"It's in my blood" - instructor Sue Priem retires after 45 years in the nursing profession
Sue Priem shows off one of her quilts as she gets ready to pack up her office.
Southeast Technical nursing instructor Sue Priem may have retired at the end of June this year, but she was busy mentoring the next generation of health care professionals right up to her last week.
Even as she was packing up her office, she was serving as the lead coordinator for Scrubs Camp, a program bringing middle- and high- school students onto the campus to learn about health care careers.
"Scrubs Camp is about hands-on activities so the students will actually learn what health care careers can offer. We need to get young people interested. These professions have the biggest growth potential for jobs," she says.
"Biomedical, medical records, health unit coordinator, massage therapy, radiography, med lab tech - that is where the jobs are going to be. In Scrubs Camps, students learn it's not just doctors and nurses - there are many different roles that people can fill."
Sue Priem first came to Southeast Technical (then Winona Area Vocational-Technical School) in 1970 and to study practical nursing. At that time the college didn't offer a two-year program, so she completed associate degree nursing at RCTC. Once her kids were in school, she advanced her education, earning bachelor's and master's degrees.
3 middle school students "examine" a patient in the college's nursing simulator lab.
"The nursing profession has so many branches. In my career I changed jobs often - but it was usually at one place of employment. I've worked in intensive care, emergency room, employee health nurse, and more."
Eight years ago, she became an educator at Southeast Technical in Winona. She was ready for a career change, and her experience in training on "dummies," such as those used in CPR, made her a natural choice for working with the sophisticated nursing simulation lab equipment at the college.
"I has been a wonderful place to be at the end of my career, seeing new people come up in the profession. As the field grows, nurses must know more and more every year - the newest treatments require more knowledge."
Sue concludes, "You could say I came to Winona to go to school and never left. When it's in your blood you don't just give it up. I may continue to take part-time work in the field, but I'm looking forward to more time for gardening, quilting and reading."
We wish Sue well in her retirement - and thank her for her service to our college and our students!
See the feature article about Sue Priem and Scrubs Camp in the Winona Daily News