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Know the Nurses: Nick Gardner

If you have a home care nurse in your home, you already know what an important part of your life they become. Today in Know the Nurses, we’re learning a little bit more about one of our home care nurses, Nick Gardner, RN, who has been with PHS since March 2014. Want to learn more about a day in the life of a home care nurse? Check out this video featuring Nick and a PHS patient he cares for. 

How/when did you know you wanted to become a nurse?
I had NO clue I wanted to be a nurse. I knew I loved children because I always helped take care of my little cousins, but nursing was just kind of on a whim when I didn’t know what else I wanted to do. I actually wanted to be in law enforcement for a long time, but I think I chose the right path!

What is your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part has to be watching the kiddos progress over time. It’s fun to see them reach milestones and goals and force us to come up with new ones!

What is one piece of advice you would give new nurses starting their careers?
I would say DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF! You have a long career ahead of you and there is time to do it all; don’t limit your options by ruling out great opportunities. Sometimes the things we think we want the most aren’t meant to be, and if they are…. they will come in good time!

What is a nurse’s worst enemy?
_MG_0090Although I am inclined to say “Not eating lunch”….my size alone rules out my credibility. I would have to say definitely stress. Stress is everybody’s worst enemy and is all too common in healthcare. Although you should love your career, take time to do other things you love and just relax!

Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a pig farm in a small town called Gaylord, Minnesota. I was actually born in Iowa but moved when I was a little baby (If you can call a 10 lb 6 oz baby little).

What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?
I am the most indecisive person in the world so I don’t have many favorites…just an abundance of things I like. Sports have always been a big part of my life, so rugby occupies much of my time all year round!

What is your favorite sports memory?
My senior year of College, I was MVP of the Small College National Tournament in Colorado, helping my SJU Rugby team to its 1st National Title beating Duke in the finals.

Do you have any siblings?
I have 3 brothers! 1 biological brother in China, 1 step-brother in North Dakota, and 1 half-brother in San Diego.

How do you do your hair?
EVERYONE asks me this and actually it’s simple, I just don’t comb it. My hair is naturally curly and grows in to dreadlocks as long as I don’t comb through it. The process takes months and months but eventually they start to form on their own. However I just shaved my head a couple weeks ago for the first time in over 5 years!

If you could travel to any state in the US, which would it be and why?
Nursing1Alaska for sure because the beauty and wildlife would be astounding. Next year we are actually planning on going for a family getaway/graduation celebration, so I’m crossing my fingers it all works out!

What kind of music do you listen to?
About the only kind of music I don’t listen to is heavy metal. But I enjoy a little pop, hip-hop/rap, country, bluegrass, rock, and most genres of OLDIES…so good!

Have you ever seen any of your favorite bands in concert?
Over the past year I’ve gone to Bastille, New Politics and by far the best concert was Imagine Dragons! I’ve also attended several country music festivals over time including WEfest and Winstock.


Originally published: June 18, 2015