Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Work at Madonna inspires nurse aide to become registered nurse

February 08, 2022

At Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals, we don’t just say we have core values. The staff goes above and beyond daily to live out the core values: collaboration, hospitality, respect, innovation, stewardship and teaching. For Michaela Aulner, RN, the mission to be an embodiment of those core values drew her to Madonna and even led her to make a career change. As a nurse aide for two and a half years, Michaela originally planned to move on to medical school, but quickly fell in love with the opportunities rehabilitation nursing can provide.

“I think what doctors do is awesome, but I just knew that for me personally, being able to walk with patients day in and day out through their rehabilitation, was more my passion,” Aulner said.

Michaela’s heart for service is evident in every interaction she has with her patients. In 2020, while working as a nurse aide, she bonded with a COVID-19 survivor who reminded her of her grandfather, who had just passed away from the disease.

Patients like Gary West inspired Aulner to return to school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the accelerated nursing program. She knew she wanted to continue to form long-term bonds and trust with patients in the way that only rehabilitation nursing allows, while also using her clinical skills to care for high-acuity patients.

“What I love about Madonna is that we get to walk with the patient every single day,” Aulner said. “I get to be someone who helps to empower them and let them know they can do what they set their mind to. I can help them to feel comfortable and trust me because I’m there the entire time as they get better.”

In her new role as a registered nurse, Aulner says she’s excited for new collaboration, innovation and teaching opportunities.

“I am looking forward to being a leader on the unit,” Aulner said. “It’s great being able to help find solutions to solve patients’ problems and be that person who others can come to, knowing it’s a safe space to ask questions. Anything I can do to help because that ultimately allows us to provide the best care possible for our patients and their families.”

Congratulations Michaela, and to all of our 2021 nursing graduates who will be continuing their careers at Madonna!

If you are a recent nurse graduate or a seasoned nurse looking for a new career opportunity, Madonna just might be the place for you. Check out our job opportunities at today!

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