Ali Krause, RN, BSN, joined the Department of Psychiatry in May 2020 after working at Nebraska Medicine in Bellevue for seven years in the Emergency Department and Medical Surgical Floor. This year, she was nominated for Nebraska Medicine’s Spirit of Nursing Award, which goes to one nurse each year, who has been a leader in promoting and improving the quality of care, contributing to a positive work environment and fostering a learning environment for students and peers.
What made you apply at UNMC/Nebraska Med?
I graduated from nursing school in 2013 from a small town/community and dreamed of working for an organization that would allow me to learn and test my knowledge. My options were pretty limited in Beemer, Nebraska. My dream was to be a trauma flight nurse until I saw the small space of the helicopter and realized how motion sick I get on planes. I toured the Nebraska Medicine main campus, and I was overwhelmed by how big it was. I come from a village, which has about 700 people with no stoplights, so one floor on the main campus was bigger than our village. I had a friend recommend the Bellevue Campus as it was smaller, more homey, but still had opportunity to learn and see many different aspects of nursing. I started on the Medical Surgical floor for about three years and then transferred to the ER and worked there until I took this position in May 2020.
What made you want to work in psychiatry and behavioral health?
I had a beautiful baby boy in February 2019 and life was wonderful until I spiraled into postpartum depression. I was embarrassed, but I thought I could handle it myself and honestly didn’t know the resources available for help. I thought ‘If I feel this way, how do those who are not medically educated feel?’ This inspired me to check in on all of the mamas I could, educate them and let them know they’re not alone and how common PPD is. When I finally discussed this with my family I learned that we have a family history of untreated depression/anxiety/mental health issues. When this position opened, I felt called to learn more, help more, and do as much as I could to advocate for those with mental illness.
What were your thoughts when you saw you were nominated for the Spirit of Nursing Award?
My first thought was ‘Oh my goodness, how sweet of someone to nominate me.’ Then I read through the description of the award and I teared up. As nurses, we want to help, and do as much as we can to make sure our patients and co-workers are taken care of. I don’t do this job to get awards or to be recognized, but when I got nominated it made me feel a sense of accomplishment. I must be doing something right.
Note: The winner of the Spirit of Nursing Award will be handed out on May 12.
What do you enjoy about working in the Department of Psychiatry?
There is a mile-long list of things I enjoy about working in the Psychiatry Department. First and foremost, would be the teamwork and communication that happens daily in our clinic. We are very good about helping each other through tough cases, covering when someone is gone, calling and messaging to check in after a rough phone call, and recognizing each other for the great work we do.
This is the first place I have worked where everyone looks you in the eye, says hello and good morning with a smile – even under a mask. I have worked for a couple different departments that are busy, like ours, but they do not take the time to stop and say hello or ask ‘how are you?’ or ‘how are the kids?’ This department truly cares about each of their staff members and it shows by how happy everyone is. I also love how much this department cares for everyone in the community with fundraisers, volunteering, giving back and making awareness of mental illness!
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to be outdoors. Boating, swimming, the zoo, hiking with our son and dogs and playing co-ed volleyball and softball. My husband and I are foodies, so we enjoy trying new restaurants and food, when we get the chance. We have naturally turned into home bodies, due to COVID, but that has helped us tackle some house projects. We love the Lord, we cheer loud for the HUSKERS. we’re a fun-filled and blessed family!