The Year of the Nurse blog is dedicated to the hard working nurses here at UC Davis Health. Listen to each podcast delving into the work life and accomplishments of each featured nurse.

Listen to their stories

Portrait of Toby Marsh, Chief Nursing Officer at UC Davis Health

Telling our story in our voice

Chief Nursing Officer Toby describes why this project was important to him and what he hopes these stories will demonstrate.

Read Toby's Story


Portrait of Christine Trainor, nurse at UC Davis Health

A revolving door

Christine, an inpatient GI nurse, talks about how exciting it is to see people learn more about her field and the thrill of teaching.

Read Christine's Story



Portrait of Jennifer Suhd-Brondstatter, nurse at UC Davis Health

We’re the eyes and ears

Jennifer talks about how the role of the nurse has evolved and how they are a critical component of patient care.

Read Jennifer's Story


Portrait of Erin Colmar, nurse at UC Davis Health

You just do the job

Erin reflects on how the MSICU, over the last year, learned to take on pediatric patients and then transformed into the COVID unit.

Read Erin's Story


Portrait of Michael Dion, nurse at UC Davis Health

You have to see the heart

A nurse passionate about self care, Michael talks about how nurses have to take care of themselves if they are going to be able to take care of other people.

Read Michael's Story


Portrait of Natasha Palmer, nurse at UC Davis Health

Give people their moment

Natasha talks about the situation that led to her receiving a DAISY Award and why this patient and their family resonated so much with her.

Read Natasha's Story


Portrait of Susan Henning, nurse at UC Davis Health

It’s the bond with people

Susan discusses how bonding with people both makes her want to retire and makes her show up every single day.

Read Susan's Story


Portrait of Natalie Detwiller, nurse at UC Davis Health

You involve everyone

After seeing her brother receive stellar care, Natalie reflects on what made the nurses so special.

Read Natalie's Story


Portrait of Calene Roseman, nurse at UC Davis Health

Inspired to make change

From humble beginnings, Calene discusses how she was inspired to go to nursing school when she was a nanny for an oncologist.

Read Calene's Story


Portrait of Jeremy Veldstra, nurse at UC Davis Health

No day is the same

ER nurse Jeremy has been a lifelong learner and teacher and loves that everyday in the ER allows him to learn something new.

Read Jeremy's Story


Portrait of Ada Kwong, nurse at UC Davis Health

Keep on smiling

A nurse passionate about bedside nursing, Ada talks about the legacy she hopes she leaves with both patients and colleagues.

Read Ada's Story


Portrait of Kiki Wong-Yee, nurse at UC Davis Health

The guiding light

Kiki talks about how challenging yet rewarding it is to work with families and their children to navigate a cancer diagnosis and guide them through the treatment process.

Read Kiki's Story



Portrait of Carol Leija, nurse at UC Davis Health

Be that constant

As an oncology nurse navigator, Carol talks about how important it is to build trust with your patients and to give them and yourself lots of grace as you navigate new situations together.

Read Carol's Story


Portrait of Darrell Desmond, nurse at UC Davis Health

For the bigger picture

As one of the first Black male nurse managers at UC Davis Health, Darrell talks about how pushes from his coworkers encouraged him to step into an unknown role and create space for others to do the same.

Read Darrell's Story


Portrait of Cindy Steele, nurse at UC Davis Health

Teenagers are the best

A veteran nurse of over 30 years, Cindy talks about her time with teenagers who had cystic fibrosis and the shenanigans that they used to get in that brought her joy.

Read Cindy's Story


Portrait of Carla Martin, nurse at UC Davis Health

No crying in the command center

Carla reflects back on what it felt like to open the command center in response to the arrival of the first community transmitted COVID-19 patient and how ready yet terrified she felt for this moment.

Read Carla's Story


Portrait of Christine Williams, nurse at UC Davis Health

Calm in controlled chaos

Christine took a chance in her career and signed up for the flight nurse program, where she learned the power of connection and trust.

