Fall 2019 Alumni Shining Star: Nursing graduate Katie Harris’s career has taken flight.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Now the Chief Flight Nurse for AirCare3 and an Emergency Room nurse for MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center, Harris enrolled at Northeast Iowa Community College in summer 2001.
Katie Harris’s nursing education and experience has brought her to new heights.
Now the Chief Flight Nurse for AirCare3 and an Emergency Room nurse for MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center, Harris enrolled at Northeast Iowa Community College in summer 2001. The great fit of the Associate Degree Nursing program, combined with the positive, firsthand experiences her mother Ellen Asmussen shared as an NICC Nursing graduate, brought her to the College.
After graduation from NICC in December 2003, she enrolled in the R.N.-to-B.S.N. program, an agreement between NICC and University of Iowa that would advance her education. MercyOne Dubuque hired Harris in January 2004 and she was immediately drawn to the energy, pace and challenge of ER nursing. For the past 15 years, she has served as an ER nurse.
“I was thinking about different paths I could take with my nursing career. It sounded like something fun to do; as if the ER wasn't exciting enough, I decided to jump on a helicopter,” Harris said, laughing. “I think I just needed something more.” Harris has served as the Chief Flight Nurse for AirCare3 since 2016.
AirCare flies an estimated 25-30 flights a month. The crew and pilot communicate during each flight, and there is a tremendous level of trust between the three-person crew on every flight – there is one pilot, one nurse and one paramedic, she explained.
“Northeast Iowa Community College developed the foundation where I could take my life and career where I wanted it to go. I built such a strong bond with my nursing classmates and loved my classes and clinicals. Some of the best nurses I worked with and learned from, are NICC nursing graduates – you can spot them right away,” she said.
In 2016, Harris was named to the 100 Great Nurses in Iowa list through University of Iowa College of Nurses. The graduate serves and has served in a variety of leadership capacities for MercyOne Dubuque, community organizations and agencies, including Iowa Association of Air Medical Services-Iowa Chapter (AAMS-IA), MercyOne Magnet Sparkler, Ethics and Performance Improvement committees, the Disaster Medical Assistance Team, American Heart Walk, the Dubuque County Sexual Assault Response Team and medical assistance for Run4Troops Marathon.
To recognize Harris’s success in heathcare, nursing and service to northeast Iowa, Northeast Iowa Community College has named Harris an Alumni Shining Star this fall.
Northeast Iowa Community College’s place in the Dubuque area is forever connected to the thousands of students of all ages who enrolled, completed a degree and started bright career futures. NICC alumni have made a powerful impact on local communities and are often connected to one another as family; their success stories honor the College and its mission and purpose. In this spirit, the College honors Alumni Shining Stars during the year to celebrate standout graduates who have transformed their lives and families through their example.
Tags: Alumni Shining Star