Nurses Week 2021: 100 Great Iowa Nurses

Each year, the 100 Great Iowa Nurses program asks for patients, coworkers, friends, and family members to nominate an outstanding nurse for recognition.

After undergoing a two-part review process, 100 Great Iowa Nurses are honored at a ceremony created for the state of Iowa by nurse and community leaders.

Nearly a quarter of the 2021 honorees work for UI Health Care. Congratulations to our 22 outstanding nurses who received this prestigious recognition and were honored during a virtual celebration held on May 2, 2021. Below are excepts from each nomination.

Katie Bulin, BSN, RN, MBA, CEN

Nurse Manager, UI Community Clinics


“Katie is constantly seeking first to understand and always has the patient at the root of all decisions. She is always compassionate towards the situations that arise amongst our patients. She is never quick to judge, and is always looking for ways to best support our patients.”






Maja Campbell, BSN, RN, CPN

Staff Nurse, Pediatric Medical-Surgical Inpatient Unit


“Maja is a consistent positive voice on the unit, working to both build unit morale and unity through activities such as organizing outings and being a staff representative on unit council.”







Lastascia Coleman, MSN, ARNP, CNM

Clinical Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology


“Lastascia is a calm wind in a turbulent sea. She is a fierce advocate for what she believes in and who she believes in. There is no one specific event that prompted me to nominate her. Instead, it is the everyday battle she wages to break down barriers for birthing people of color. Lastascia navigates academia with grace and quietly meets her goals.”





Tiffany Dill, BSN, RN

Staff Nurse and Care Coordinator, Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Lab


“Tiffany rises above standard care in her role to assist families. She is consistently and frequently stepping in to take care of any patient need no matter what day of the week or time of day.”






Stephanie Edmonds, PhD, MPH, RN

Nurse Scientist, Office of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice


“Dr. Edmonds concern for humanity is demonstrated through extraordinary care and compassion, and more broadly through her work disseminated through traditional and social media, which has had a profound impact on countless practicing clinicians and improved the care of innumerable patients.”






Jennifer Erdahl, MSN, RN, CCRN-K

Nurse Manager, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit


“Jennifer has excelled in family-centered care and has been an advocate for patients and families. She had the vision to start the first Family Centered Committee for the unit with a mission of supporting the emotional needs of parents with a critically ill child. She chaired the committee for years while mentoring staff nurses to eventually take leadership of the committee. She also works very closely with the staff from the Ronald McDonald House Charities and made it possible to have dedicated Family Rooms on the unit. Her collaboration with the staff ensures that families have a place to recharge, grab a warm meal, shower, or rest.”



Himena Harris, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, CPNP

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery


“Himena was the first Advanced Registered Nurse Practitoner hired in the Otolaryngology department at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Through her dedication and tireless efforts she was able to demonstrate the essential role Advance Registered Nurse Practitioners play within a physician team; this success has resulted in the expansion of Advanced Practice Providers in the department; which in turn has lead to great patient outcomes and care.”



Sara Lynn Hogan, BSN, RN

Nurse Clinician Specialty, Heart and Vascular Center


“Sara is able to establish excellent rapport with the patients. Patients clearly trust her judgment. Given her positive attitude, they always feel at ease calling her when they have questions or concerns. She treats everyone of them as if they are family.”






Stephanie Horn, BSN, RN, VA-BC

Pediatric Vascular Access Nurse Clinician, Hematology, Oncology & Blood and Marrow Transplant


“Stephanie is an extraordinary nurse who contributes to patients and the profession of nursing every day by improving the care provided. She does this through the individualized care she directly provides as well as through systematic, more organization-wide quality improvement projects and policy development. Stephanie is able to make a lasting difference in the quality of the individualized care she provides to women and children in an area that they fear the most.”




Rachel Wichmann Hottel, MSN, RN, NPD-BC

Nursing Practice Leader, Nursing Clinical Education Center


“Rachel exemplifies the professional and clinical role model for new employees. She cares deeply about her orientees. She takes interest in each one, and learns their names immediately on the first day of class; she is their tireless advocate. She connects with them by telling the engaging, lesson-rich clinical stories from which they can learn. New staff relates very well to her and look up to her as a nurse with much knowledge to share with them. She has influenced many NA orientees to consider and achieve higher advanced roles in health care.”




Nick Klein, BSN, RN, CCRN

Staff Nurse, Medical Intensive Care Unit


“Nick is someone who shows nothing but compassion for his patients. With the start of COVID our hospital had to put a restriction on visitors. This prompted Nick to actively spend more time with his patients. Instead of hanging out at the nurses station during his free time, he now tries to spend that time with his patients. If his patients are unable to communicate, Nick will ask families about the patient so he can talk to them about things they enjoy or play their favorite TV show or music. This allows Nick to really bond with his patients and lessens the loneliness they can experience when their family cannot visit.”



