Kayla Arnold
BSN, RN, CBC at Regional Health – Rapid City Hospital

If you’ve been to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, you understand the rush of emotions happening there. It’s an overwhelming sense of love, from both family and nurses, while little ones are watched around the clock.

Nursing isn’t just a job – it’s a passion, and that is exactly what Kayla Arnold at Regional Health – Rapid City Hospital will tell you.

Kayla knew she wanted to be a nurse at a very young age, after watching her mom work with mothers and babies. After being a float nurse for a few years, Kayla found herself at home in the NICU in 2014 and has been changing lives ever since.

“Kayla is a great example of both the science and the art of nursing,” said her nurse manager Nan Fitzgerald, RN. “She is clinically excellent and extremely knowledgeable, as well as caring. Kayla has an enormous heart and makes it a point to get to know parents and babies in a personal way to make them feel at home as much as possible during their stay.”

Throughout her time at the NICU, Kayla has seen a lot. She is a transport nurse, traveling with babies from hospitals throughout the area by ambulance or Life Flight to get them to Rapid City’s facility. She is also a Nurse Clinician – helping with nurses’ continuing education, as well as training new nurses. And even though her schedule is busy, she still finds time to create a stronger bond with those around her.

From organizing celebrations and book clubs to participating in wellness activities with colleagues, and even volunteering her time to quilt blankets for NICU babies, Kayla makes it a point to go above and beyond for her hospital family.

“I love that we make such a connection with our families staying in NICU, usually becoming a part of their family in the process,” said Kayla. 

From seeing babies come into the NICU with extremely low birth weights to watching their families grow together and go home is what makes the weekends, the nights, the holidays, and long days worth it.

“Nursing is not just a job — it’s a passion. You are caring for people and can make a difference in their lives,” said Kayla.


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