Lindsey Wagenbach, director of nursing at Elim Care in Princeton, is pictured with Elim resident Joyce Quast. Wagenbach was recently named the director of nursing of the year.

Lindsey Wagenbach, director of nursing at Elim Care in Princeton, is pictured with Elim resident Joyce Quast. Wagenbach was recently named the director of nursing of the year.

Wagenbach named nursing director of the year

By: Jeffrey Hage, ECM Publishers, Inc.

Lindsey Wagenbach learned an important lesson while away on vacation earlier this year: You never know what your co-workers might be up to in your absence.

For Wagenbach, the director of nursing at Elim Care in Princeton, she was nominated for a prestigious award while on vacation.

The award is the 2017 Nurse Administrator of the Year award and is presented by the Minnesota Director of Nursing Administration.

“Seven people wrote letters on my behalf,” Wagenbach said of her co-workers.

Reading the nomination letters was an emotional experience for Wagenbach.

“I read them and turned in to a puddle,” she said. “They were so nice.”

Earlier this month, Wagenbach was named the 2017 nurse administrator of the year at a conference in Breezy Point.

Wagenbach said she was surprised – and humbled by the honor.

“There were so many good people nominated this year, “she said.

Wagenbach says her award is really a team award.

“I would no [sic] be able to do my job if it wasn’t for our team,” she said.

Wagenbach is a native of Grand Rapids. As a young girl, it wasn’t a matter of if she’d get into nursing, but when.

The “when” came when she was 16.

“My Mom was a nursing assistant and I like being around people.”  Wagenbach said.

Being a nursing assistant at a care center in Grand Rapids became the ultimate high school job.

After high school, she went on to study nursing in Hibbing.

When she married, it was to a male nurse.

Wagenbach eventually took a job in Anoka where she worked in long-term care and later made the transition into management. The Wagenbachs relocated from the Range to Zimmerman.

The move to Elim Care in Princeton came 3 ½ years ago when Wagenbach answered an ad for a position as director of nursing.

She was attracted to Elim by its Christian affiliation.

When she met the residents and staff at Elim Care, she felt it was a match made in heaven.

“They’re very good to me here,” Wagenbach said.

Wagenbach is also very good for Elim Care.

As part of her job, she oversees the care of all of the residents at Elim Care. There were 106 residents at Princeton Elim Care as of last week, she said.

Wagenbach also makes referrals for additional medical care and assists with staffing.

“The best place to be is here because the care is exceptional,” Wagenbach said.

In addition to serving as Elim Care’s director of nursing in Princeton, Wagenbach has also returned to school to earn her doctorate.

“I want to teach some day so I can impact even more lives,” she said..

Hage, Jeffrey. “Wagenbach named nursing director of the year.” Hometownsource.com, ECM Publishers, Inc., 25 Oct. 2017, www.hometownsource.com/union_times/news/business/wagenbach-named-nursing-director-of-the-year/article_ddeb5d8e-b9a2-11e7-ab99-734dbc7bd0d3.html.

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