NCC Nursing Alumni Working Through the Pandemic

“Northwest Iowa Community College is a progressive learning college, rapidly responding to the global needs of our changing communities.” One of the numerous ways NCC responds to community needs is training quality healthcare workers to fill various roles in the healthcare system. NCC educates a large number of healthcare professionals in Northwest Iowa. In fact, more than 1,300 nurses have received their education from NCC, many of whom work in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and various facilities in and around Northwest Iowa. At the time these individuals chose a nursing career, many did not realize they would one day be rapidly responding to the needs of a global pandemic.

By now COVID-19 is beginning to feel like a normal part of daily life. Although the pandemic has had an impact on everyone, touched every industry, and changed the way all of us work, interact with others and live, it has especially affected those in healthcare. We have heard many of these stories from our nursing graduates. NCC is proud of our numerous alumni that continue to face the risks and deal with the inconveniences of this disease day in and day out, and we are pleased to highlight a few of our outstanding nursing graduates.

Wendy Heickes, a 2008 Associate Degree Nursing graduate, is currently employed as a Registered Nurse at Floyd Valley Hospital. Though she has worked as a nurse for over a decade, Wendy has never had to deal with the amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required or the large increase in restrictions she is required to abide by. Despite these inconveniences, Wendy loves her role as a nurse and is glad she can be there for her patients during these especially difficult times. Wendy’s success is our story!

Sara Steinback, a 2014 Associate Degree Nursing graduate, developed a passion for nursing at an early age. Her grandmother was a nurse for over 30 years and served as Sara’s inspiration to carry on the family legacy. Currently Sara is employed with Nextaff and Favorite Healthcare Staffing and rotates at various healthcare facilities within the region that are not adequately staffed. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sara has dealt with PPE shortages, “COVID-positive” patients under quarantine and the stress of patients not being able to see a familiar smiling face behind all of the PPE that is required. “Regardless of all of these circumstances, I am very proud to be a nurse and extremely proud to be an NCC alumna,” shared Sara. Sara’s success is our story!

Greg Scholten, a 2016 Associate Degree Nursing graduate, is currently employed at Cherokee Mental Health Institute. Greg began his nursing career later in life when he switched from manufacturing to the healthcare industry. He chose to become a nurse due to the high occupational demand, the job stability and the opportunity to truly help others. Greg feels that the most rewarding part of his role as a nurse in the mental health system is seeing patients come in ill, caring for them and eventually watching them leave as productive members of society. The importance of mental health has gained more attention as of late, and Greg feels fortunate to be able to help his patients during these times of mental unrest. Greg’s success is our story!

Taylor Schettler, a 2019 Associate Degree Nursing graduate, will never forget the first year of her career in the healthcare industry. She was eager to graduate in the spring of 2019, sit for the NCLEX boards and officially begin her role as a Registered Nurse. Little did she know, she would be facing the COVID-19 pandemic less than one year into her career.

Taylor currently serves as a Registered Nurse for Sanford Health in Worthington, MN. Taylor always knew she wanted to pursue a career in nursing. Her sister Kendra, a 2014 graduate of NCC’s Nursing program, served as a great example for Taylor. Kendra’s wonderful experience in the Nursing program at NCC solidified Taylor’s decision of where she would attend. Although her first year working as a Registered Nurse is not at all like she pictured it to be, Taylor is proud to have achieved her dream of becoming a nurse. “I am so proud to be an NCC alum. Without NCC, I would not be doing what I love!” she shared. Taylor’s success is our story!

Information relating to COVID-19 is constantly changing, new requirements and policies are popping up left and right, and there are many unanswered questions revolving around the virus, but one thing is for certain: the nurses trained at Northwest Iowa Community College are passionate, proud of their work and prepared to take on anything life brings their way, including rapidly responding to a global pandemic.

To find out more call 800-352-4907, email, or visit our website at  At NCC – Your Success is Our Story!