A registered nurse at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center has received the highest academic honor to come from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.
Darci Goeden, who is also a nursing instructor at Central Lakes Community College in Brainerd, was recently honored with the Excellence in Teaching Educator of the Year Award.
“I have the best of both worlds as a nurse and an educator. I can share my passion for patient care with my students and be a mentor and a role model for them,” Goeden said. “All my life, I’ve tried to put myself in other people’s shoes. And that’s what patient care is all about — getting to know your patients, anticipating their needs and providing the highest quality care while treating them with respect and compassion.”
Goeden has worked at St. Joseph’s since 1997 and has worked in almost every department — medical/surgical, intensive care, telemetry, pediatrics, obstetrics, infusion therapy, mental health and same-day surgery.
She began her teaching career as a part-time instructor at Central Lakes College in 2002 and moved into a full-time role in 2004 after earning her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix. Goeden then scaled back her work hours at St. Joseph’s.
“Health care is an ever-changing field, so it’s critical that I keep current with my nursing skills. My work as a nurse makes me that much better as an educator,” Goeden said. “Being at St. Joseph’s also makes me that much more credible with students. I know the doctors, the nurses, even the computer system. I know how things work. Having that great working relationship between the college and the hospital benefits my students as well.”
Goeden’s colleagues at St. Joseph’s have nothing but praise for her engagement and her energy. “Darci is an excellent clinical nurse, bringing both knowledge and compassion to our healthcare team,” says St. Joseph’s Chief Nursing Officer Pat DeLong. “We are very fortunate to have her in our community, instilling these same values in our future workforce.”
Goeden said she believes in teaching her patients, along with her students. “It’s important that we teach our patients how to live healthier lives and take a holistic approach to their care,” she says. “Ultimately, we are a service industry and we need to be providing the best possible service, which is the care our patients receive.”