Nursing with passion and purpose

LUSK – Ask anyone in nursing if they knew what they were getting into when they went to nursing school and they will unequivocally say absolutely not. But then ask them if they would give it up and you will also get a resounding “no”. Michelle Kremers, BSN, RN is no different. 

Kremers, a Lusk local by way of St. Ignatius, Montana has been working as a nurse for the better part of the last 25 years and while her career hasn’t followed a straight trajectory, her passion for nursing and the role it plays in small town healthcare has never flagged.

Kremers moved to Lance Creek in 1999 when her mom and dad, Monty and Barb Finley purchased a ranch just north of Lance Creek proper. After her first plan to attend an accounting program fell through due to logistics, Kremers saw a newspaper article talking about the CNA class at the local hospital in Lusk. She decided to give it a shot. That choice changed who she would become. Another major event happened in her life around the same time. She met her future husband, Cody Kremers whose family owned the neighboring ranch and who was often around helping Monty out with ranch work. 

After working as a CNA at the hospital in Lusk, she decided she wanted to continue her healthcare career and she moved to Casper to attend Casper College’s nursing program. In 1998 she and Cody married and in the spring of 1999 she graduated with her ADN and passed her nursing boards in July of 1999. As a newly capped nurse, she moved back to Lusk and obtained a position with Prison Health Services working at the Wyoming Women’s Center. 

As her career progressed with PHS, Michelle’s family grew when she and Cody welcomed two biological sons, Caleb and Casey to the family in 2000 and 2001 respectively. Then, in 2005 Michelle left PHS to work at Douglas Memorial hospital. She expanded her nursing experience to include Med-Surg and Emergency Room work. After two years of driving back and forth Michelle was ready to transition to working in Lusk and returned to the Lusk Hospital, then known as Niobrara Health and Life Center. After two years as an ER charge nurse Kremers accepted a position at Corizon Health as the Director of Nursing at the WWC. 

2014 brought many changes to the Kremers family. They experienced the loss of their family home and all their possessions in a house fire which prompted a relocation to a ranch out North by Lance Creek near her mom and dad. That was also the year that she decided to leave Corizon and homeschool their two sons. Coincidentally, their third son, who would join the family through adoption, was born in 2014, though he wouldn’t join them officially for another 18 months.

Even though Kremers had left full time nursing she still felt called into the profession and in 2017 she went back part time and finally accepted a full-time ER charge nurse position at Niobrara Community Hospital in 2018. By this time, the Kremers family had expanded one more time to include another three sons via international adoption, bringing the total in their family to six kids (all boys), three dogs, numerous horses, pigs, chickens and a herd of cattle. As their family dynamics shifted, Kremers found her faith being called in front and center and God showed up in a big way, providing their family with more than they ever could have imagined.

When Kremers wasn’t working a 12 hour shift at the local hospital she was wrangling kids, cattle and pigs (4-H projects). She is also close to her parents who still ranch in Niobrara county and her sisters all of whom are also involved in health care as a nurse and EMTs.

Through all of the changes in her life, family and career, Kremer’s faith in God and her conviction for nursing have remained a constant. As she begins to take this next step in a new direction for her nursing experiences she is looking forward to continuing to serve Niobrara County.

As the new Public Health nurse, starting January 11, Kremers will continue doing what she loves, caring for and serving patients that she knows. One of the elements of nursing that Kremers finds motivating and the most fulfilling is getting to know her patients and knowing that they are being provided with the best care possible. 

The statistics don’t lie and in the United States, rural health systems are often under-staffed, under-served and under-funded, and that was before the resource strains from COVID-19. Knowing that she can help with all of this and do it with a skill set that God has blessed her with is what keeps Kremers centered and focused on continuing to improve herself as a nurse.

She is looking forward to developing relationships with her patients served through public health and to play a key role in the wellness and health of the population. Public health has a unique place in the broader picture of health care that often bridges the gap between primary care and ER care, exactly the place that Kremer’s entire career has been preparing her for.


Video News
More In Home