Dan Bechtold/ Winner Advocate Photo
Stefanie Nelson, right, is the new director of nursing at Winner Regional long term care facility. She is pictured with Jaylyn Jeffords, CNA and med aide. Nelson is an employee of Winner Regional Health.
By Dan Bechtold
Stefanie Nelson is the new director of nursing at Winner Regional Long Term Care Center.
Moving from south Florida to South Dakota in the winter was quite a shock to the nurse. She came to Winner in November as a traveling nurse and liked it so much she decided to accept a full time position at Winner Regional Health in January.
“I wanted to more invested, more engaged in the facility and that is why I agreed to come on as a full time employee,” she said.
Her goals are working on staff development and census development.
She plans to network with the community and is trying to have different community events on a monthly basis.
Nelson reached out to a law firm in Sioux Falls to give a talk on elder law. This firm does work in Winner.
She explained the lawyer will teach persons how they can protect their assets and be good financial stewards of their loved one’s money.
“I think the biggest barrier why people do not put their loved ones in a long term care center is that it is expensive,” Nelson said.
There has been no date set for this lecture on elder law.
Nelson has been working in long term health are for 15 years. The last seven years she has been in Florida working in a centers in Jupiter and Boca Raton.
Prior to going into long term care nursing she was a charge nurse for 7,000 inmates at prison in Maryland. Prior to working in prison care, she had worked in a hospital for 10 years.
Originally from Maryland, she received an associate degree in nursing and then went back to school and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix.
She has a master’s in health care information and informatics from University of Phoenix.
Nursing was not her first choice for a profession. She was studying law and had a full scholarship to Hood College in Maryland. She became a paralegal to see if she liked the law field.
Her first job was with an international patent law firm in Arlington, Va. and she did not like it.
Nelson then went to work for Frederick County Commissioners in Maryland and then decided to transition into nursing.
Her first job out of nursing school was as a director of nursing for developmentally delayed adults.
Her next job to her to prison heath care. “I learned a lot at the prison and I feel that was instrumental in my growth,” she said.
Nelson explained at the prison they did not have a lot of equipment so persons needed to rely on their assessment skills.
Nelson is settling into her new position in Winner and getting used to South Dakota weather.