Logistics Health, Inc
There are many ways in which a person might realize they want to become a nurse. Sometimes it’s a desire they’ve had since childhood. Other times, it’s a personal experience where a nurse had such an impact on them that they wanted to do the same great work. For Russell W. Creel, NP-C, it was a combination of things, but largely, it was a calling from God.
The mission of St. Elizabeth School of Nursing, “Continuing Christ’s healing ministry,” aligned with what Russell wanted to do with his life. After volunteering to help a child with disabilities, the nursing path became clear. He began to follow his new passion and a ministry about which he cared deeply.
Russell graduated from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in 2002. He went on to complete a Master of Science in Nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2006. He currently lives in Merrill, Wisconsin and works for Logistics Health, Inc.
Learn more about Russell below!
WHY DID YOU BECOME A NURSE?
I became a nurse in order to become connected to the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and His Church. I wanted to try and make a difference in the lives of the sick and afflicted and to those people with chronic disabilities. Before my wife and I moved to Lafayette, I volunteered to assist with patterning a three-year-old girl with severe cerebral palsy. The child’s father was a nurse. I was inspired by the child’s father but mainly by the smile on the child’s face. Many visits to the Perpetual Adoration Chapel at St. Elizabeth Hospital helped my dream to become a reality. I felt that God was calling me to serve Him by serving others.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM NURSING SCHOOL?
One of my fondest memories of St. Elizabeth School of Nursing would be my first year of clinicals with Anita Reed. She taught us to be prepared to give our best to the patients each day. We had a really small class of students and we supported each other many times. We all wanted to help each other succeed. I remember Anita telling us that when we go into the patient’s room we should be caring for them just like they were our family member. I have never forgotten this lessen and the patients do pick up on your level of caring and compassion.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW NURSES?
Always remain humble and kind. To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late. These are the famous words of Judy Klinker (who was an instructor at St. Elizabeth School of Nursing): “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is inexcusable.” Please become a lifelong learner in order to stay up to date with the latest techniques and treatments. Remain strong in your faith and God will guide you through any obstacle you may encounter.
HOW DID ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
All of the nursing instructors taught me how to critically think, something that is unnatural to most of us. They taught me to be prepared and remain positive. They also taught me that it is ok not to know everything (just don’t let the patient know that) and do not be afraid to ask. They also taught me the value of joyful service and compassionate care.
IF YOU WEREN'T A NUSRE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I think I would be involved in some other healing profession like chiropractic care or physical therapy. It would be great if I could volunteer at a free clinic someday.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE FIELD AFTER YOU COMPLETED YOUR DEGREE?
I worked on the medical/surgical unit at Home Hospital taking care of postoperative patients. This was an excellent training ground for a new nurse and really helped me to get my feet wet. The mentors that I had like Ruth Cress and others taught me the ropes. My manager, Carol Bailey, was very supportive, and I moved into a charge nurse position quickly.
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
I provide compensation exams and physical exams for veterans with disabilities at Logistics Health, Inc.
WHAT DO LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR CURRENT JOB?
To be able to give something back to the men and women that served and sacrificed for our country.
WHAT PATIENT POPULATION DO YOU SERVE?
In my current job I serve the adult population. Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to serve patients along the the entire lifespan ranging from newborn to elderly to dying (birth to death).
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT BEING A NURSE?
The toughest part about being a nurse is not being able to heal everyone. We must learn to give our best through the difficult times and remember that laughter is the best medicine.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AND YOUR NURSING PRACTICE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE SCHOOL'S MISSION OF PREPARING NURSES TO CONTINUE CHRIST'S HEALING MINISTRY?
By continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ, we are called to serve others. Jesus Himself said “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28). To spend our lives in service to others is to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ. This is the school’s mission. The graduates of St. Elizabeth School of Nursing have the opportunity to tell the true story. Through the Sisters of Saint Francis and many other of the Holy Orders throughout the world, The Church continues to provide more care to the sick than any other institution on planet earth.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK?
I enjoy grilling. My son and I hunt on our 40 acres in Merrill, Wisconsin. We also enjoy fishing together as a family. I teach RCIA at our parish and am involved with the Knights of Columbus.