Read Christine's Story


Portrait of Joleen Lonigan, nurse at UC Davis Health

My legacy is the people

As a hiring manager for many years, Joleen discusses how her legacy is all the nurses she helped hire, who make UC Davis Health a great place for care.

Read Joleen's Story


Portrait of Judie Boehmer, nurse at UC Davis Health

Let them know how much you care

Judie tells two amazing stories that transformed her nursing practice and showed her how to look at the person as a whole, not just as a task.

Read Judie's Story


Portrait of Ellen Kissinger, nurse at UC Davis Health

It’s every patient

Ellen talks about how watching colleagues in their primary nursing roles inspired her and showed her the big hearts that nurses have.

Read Ellen's Story


Portrait of Yolanda Schjoneman, nurse at UC Davis Health

You can’t give from an empty tank

Yolanda reflects on how, as a new manager, training and support made her feel like she could fill her own tank so that she could be there for her staff.

Read Yolanda's Story


Portrait of Lourdes Moldre, nurse at UC Davis Health

It’s about giving back

As the Clinical Director of Oncology Services and Regulatory Compliance at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Lourdes works every day to give patients a chance.

Read Lourdes's Story



Portrait of Kristine Ahlberg, nurse at UC Davis Health

I was the bridge

An unbelievable opportunity allowed Kristine to be a bridge between two sisters who hadn’t seen each other in 10 years and who were willing to share stem cells to save one of them.

Read Kristine's Story


Portrait of Monica Ocanas, Nurse at UC Davis Health

I’ve been in parents shoes

As a mother herself, Monica knows what it is like to be a parent of the children she works with in her clinic.

Read Monica's Story


Portrait of Nadine Kerr, Nurse at UC Davis Health

It’s something you are born with

Nadine, a labor and delivery nurse, knows that nursing was not just a career choice, but who she was meant to be.

Read Nadine's Story


Portrait of Sandie Dial, Nurse at UC Davis Health

It’s never too late to find your passion

It took more than ten years for Sandie to become a nurse, but every moment was worth it to be in a career in that she loves.

Read Sandie's Story


Portrait of Hillary Tucker, Nurse at UC Davis Health

Death impacts everyone

Hillary shares how she became passionate about end-of-life, not only to support patients, but to support nurses as they handle these touching and tough experiences.

Read Hillary's Story


Portrait of Rachel Robertson, Nurse at UC Davis Health

NICU is in no one’s birth plan

As a former NICU baby and now NICU nurse, Rachel talks about her love of the NICU, including being a primary nursing advocate and nurse who tries to give parents a little control in an unexpected situation.

Read Rachel's Story


Portrait of Diana Arellano, Nurse at UC Davis Health

Forming connections in outpatient

As an outpatient nurse, Diana discusses how she loves seeing her patients consistently and forming long-term relationships with them.

Read Diana's Story


Portrait of Carter Todd, Nurse at UC Davis Health

Building allies

As the founder of the Capitol City Black Nurses Association, Carter seeks to bring more Black nurses into both the health system and in to roles where they could advocate for change.

Read Carter's Story


Portrait of Megan Brown, Nurse at UC Davis Health

Learning to dance in the rain

Megan describes how one small act of kindness to brighten up a patient’s day changed the outlook for both she and the patient.

Read Megan's Story


Portrait of Haley Nagle, NICU Nurse at UC Davis Health

It’s about giving people firsts

As a former NICU baby, Haley works with every parent to help them experience everything they can with their NICU babies as she knows the outlook can change in an instant.

Read Haley's Story



Portrait of Andrea Strohl, nurse at UC Davis Health

Being there when I couldn’t before

Through the experience of losing her father to cancer, Andrea experienced a desire to switch careers in nursing to help others through their cancer journeys.

Read Andrea's Story


Portrait of Virpal Donley, nurse at UC Davis Health

The rain never felt so good

When she became incredibly ill, Virpal experienced firsthand the impact that nurses like her have on patients and how to treat patients with more than medicine.

