ER nurse commits to learning about nursing education

Susan Kock's interest in nursing sparked near the end of high school after watching a close family member battle an illness.

posted on 5/8/2024 in Features

By Sarah Stortz, Carroll Times Herald

Saying the family member is doing well now, Kock said the experience led her to wanting more knowledge in providing care.

Susan Kock, RN“One of my classmates was actually going to go to nursing school and I thought ‘What a wonderful thing to do,’” Kock said. “So I applied and I went to nursing at Mercy [College of Health Science] in Des Moines.”

It turned out to be a “wonderful thing” for Kock, as she currently works as an Emergency Room nurse in Carroll.

Since graduating from nursing school, Kock worked at St. Anthony Regional Hospital, where she’s stayed ever since. First starting out in the medical surgical unit in 2006, Kock moved on to the ER in 2007.

For her healthcare position, Kock said she appreciates how closely she works with the patients.

“I felt like there was just a deeper connection that you could develop with your patient as a nurse,” Kock said. “Relationships and connections are always things that I felt very strongly about developing.”

A part of working in the emergency room, Kock said, is not knowing what will happen during the day.

It also involves [working] with a great medical, nursing, and interdisciplinary team that works so well together,” Kock said. “It’s like having an extended family.”

While Kock enjoys coming to the hospital every day, she also acknowledged it can be difficult for the patients.

“I get to choose to come to work,” Kock said. “It’s very much a privilege, I’m honored to come to work and provide that care, but I know when the patient comes in, that they’re having their worst day, so just being able to listen to them and provide comfort to them when they’re having that worst day is very meaningful for me.”

Over the course of her career, Kock has seen a shift in others going into nursing. When she started, Kock said the programs always had a waiting list and there weren’t as many positions available.

“Now, the generational gaps have kind of started to occur and now we’re kind of in a deep need for nursing professions,” Kock said. “I encourage anyone who wants to become a nurse to give it a try. Nursing has expanded significantly than it did when I started, so if you don’t like something that you’re doing, the opportunities to try something else within nursing is so vast and so huge.”

On top of her nursing duties, Kock also teaches a variety of life support classes, trauma nursing core courses, as well as department-based education between the ER and ICU.

Kock also made the initiative in furthering her nursing education. In 2017, she obtained her bachelor’s in nursing from [school]. Currently, Kock said she’s nearing completion of her master’s degree in nursing education, anticipating to complete her degree this upcoming December.

Her goal is to provide more nursing education, although she plans to continue with direct care as well.

“It’s really hard to give up that connection with the patient, so I plan on sticking around,” Kock said.

Her husband is Joe Kock, who works at Ace Hardware and runs The Mythic Conclave, a local game store in Carroll. Their oldest son, Caden, serves in the U.S. Air Force and is currently stationed in the United Kingdom. Their youngest son, Corbin, is a student at Carroll Middle School.


  1. emergency department
  2. nursing
  3. rn

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