Nurse of Excellence: Kris Simonds

Kris Simonds
Chief Nursing Officer, BSN, RN at Black Hills Surgical Hospital

Leaders are everywhere, but good leaders – the ones their team looks to – are a gem when they are found. Kris Simonds is the Chief Nursing Officer at Black Hills Surgical Hospital and leads a large team who looks to her for daily guidance.

“Kris is a hands-on CNO, meeting with guests on a daily basis, always asking what the staff could have done to make their stay more enjoyable,” said Wendy Martin, a nurse whom has worked with Kris over the years. “She is always there to lend a helping hand or offer words of support.”

Starting her career in the Emergency Room 17 years ago, Kris has always had a passion for helping others. As an opportunity for advancement opened, she transitioned out of the ER into a position dealing with quality and standards. As the doors continued to open and her skill sets grew, Kris accepted a position managing an overnight patient care area for Black Hills Surgical Hospital. In 2015, Kris accepted the Chief Nursing Officer position and has found it is her favorite position she has had to date.

“It’s a privilege to support such an exceptional clinical team that has such a high dedication to their profession,” said Kris.

Her entire life, she has always wanted to serve others and help where she could. Along the path of her nursing career, Kris married her husband Ben and has since become a mother of two children (and two dogs). The juggle between helping patients and caring for her family went hand-in-hand, and the stories and memories became countless, but all added up to the joy of helping others.

“There is always such a calming sense of pride when guests and family arrive scared, helpless, and vulnerable, and you get to be the person to help them,” said Kris. “My best memories are from going out of my way to make someone else’s day better.”

This core Kris has kept close to her heart throughout her leadership roles has shined through to those around her, making it enjoyable for her team, too.

“Leadership can be a thankless and tireless, job,” said Wendy. “I want Kris to know she is appreciated and admired by many.”


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