Read Virpal's Story


Portrait of Andrea Montalvo, nurse at UC Davis Health

Here in the tough times

As a new nurse, Andrea knew she was going to be in healthcare from an early age and nursing became a perfect fit.

Read Andrea's Story


Portrait of Cassi Carter, nurse at UC Davis Health

Learning from every patient

As a nurse who sees a lot of psych patients, Cassi works hard to support each one when they are in her care.

Read Cassi's Story


Portrait of Sally Easley, nurse at UC Davis Health

It’s the little moments

Sally shares how she was reminded that, especially in nursing, the little moments remind nurses that their human-focused care makes a difference.

Read Sally's Story


Portrait of Julie Petray, nurse at UC Davis Health

Seeing patients as people

Julie recalls a patient experience that taught her that no matter the situation, every person has a soft spot and has personal needs and if you can make a connection, your care can change their life.

Read Julie's Story


Portrait of Yusuf Rizam, nurse at UC Davis Health

You’re not on your own

As a new nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic, Yusuf shares his experience caring for patients in the ICU, seeing them struggle, and working with his preceptor to make a difference.

Read Yusuf's Story


Portrait of Crissi Patel, nurse at UC Davis Health

Worth the wait

After numerous degrees and many years of school, Crissi describes how becoming a nurse finally fulfilled a lifelong dream.

Read Crissi's Story


Portrait of Heather Donaldson, nurse at UC Davis Health

Nursing, it's a great career

A multi-generational legacy, Heather explains that she tried not to listen to her call to be nurse, but when she answered, it was the best gift she could have received.

Read Heather's Story


Portrait of Aron Anthony King, nurse at UC Davis Health

Representation matters

Aron believes that in order to provide culturally competent care, nurses have to represent their community and it's his mission to bring more diverse nurses into the profession.

Read Aron's Story



Portrait of Michelle Linenberger, nurse at UC Davis Health

It's okay to talk about death

Michelle shares how watching another nurse be with a dying patient helped teach her that she can handle talking to patients and providers about how patients would like to die.

Read Michelle's Story


Portrait of Rodrigo Almirol, nurse at UC Davis Health

Care based on respect

Like many nurses, Rodrigo wants his patients to know that he has given them care with dignity and respect.

Read Rodrigo's Story


Portrait of Theresa Pak, nurse at UC Davis Health

Inspiration can come at anytime

Theresa says that during the AIDS epidemic, the nurses on the frontlines shaped and inspired her to be the nurse she is today.

Read Theresa's Story


Portrait of Kelly Hamilton, Chief Nursing Officer at UC Davis Health

Giving power to the patient

Kelly describes how she learned that patients are at their most vulnerable in the hospital and how nurses can give them their power to speak up.

Read Kelly's Story


Portrait of Ann Smith and Rachel Texeira, two nurses at UC Davis Health

It’s all in our family

Ann, a second generation nurse, and her daughter Rachel, a third generation nurse, share what it means to be the living legacy of nursing in their family.

Read Ann and Rachel's Story


Portrait of Melissa Tayarani, nurse at UC Davis Health

You never have to go it alone

Melissa, a veteran nurse with over 40 years of experience, was shown firsthand how important it is for nurses to walk side-by-side, especially during the hardest moments.

Read Melissa's Story


Portrait of Al Nutt, nurse at UC Davis Health

Working to change the narrative

Al describes how nursing school opened his eyes to the health disparities in the African American community and inspired him to change.

Read Al's Story


Portrait of Bertha Ramirez-Preciado, nurse at UC Davis Health

It’s about the whole family

For Bertha, being a nurse means you work with the whole family and lead with compassion.

Read Bertha's Story


Portrait of Alexandria Depew, nurse at UC Davis Health

It only takes a moment

Alexandria, a nurse in the Emergency Department, talks about how building a relationship with her patient and resident on shift changed her perspective on nursing.

Read Alexandria's Story