When Army veteran Kalli Koepplin was surprised with a $5,000 military and veteran scholarship from Sanford Health, it meant the world.
“Grad school is expensive. To have that scholarship really eased a lot of stress,” Kalli says. “For Sanford to honor veterans even though they don’t have to, is quite huge.”
Already a full-time RN case manager and clinical lead at the Good Samaritan Society – Robbinsdale Home Health in Minnesota, the 26-year old is striving for more. She’s currently studying for her MSN through the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.
“I love school. I love learning,” Kalli says. “In my free time I love researching nursing anything. Right now, I’m going to get my master’s in nursing leadership and management.”
Understanding and supporting servicemembers
Hiring veterans like Kalli and providing them with opportunities for growth is a high priority for the Society and Sanford Health. The integrated health system is especially interested in finding and developing nurses who come with a military background.
Flexible scheduling, development grants and differential pay are just a few of the ways the organizations are trying to attract veterans or those actively serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Kalli's own team features several other veterans, some of which are on active duty in the reserves. She and her fellow Society leaders are willing to do whatever it takes to support their service to the country.
“Army values are so instilled in me to this day, and I can carry that over into my nursing practice and my personal life. I really think everyone should experience something like that,” Kalli says.
Welcome veterans 'with open arms'
Values that now help Kalli provide quality care for her clients.
“Integrity is a huge one. Honor. Our nurses need that,” Kalli says. “Military people really have a different set of values and we really should welcome them with open arms for those reasons. It can really upgrade the workplace culture."
Sanford Health has been recognized by the Military Times’ “Best for Vets Employers List” and is a Military Friendly Employer for the third year in a row.
Over the past year, the organization has hired more than 100 nurses who are veterans.