Sibley Specialty Care’s Wiertzema chosen as One of Iowa’s Great Nurses

Susan Wiertzema

Susan Wiertzema, Director of Nursing at Sibley Specialty Care, has been chosen as one of 100 Great Iowa Nurses. She is scheduled to be honored at the 100 Great Iowa Nurses event to be held Sunday, May 5, at the Iowa Events Center Grand Ballroom in Des Moines.  Wiertzema has been Director of Nursing at Sibley Specialty Care since 1999.

Nurses nominated for the honor are evaluated anonymously then “graded” on three categories – concern for humanity; contribution to profession and leadership and mentorship.

Wiertzema was nominated by the staff at Care Initiatives Hospice.

“Susan has been in long term care since January of 1988. She is an excessively hard-working individual. She is an advocate for hospice care with the residents in her building. She knows each patient well, and [works with] families to explain hospice to them, so they are able to get the best benefit from hospice service,” as noted in the nomination. “She is dedicated to long term care and to her profession. She is loyal to her residents and their families. Meeting their needs is her main goal.”

“Susan runs a tight ship. Her staff are well educated, through her efforts to maintain well-managed continuity of care. The staff respects her knowledge and leadership. They work together well as demonstrated by Susan who will fill in where needed and as seen in consistency of staff,” said Care Initiatives Hospice Transition Coordinator Barb Clark.

“I've never seen a Director of Nursing like Susan,” said Clark. “She is always on top of the residents in her building, either with physical changes, emotional changes or cognitive changes. She acts on her assessments immediately, teaming together to create the correct interventions to benefit the patient.”

100 Great Iowa Nurses is a nonprofit program spearheaded by the University of Iowa College of Nursing, that honors great nurses in Iowa and funds awards to support the education of Iowa nurses. This is the 16th year of the event. The upcoming celebration is an annual prelude to National Nurses Week, May 5-11.

The complete list of nurses being honored this year can be found at Nurses selected for this honor represent many sectors of health care, working as nurses in hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, and offices. They come from all practice areas in nursing, including acute care, sub-acute care, post-acute care, school nursing, nurse leaders, academics, and many more.