Heart to Heart International could not function without dedicated volunteers in all aspects of our organization. In honor of National Nurses Week, we are highlighting a few of our amazing nurses who have volunteered or worked with HHI, bringing help and hope to those in need.
For more than a decade, Kimberla Nutting has been volunteering with Heart to Heart International, logging more than 1,000 volunteer hours. She has been to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; Bolivia for a teaching program; Chengdu, China, three times; Haiti three times after the earthquake, Moldova for a supply air drop, and southwest Missouri for flooding. When it was announced that HHI was establishing an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia in 2014, she applied for a position.
“She was hired as a staff nurse, and, due to her experience and leadership, was quickly designated as a lead nurse,” Rick Randolph, HHI Chief Medical Officer, said. “She spent several months in Tappita, Liberia with HHI helping to care for the Liberians in a caring, efficient and safe manner.”
Out of her varied volunteering experiences, Nutting gained lifelong friends, not only from the other volunteers she worked with, but also people in the countries in which she worked.
When she leaves after a volunteer experience, she wonders, “Did I make a difference?” and feels both joy at the positive outcomes and sorrow for leaving the place and the people.
Though she has volunteered in many varied locations, Nutting doesn’t feel anything truly surprised her about her time in any of the places.
“Each experience was unique, heart-warming and endearing to me as it changes how I see myself,” Nutting said.
Nurses are incredibly important in a disaster response, but Nutting believes it’s not a job for everyone.
“The adage that Nurses are the Heart of Healthcare is true,” she said. “Nurses are compassionate and empathetic. Nurses are ready to step into most any situation to provide aid in whatever way they can. However, not all nurses can fill the role in a disaster medical response. There is a calling involved.”
Nutting is happy to help spread the word about her time volunteering, inspiring others to join as well.
“I talk about my experiences with Heart to Heart all over Western Kansas and have had several persons volunteer as a result,” she said.
Nutting currently teaches in an ADN nursing program and loves it, even if it cuts into her ability to volunteer at a moment’s notice. She also continues to practice nursing at the bedside as well, traveling to hospitals around western Kansas on weekends and during the summer.
Thank you, Kimberla, for your amazing work and dedication for Heart to Heart International and for people in need around the world!