Nurses Feature

Meet the 2016 Nurses of Excellence

Black Hills Family – in association with Black Hills Surgical Hospital and Rapid City Medical Center – celebrate these exceptional nursing professionals.

A nurse, by definition, is someone who is trained to care for sick or injured people (Merriam-Webster). But they are so much more than the people who work long hours and heal us up. Nurses see us when we are in need of help and they are the ones who are there with open arms.

Some nurses we cross paths with stand out against the rest. They go above and beyond their call of duty and provide medical attention that is phenomenally comforting in our pain and distress. Here are six professionals in the Black Hills who have earned the title of a Nurse of Excellence.


Wendy Crews, RN

Wound Care at Rapid City Regional Hospital

Doing the best you can in the field you love is something Wendy Crews exuberates each and every day.
Nearly 18 years ago, Wendy went into nursing after…





Carisa_CircleCarisa Hayes, LPN

Internal Medicine at Rapid City Medical Center

Carisa hadn’t always seen herself as a nurse. Starting school, she was learning the ins and outs of law as a paralegal, later deciding that career path didn’t fit. It wasn’t until her second son was born at 28 weeks and spent three months in the NICU that Carisa stepped into the medical world.



Hali_CircleHali Olson, RN

General Medicine at Black Hills Urgent Care

Growing up in Spearfish, Hali Olson is working in a field she loves at Black Hills Urgent Care in Rapid City. “I’ve always been interested in the medical field,” said Hali. “Nursing is always changing, allowing me to…”



Gloria_CircleGloria Hauan, RN

Pain Clinic at Black Hills Imaging Center

Gloria went into the field of nursing right out of high school and has been enjoying it ever since.
“I like helping people,” said Gloria. “As a nurse, you have the opportunity to…”



Gaile_CircleGail Eckert, LPN

Internal Medicine at Rapid City Medical Center

Gail Eckert began her nursing career in 1965 and has recently retired from nursing. Since graduating from LPN school, Gail started her first job with an OB/GYN specialist, working first hand with her physician, assisting in the clinic as well as in the delivery room. After 26 years of obstetrics and eight years with a cardiovascular surgeon, Gail spent the next 16 years working in Internal Medicine at Rapid City Medical Center, the same clinic that had hired her at the beginning 50 years ago.



Lisa_CircleLisa Engler, RN

Labor and Delivery at Rapid City Regional Hospital

Teaching has always been a passion of Lisa Engler’s, and after taking a nurses’ aide class in high school, her outlook of what nursing can offer gained a new perspective. As a registered nurse in labor and delivery at Rapid City Regional Hospital, Lisa is able to find her niche that combines her love of teaching, answering questions and caring for others.




Proud sponsors of the 2016 Nurses of Excellence Award

BHSH-Logo3 RCMC-Logo-Horizontal-FINAL

Written by Jenna Carda
Photo by Legacy