Show me a sign: sisters answer your questions

Ask a sister: Q&A series with our Franciscan community

Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Dawn Kutt

Q: What attracted you to the nursing field?
A: I have always been interested in the medical field, and in particular, the geriatric population. I began pursuing my interest by volunteering at our local nursing home. During my junior year in high school, I took a certified nursing assistant course and began my employment as a nursing assistant. I am grateful for my time serving as a nursing assistant because I believe it is the core of the nursing profession. I appreciate the work nursing assistants do for me now as I work as a registered nurse.

Q: How have you used your nursing degree after entering religious life?
A: I have continued to use my nursing degree in various capacities, which have all been very fulfilling. I served as the Director of St. Clare Health Mission, a clinic in La Crosse, Wisconsin, that assists individuals who are underinsured or not insured in attaining access to medical care. I have also worked in a variety of nursing roles at our community nursing home, Villa St. Joseph. In November, 2018, I added to my nursing responsibilities as I was elected FSPA mission counselor, taking on responsibility for helping with the governance of our congregation.

Q: What has been your favorite or most inspiring time in ministry?
A: I have been in health care my entire life in various capacities from the emergency room, to obstetrics, to acute care, to nursing home; I have many favorite moments. I have been able to witness the complete cycle of life from birth to death. Each stage of life has its own natural beauty, from the excitement of bringing new life into this world to witnessing a patient die a peaceful death. My entire career has been inspiring, so choosing a favorite would not do justice to the many gifted moments I have experienced, whether they are joyful or during a time of sadness.

Q: What insight would you offer to discerners who are considering combining their desire to work in the medical field and join a religious community?
A: Be authentic to who you are, and follow your heart’s deepest desire.

Did You Know?

By Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Mary Ann Gschwind
The first hospital in Western Wisconsin opened a day earlier than planned, with 35 beds, as three sailors arrived by riverboat in need of care. The doctors and a few Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration trained in nursing opened the hospital on December 31, 1883. Originally named St. Francis Hospital, it is now Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare and is part of a respected network of community-focused hospitals and clinics that serve Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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