Lab Nurse Manager — Steamboat Emergency Center
Hometown: Bailey, CO
Education: ASN from Grossmont College El Cajon, CA — BSN from University of Alaska, Anchorage — Certification in Emergency nursing (CEN) from the BCEN — ENA (Emergency nursing association) member
Years of Experience:16
Melissa, or "Missi," knew from the tender age of two that she wanted to be a nurse.
In 2003 she began her nursing career as a CNA and LVN. These hands-on positions were the perfect platform in which to jumpstart her career as an RN. She found her niche in the ICU at Scripps Mercy Hospital, one of only two Level I Trauma Centers, in San Diego. After receiving extensive training in the ICU she felt the call to explore and further hone her nursing skills as a travel RN. New Mexico, Idaho, Northern California, and Alaska were locales chosen for their well-known excellent fly-fishing, and they did not disappoint! What these areas also provided was an opportunity to utilize the skilled ICU training she obtained at Scripps Mercy Hospital to rural hospitals in these communities. Rural hospitals provided her another type of education in which she learned to provide the same knowledge of critical care with less resources and technology.
After her stint in travel nursing Missi and her husband Wes settled in Alaska where she worked at the large Providence Hospital in Anchorage. It is here where she achieved her proudest career goal of cardiac-thoracic CCRN. By 2009 Missi was craving a new challenge and transitioned to the ER in the remote hospitals of Palmer and Kodiak, Alaska. The ER garnered her the challenge she desired. For only in the ER is there the opportunity to take care of patients of all ages, with a wide range of medical issues, where a rapid, fine-tuned, accurate assessment is imperative in what can be a very unpredictable environment.
Missi and Wes had two lovely children, and an unreal, extreme, life-time experience in Alaska before moving back to her husband’s hometown of Oak Creek, Colorado. Their children are proudly the 6th generation of Klumkers to live in Routt County since the family settled the area in 1912. Missi took her nursing skills over Gore Pass, where those very relatives had homesteaded, to work in Kremmling’s small three bed ED. Most recently, Missi expanded her nursing career to Moffat County to work at The Memorial Hospital of Craig. She has been struck by the friendliness of both communities as they have welcomed her with that famous Colorado hospitality.
She is now honored and excited to provide care in her community at Steamboat’s Emergency Center. She counts herself lucky to have found a place that so readily commingles with her beliefs of what health care can and should be; transparent regarding care options and cost thus allowing patients the autonomy to make informed decisions about their emergency care. Missi was hooked when she learned the facility would be owned and operated by talented, caring, and innovated physicians who were forgoing the typical and antiquated structure of big business hospitals, instead following the creed “we will do the right thing for the patient because it is the right thing to do.”