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Housekeeping to Nursing: Desiree Carnahan’s KSB Journey Comes Full Circle

Desiree’s healthcare journey began in 2011 while working in the KSB housekeeping department. At the time, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to pursue as a career, but enjoyed talking with patients while cleaning their rooms. “I would see the nurses and CNAs care for the patients, and one day, it hit me that I wanted to become an RN,” recalls Carnahan. “I went into an empty patient room and started to cry because I finally knew what I wanted to do! A nurse came in and asked if I was okay, and I explained that I wanted to be a nurse but was afraid because I wasn’t sure I was smart enough to do it. She looked me in the eye and said, ‘Just shut up and do it’!”

That eye-opening experience gave Desiree the confidence to pursue her CNA and work on the MedSurg floor while taking prerequisites. After graduating from an LPN program in 2015, she accepted a position in the Pediatric Clinic and, in 2017, became the Pediatric Care Coordinator. “It was an honor caring for children and their families,” says Carnahan. “I loved my job and thought I would always be in Pediatrics, but going back for my RN was always my main goal.”

Fast forward to December 2022. Desiree began on the Medical Surgical Floor, then graduated in May 2023 with her Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, Cum Laude, and was inducted to Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society.

“I passed my nursing boards (NCLEX) in July and am very excited to finally, after 12 years, be an RN,” says Carnahan. “I have learned so much and genuinely enjoy caring for patients and their families. It’s gratifying when they are appreciative. My career with KSB has come full circle!”

She remembers many KSB employees and leaders who have been motivating, helpful, and encouraging throughout her journey. “Dr. Nag, former CMO and Pediatrician, was always such an amazing influence on me,” adds Carnahan. “Connie O’Brien, Bert Kelser, Jessica Dowdall, and Monica Cronk were always encouraging and there for me when I needed them. Retha Elston inspired me to become an RN, and I now work with her! Many others have helped and guided me through the years, so thank you to everyone who helped me achieve my goals.”

Desiree hopesto obtain her BSN (and possibly MSN) eventually. Right now, she is enjoying patient care and ponders the possibility of management down the line. “Right now, I am just happy to be Desiree, RN!”

“Professional growth and development doesn’t just happen,” says HR Talent Manager Natalie Winebaugh. “Moving forward in your career takes a lot of time, energy, passion, sacrifice, and commitment. Desiree is a great example of these traits. We are very proud of Desiree and know she will take great care of our patients in her new role.”