Many employees at MRHC have shared that their coworkers feel like family and that the hospital is like a second home. For four employees in particular, it couldn’t be more true. Four of the Jacobsen sisters, Taya Vonnahme, Mikasia, Neeka, and Kamaya Jacobsen work alongside each other in various roles at MRHC.
Taya, the oldest sister, currently serves as the Director of the Recovery Center at MRHC. After becoming a CNA and working at the Plaza throughout high school, Vonnahme received her LPN from Iowa Lakes Community College in 2009. After transitioning to MRHC full time as a discharge planning nurse in 2011, she continued to add jobs to her title until 2015 when she applied to go back to school for her RN. Once she graduated with her associate degree in nursing, she transitioned to a house supervisor at MRHC and obtained her BSN from Walden University in 2018. In 2020, she earned her master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner with support from the MRHC tuition assistance program.
“I knew I wanted to be in healthcare since I was young after watching the impact my family had on people in the community as healthcare providers,” shared Taya, MSN, RN, ARNP, CADC. “Our parents worked for the local EMS, our father worked with the fire department, our uncle works as a paramedic in Carroll County, and our grandmother was a well-known nurse here at Manning Regional. We’ve had a lot of great influences.”
A sentiment that Taya’s sister, Mikasia, echoes when she thinks about what encouraged her to pursue a career in the medical field. “My grandmother was a biginspiration,” said Mikasia, BSN, RN. “She was an ER nurse, and getting to dress up in her scrubs and play with her equipment at home is something I remember fondly.”
Mikasia currently works as a House Supervisor at MRHC. After joining the Carroll County Ambulance as a volunteer in 2016 and completing her EMT in 2017, she decided to start nursing school. She completed her CNA in 2018 and started working at MRHC. Through MRHC’s tuition assistance program, Mikasia received her LPN in 2020, her RN in 2021, and finally, her BSN in 2022.
“MRHC has been a blessing with easing the strain of nursing school by offering me tuition assistance,” Mikasia said. “The relief of not having to worry about affording classes, while in the middle of a pandemic, was another huge weight lifted off my shoulders. My co-workers and supervisors at MRHC were also supportive and pushed me to continue my education.”
In addition to their family members and coworkers being an inspiration for their careers and a solid support system, the sisters have always had, and still have, an important impact on each other.
“My family is for sure my main support through my career choices, but my sisters are my biggest supporters. They are the ones I go to for any decisions or help I need along the way,” said Kamaya. “It was because of my sisters I got the opportunity to work at MRHC.”
Kamaya works as a CNA on the med/surg floor and a counselor tech in the Recovery Center. Two roles that allow her to frequently work alongside her sisters.
“Being able to work with my sisters is one of my favorite things. We have a unique bond that we get to bring into the hospital that tends to bring a lot of laughter and joy to our patients, clients, and coworkers when they experience us working together,” Kamaya said. “We are very close and do many things in our lives together so why would work be any different? We have a love for our community as well as our jobs, making what we do easier as we get to care for many people that we know in some way or another,” Taya added.
Yet another factor that played a large role in the girls choosing their career paths – knowing they could make a difference in the community they grew up in.
“I wanted to help my community in a way that would make an impact,” said Neeka, CADC, a CNA, EMT, and counselor tech in the Recovery Center. Mikasia adds, “there are highs and lows when working in a small town. The lows hit a lot harder as these are the people we have grown up with or have watched grow up themselves. I care a lot for my community, and I hurt when we have a loss. But the highs are worth it. Being able to provide great medical care and seeing progress for our patients is very rewarding. I really enjoy that I can share these experiences with my sisters and that when people come in, they know they can count on one of the Jacobsen/Genzen girls.”
Taya goes on to add that, “this community is where I was raised, and I’ve been shown how important community support is. This [career] is how I can continue to support my community.”
The women also share that, in addition to the support they receive from the community, each other, and their family, they would not be where they are without their team at MRHC.
“MRHC has allowed me to get the opportunity of working in different departments which has helped me expand my knowledge and skills over the last few years,” Kamaya shared.
Neeka adds that “they have helped with studying before licensing tests and have supported me through the transition to various roles throughout the hospital. I like the fun working environment as well as how much support we get.”
Taya points out that “the hospital has developed and changed, offering me different opportunities I never anticipated. My co-workers are truly the best reason to work at MRHC. In addition to that, the flexibility for my family and outside duties are always met.”
Mikasia emphasizes that “my co-workers are great and offer support in both my professional and personal life. I like that I am close to home and get to care for patients I know every day. I know I am where I am needed and that I am doing my part as a nurse to help provide excellent care here at MRHC.”
To join the MRHC team or learn more about the tuition assistance program, visit www.mrhcia.com/careers or call (712) 655-2072 for more information on current job openings.