Claudia Schneller, RN
Gundersen Lutheran Health System
La Crosse, Wisconsin
NATIONAL WINNER
2003 CHEROKEE INSPIRED COMFORT AWARD

Claudia Schneller, RN

Care Manager Claudia Schneller mentors nurses to make a positive difference.

Claudia Schneller, RN, nearly will go to any length to help mentor her 1,100 colleagues at Gundersen Lutheran Health System, in La Crosse, Wis. A care manager with the hospital’s orthopedic-neurology-neurosurgery unit, Claudia is driven to make a positive difference in patients’ lives. Her innovative approach to clinical challenges has led to improvements in patient care. She discovered that if patients began exercising in bed almost immediately after orthopedic surgery, far fewer would pass out or have nausea when they began leaving their beds and would have superior outcomes from physical therapy. This post-surgical exercise now is the standard on the 32-bed unit.


It is often stated that nursing is the art of caring. I do believe this statement. But Claudia is the intelligence and critical thinker that must come first before the art of caring. She exemplifies extreme knowledge in her practice, and young and old nurses seek her out for teaching, mentoring and classroom education.
- Edie Sue Kubicek          
Winner's Nomination

Claudia Schneller's nomination was submitted by Edie Sue Kubicek, RN, La Crosse, Wisconsin:

I am choosing to nominate Claudia Schneller for this award because she is a selfless, giving nurse who has practiced for over 22 years and provides her clients exceptional care and is a walking educational dictionary. I have the honor of working with her when I do some patient care on the orthopedic/neuro/neurosurgery unit at our facility.

I have known Claudia for about 10 years, and she has been a mentor and educational preceptor for me since I began to learn nursing. She continues this role for all of our new hires to the unit, and sees it as a mission to help them succeed in today’s shortage. This is a skill that all nurses need to have and stay aware of to keep there young enthused and learning.

She is a role model on our 32-bed medical/surgical unit and is extremely educated and well versed in teaching nurses and patients the art of nursing and care delivery. It is often stated that nursing is the art of caring. I do believe this statement. But Claudia is the intelligence and critical thinker that must come first before the art of caring. She exemplifies extreme knowledge in her practice, and young and old nurses seek her out for teaching, mentoring and classroom education. She comes from the diploma era of nursing. She proves you do not have to have a master’s in nursing to practice at an extremely high educational level.

Claudia coordinates many activities for nursing in our system. She is on the educational council and will serve as president of this council in 2003. She sits on the unit education committee and teaches new orientee classroom instruction. The committee involvement is endless for her. She partners with the facility to provide physical assessment classes and the ICU to help their new employees. She is an expert in neuro and pulmonary care. She is often called to go to other units to help them understand a procedure and to teach clients when needed. Her boundaries are unparalleled, and she will go anywhere to help a nurse or patient in our 325-bed facility. She thrives on being a mentor and teacher to nurses and clients.

I have often felt that nursing and our facility got very lucky because Claudia chose to be a nurse and not an educator. I guess that is the beauty of nursing … we can be pastoral care, educators, social workers, teachers, caregivers, parents and friends to all we touch. In nursing we serve many roles that combine to make one amazing profession. Claudia practices every one of these roles and then some. It should be the mission of every nurse in our organization to model nursing through the eyes and under the direction of Claudia Schneller.

Thank you for creating such a unique award and giving me the opportunity to nominate this incredible RN.

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