Rachel Krueger, BSN, RN, CNRN

Assistant Nurse Manager, Neuroscience Inpatient Unit


“Rachel’s most significant innovative contribution to the nursing profession is her work educating and mentoring nurses and nursing assistants on care for neuroscience patients. She role models and sets the expectations to provide quality patient care for her staff. The unit’s patient satisfaction scores on nurse attitude and attention to patient needs exceeded the benchmark.”





Ann Mason, BSN, RN, RNC-LRN

Nurse Clinician, Continuity of Care Program, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


“Ann’s genuine concern for humanity is present in her everyday work as a nurse care coordinator. She has an innate ability to make each parent feel like their infant is her only patient. Being a nurse, who routinely cares for medically fragile infants in the NICU, is often stressful and challenging. It takes a special nurse who has the patience and heart to go the extra mile to ensure these families can successfully care for their infants at home so that they grow and achieve their developmental milestones, and Ann is simply one of the best!”



Elizabeth Moore, BSN, RN, MBA

Associate Director, Heart and Vascular Center


“Elizabeth is the true definition of servant leader when it comes to nursing at UIHC and the UI Heart and Vascular Center (HVC). She works tirelessly and endlessly to promote the HVC’s 9 sub-specialties across the inpatient, outpatient and outreach settings while continuously seeking to improve patient centered care through the creation of trusting, collaborative relationships across all institutional levels. She never says no to a challenge or a project (even if outside her scope or comfort zone), and her positive influence is palpable. She is passionate about nursing; fostering the education and expansion of knowledge of nursing staff; and developing future nursing leaders.”


Sarah Pflederer, BSN, RN, CCRN

Assistant Nurse Manager, Medical Intensive Care Unit


“Day in and day out she was both a bedside nurse and a manager, meeting the needs of our patients, fellow Iowans, and our institution. One of the many positive characteristics of Sarah is that she truly is concerned about her leadership strategies to ensure that staff feel connected and appreciated in MICU. Her shared vision is that the staff feel valued and are successful in delivering quality patient care in the MICU.”




Kara Prickett, MSN, RN, NPD-BC

Nursing Practice Leader, Nursing Clinical Education Center


“Kara is known for her innovation and nimble thinking-outside the box approach to challenges. Kara’s most significant contribution to the profession to date is her major role in the idea for, development of, and implementation of the NEd app for nursing, and now respiratory care, education. This online platform is superior to placing information on a site which can only be accessed through the intranet and cannot be placed on smartphones. Kara is presently leading an effort to fund the expansion of NEd to share with other disciplines at UIHC as well as external organization.”




Nikita Rohr, BSN, RN, CPN

Nurse Clinician, Continuity of Care Program, Discharge Nurse Coordinator, Pediatric Medical-Surgical Inpatient Unit


“Nikita is seen as a trusted expert with anticipating needs for patients/families to help facilitate a smooth transition from hospital to home. Nikita always is willing to lend a hand and makes each person that she encounters feel like they are her only patient.”





Min Seo, MSN, RN, PCCN

Assistant Nurse Manager, Respiratory Specialty and Comprehensive Care Inpatient Unit


“Ms. Seo’s patient care and work ethic is incredible. In addition to showing concern for humanity through extraordinary care and compassion she goes above and beyond to mentor her staff to do the same even during challenging times.”






Jessica Stelle Swab, BSN, RN, CCRN

Staff Nurse, Medical Intensive Care Unit


“Jess takes the time to find out what is important to patients and keeps a mental note of it. She goes above and beyond to ensure that her patients are comfortable and cared for. Jess is an advocate not only for her patients, but also for the safety of her peers, and always encourages people to utilize their safe patient handling resources. If her fellow staff members are unsure of the best way to safely move a patient, they often turn to Jess to help them troubleshoot a safe and effective solution.”




Judy Swafford, BSN, RN, ONC

Nurse Clinical Coordinator, Orthopedic Clinics


“Judy is the nurse leader that every team desires. She exemplifies what nursing does so well: she thinks holistically, strives to promote patient health, and she truly understands the art and science of health care and critical thinking. Every day she presents herself to work with a positive attitude and an incredible work ethic. She works tirelessly despite times of adversity, continual changes and limited resources. She leads with quiet confidence, humbleness and a desire to always do the right thing. Her commitment to the orthopedic department is invaluable, and her diligent work ethic is so valued by our entire orthopedic team.”



Sarah Wellsandt, MSN, RN

Assistant Nurse Manager, Burn Trauma Center


“Sarah works tirelessly to make sure our staff have the tools and resources they need to provide the best care for our patients on the Burn/Trauma Unit. Sarah leads by example. She is quick to be at the bedside of our most challenging patients to be a resource to the bedside nurse. She is an amazing teacher and utilizes every available minute to do so when she is orienting a new nurse or educating our current team.”





Nicole Wiltfang, BSN, RN, CCRN

Assistant Nurse Manager, Medical Intensive Care Unit


“Nikki is a mom, a graduate student and an assistant nurse manager in our very busy MICU. She epitomizes working tireless, beating horrendous demands and creating initiatives to promote the health and comfort of others as well as being an outstanding critical care nurse in 2020. She consistently provides education, system change improvements, encouragement and assistance.”