Holly Christianson, RN
Regional Health Sturgis Hospital

When you ask Holly Christianson about what she loves in life, sports and her job will be high on the list, but number one will always be her family. Born and raised in Rapid City, Holly and her husband live on a ranch with their three children raising pheasants with her parents’ house next door.

After serving in the military through the United States Air Force, Holly began her nursing career under her mother at United Blood Services in the lab. Now, 10 years later, she is an RN on the Medical-Surgical team at Regional Health Sturgis Hospital.

“Holly is one of the most compassionate and empathetic nurses I have ever met,” said Rikki Plaggemeyer, Holly’s nurse manager at Regional Health Sturgis Hospital. “She takes the extra time with every patient to make sure they feel important and well cared for.”

Holly became a nurse to make a difference in people’s lives. And taking the time to make a connection with her patients is something Holly strives for during each of her shifts. The smaller hospital branch covers a lot of ground, taking care of patients of all ages from pediatrics to geriatrics – from surgeries, to family health, to hospice care.

“Some patients are here for a day or two, and sometimes they are here for a month, explained Holly. “These people become part of your family and you have to treat them like they are your own.”

Whether it is making May Day baskets out of suckers and delivering them door to door down the hospital floor before she begins her shift, then listening to stories from the elderly about making them when they were younger, or finding a special feather with a rare meaning and gifting it to a patient she thought might like it for his hat, Holly is shining a little light each and every day to those at her hospital.

“I strive to be more like Holly every day,” said Rikki. “She is the prime example of how a nurse should treat their patients and peers. She never makes anyone feel they are not a part of the big picture; she makes everyone feel like they are part of a family in Sturgis.”

Words by Jenna Carda
Photos by Jesse Brown Nelson