National Nurses Week: Finding a place exactly where she wanted to be

Published 7:30 am Saturday, May 4, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

There was no question for Cassie Wallin growing up what she wanted to be.

It was about taking care of others.

“Honestly, I only ever wanted to be a nurse,” Wallin said. “I couldn’t remember a time thinking of different career options. I feel like taking care of people comes naturally to me.”

Email newsletter signup

Wallin, who is a nurse in the Family Birth Center after starting in a medical unit in 2021 in Rochester, remembered being influenced by her aunt while growing up, who was an OB nurse in Albert Lea.

Being able to come to the hospital with her aunt was impactful in that greater desire to help others. While the medical unit was a foot in the door, OB was where she really wanted to be.

“To be a part of somebody’s most vulnerable time, best or worse — I like being able to be a part of the monumental change of bringing children in the world,” she said. “It’s a really big honor to be by their side.”

Wallin went to the University of Sioux Falls for her degree before going to Rochester and while being able to start in a medical unit was a start in her chosen field, Wallin said it was hard to feel like she was making the impact she wanted to make.

Working in OB provides that impactful experience by helping people  one of the most important times of their life.

“Sometimes it can be hard to feel like you’re making a difference,” Wallin said of working in the medical side. “Here in OB, it just feels different. Patients rely on you, they trust you. You’re in a relationship with them while giving birth.”

For many nurses that can be rewarding enough, but Wallin believes a large part of working in OB is working with the staff that’s around her.

It’s a culture of nurturing, both with patients and with each other.

“The culture — my co-workers have 100% created this environment for me,” Wallin said. “The women took me under their wings and still teach me to this day. They have a wealth of knowledge and they truly make a difference for me.”

“Being a nurse is never a one-man job,” she continued. “Being in that environment, you’re never alone.”

Wallin has also been recognized for her work, when she was nominated for a Daisy Award. The award itself is based on a patient nomination for a positive experience.

“It’s definitely neat to know that we in the Birth Center as a whole are making a difference,” Wallin said. “It’s nice that people do go home and enjoy their experiences in the Birth Center …”

“My coworkers are arguably half the reason this job is so important to me,” she continued. “It’s why I feel so passionate about nursing. The way of the world in medicine right now, it’s hard to find that community. The Birth Center is very unique because we not only care about our patients, but one another.”