16:08 PM

Heart of Nursing: Joyce Engelhardt, St. Vincent Healthcare


Billings, MT - A small stature of 4 feet, 9 inches never once stopped Joyce Simko Engelhardt from pursuing her calling to serve others. Volunteering as a candy striper and later heading off to nursing school were merely confirmations of God’s plan for her life. Upon graduating from high school, Engelhardt enlisted [or tried] in the Army but was turned away due to the height restrictions.

“I always joked I could easily identify 10-year-old boys because I was the same height as many of them,” said Engelhardt.

After nursing school, Engelhardt worked on the medical-surgical floor where she built a career and a family. However, she couldn’t resist, and applied for the Army Reserves where she knew her height would be waived. Retiring in 2013 after nearly 30 years of service, Engelhardt is now considered a veteran and is in her 43rd year of nursing at St. Vincent Healthcare. As a nurse in the orthopedic department, she enjoys the variety of patients she serves.

“Everyone has a story before they arrive at St. Vincent’s,” said Engelhardt. “Besides their injuries, I don’t know what else is going on in the patient’s life. My goal is to care for each patient unconditionally because ultimately, I see patients at their worst. I take it as a challenge. I’m able to turn their mood around and build a rapport with the patient.”

For full story visit the Billings Gazette's website.

About SCL Health

SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health of the people and communities we serve. Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in 1864, our health network provides comprehensive, coordinated care through eight hospitals, more than 180 physician clinics, home health, hospice, mental health, and safety-net services in Colorado and the Montana Wyoming region.