the hospital "up and running," and seven others joined them soon after. As the first Sisters waited for the hospital's construction to be complete, they provided nursing services in the small city hospital and in private homes. By 1937, 16 Sisters made up the nursing staff at Good Samaritan.
Today, over 600 men and women comprise the Good Samaritan nursing staff. Nurses staff Good Samaritan, Richard Young Hospital, Good Samaritan's Home Care Services division, and many other unique Good Samaritan departments.
The nurses at GSHS have a common philosophy of professional practice—Shared Governance. Shared Governance recognizes nurses as highly educated and competent clinicians who operate with professional autonomy and accountability as part of a collegial team. It is based on the philosophy that each staff member provides and inherent value and contribution that, when combined with the work of the whole team, results in a dynamic and innovative nursing environment that provides superior patient care. This policy offers each nurse the opportunity to participate in the decisions that contribute to the quality of nursing at GSHS. Shared Governance is how we individually practice our profession, make decisions, support the growth and development of others, and take care of ourselves.
Though Good Samaritan developed into a regional referral center from very humble beginnings, the values and standards put in place by Good Samaritan's original nurses, the Sisters of St. Francis, have not changed. Good Samaritan's roots in faith-based healthcare are evident in its mission:
"The mission of Good Samaritan Health Systems and Catholic Health Initiatives is to nurture the healing ministry of the Church by bringing it new life, energy and viability in the 21st Century.
"Fidelity to the Gospel urges us to emphasize human dignity and social justice as we move toward the creation of healthier communities."
The nurses at Good Samaritan have the skills, ability and honor to embody the spirit of the original Good Samaritan by providing care for the sick and dying, the young and old, our friends and family at a place where reverence, integrity, compassion and excellence are the guiding forces behind each action.
"I think one of the appealing things (about Kearney and Good Samaritan) is that you can live in a family-friendly community, but work in a health system that is very progressive and offers tremendously diverse services. I find nurses, new graduates or experienced nurses, want to be someplace where they have opportunities—a chance to specialize and take a leadership role. GSHS offers those types of opportunities to nurses. I'm a prime example. I worked at bedsides in a specialty area but was then able to get into a different area—recruitment. That's not a path I would have anticipated going down, but it was presented to me because of the size of organization we have." -Carol O'Neill-Nurse Recruiter
"Good Samaritan offers urban healthcare in a rural setting. It's seven minutes to work where you are caring for neighbors, friends and other community members. I think with treating people you know, there is a strong emphasis on caring and empathy and trying to get patients back in their home setting in the best possible way. We work alongside excellent practitioners, not only physicians, but quality people who are very team-focused." -Carol Wahl, BSN, MBA, CNAA-VP Nursing
"I moved to Kearney in 1971 as a new grad thinking I would work at Good Samaritan for two to five years—it's 29 years later. I married and raised a family. Kearney provided a wonderful atmosphere for families.
"If I were a new grad looking for a variety of experiences in a very progressive hospital focused on quality care, this wonderful work environment is certainly a place to be considered." - Ruth Gove, RN-4S/4C
"The medical nursing community is not content to be adequate or status quo. We exceed expectations and offer exceptional care and exceptional services.
"Great fun, great people, great community. Here, our core values are more than words." - Sue Hunter, RN-Bed Controller
"I have been a nurse at GSH for over 10 years and the thing that most impresses me about the culture of central Nebraska and how it impacts our nursing at this hospital is the wholesome attitude of caring. The care provided at Good Sam is not unlike the care you would expect from your neighbors. It is not uncommon to see a nurse laughing and walking arm-in-arm with a patient at one end of the hall and another sitting hand-in-hand with a family member crying together at the other end." - Doug Wulf, AirCare chief flight nurse