“I love what I do,” says Kirsten Hansen. “Nursing enables me to use my critical thinking skills while caring for people at the most core level and critical times.”
As a Registered Nurse at Dignity Health Mercy General Hospital in East Sacramento, Hansen works in the Medical Surgical Neurological Intensive Care Unit and appreciates her ability to devote her focus to patients with the ICU’s two-to-one patient-nurse ratio.
Having launched her career in 2010 upon earning a Sacramento City College ADN degree, Hansen began with Dignity Health in 2014, first in the neurology unit and moving to the ICU in 2016.
“I chose Dignity Health because they do great amounts of good in the community and at Mercy General, I feel I’m part of a family making a difference in people’s lives,” Hansen says
Hansen’s skills and leadership qualities — including her excellent recall, ability to learn from previous experiences and her approachability and composure under stressful conditions — are respected among peers and nursing leadership. In addition to her assigned patients, she works on the Rapid Response Team to help assess the needs of other patients that may need to move to the ICU. She’s also honored to be part of the ICU’s Unit Practice Council where she can support coworkers and advocate for positive changes as needed.
“My career allows me to both love my work and make the most of my time with family and the community.” Kirsten Hansen, Registered Nurse, Mercy General Hospital
The recent pandemic highlighted Hansen’s career drive and commitment to patients. “At the onset, it was a little scary because there were so many unknowns and I was carrying twins,” she says. “Once we determined that wearing the proper PPE would protect us, though, I wanted to continue doing my job, helping my patients and making a difference.”
Today, as the mom of four daughters and acting as their soccer club’s registrar, Hansen enjoys the work-life balance that nursing offers. She concludes, “My career allows me to both love my work and make the most of my time with family and the community.”