Who's Who of Professional Women


Karen Morris

With more than five decades of immeasurable experience in her profession, Karen E. Morris is a registered nurse at Creighton University Medical Center, where she has served the downtown and northeast communities of Omaha, Nebraska, for 30 years and counting. Working as a dedicated night nurse, the usually quieter shift allows her to focus more on the people who depend on her and matter the most: her patients.

Laying an early and solid foundation for her future career, Ms. Morris graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Northwest Texas Hospital School of Nursing in Amarillo, Texas. As she steadily advanced in her vocation through years of hard yet rewarding work, she gained exceptional expertise in her positions as a flight nurse and as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse carefully and lovingly tending to countless babies whom she helped to welcome into the world. As an authority, Ms. Morris also contributes to the American Journal of Nursing.

Ms. Morris always wanted to become involved in the health care industry and pursued nursing, in particular, because she always thought that being a nurse would be a great, noble, and worthwhile way to spend her life and earn a living. Growing up very poor, she hardly ever went to a hospital if she got sick, but nurses had always intrigued her. After graduating from high school, Ms. Morris attended Bible school and met a friend there in 1963. Her friend was a licensed practical nurse, who talked her into attending nursing school. However, Ms. Morris felt that she was not smart enough. Yet, her friend encouraged Ms. Morris by telling her that if she, herself, could do it, there was no reason why Ms. Morris could not as well. The critical pep-talk worked, altered the trajectory of Ms. Morris’ life, and resulted in the two young women attending nursing school together, graduating at the same time, and remaining great friends.

Since that pivotal time, Ms. Morris believes her most significant achievement, still, is having gone on to become an excellent registered nurse and accomplishing something that she first thought impossible. Literally soaring to even greater heights despite her initial doubts, she became a flight nurse, regularly riding in a helicopter at night to treat patients for about four years while simultaneously working her usual hospital night shift. Thus, she would often need to call her backup nurse to cover her patients at the hospital so she could leave for medical flights. She recalls this experience as both a highlight and a challenge that gave her an outstanding edge because many other nurses have not had the opportunity to master this exciting area of the profession.

Ms. Morris views her career achievements, in part, as the result of her dedication and willingness to work hard. She is also grateful to her husband whose understanding and support have been constant and key factors in her success.  Most of all, she says she gets her strength from God and prays every day for help to get her through rough times. Among her toughest personal challenges came when, for 15 years, Ms. Morris took care of her husband when he became disabled and depended on a power wheelchair to get around. Adding to her and her family’s plights, nearly two decades ago, her husband and daughter were involved in a horrific car accident, and her daughter became quadriplegic after breaking her neck, yet she did not incur any brain damage, which astounded the doctors, Ms. Morris said.

In the coming years, Ms. Morris’ goal, in sync with her line of work, is to stay healthy. She had always been in good health until just more than a year ago when she developed a heart problem. Fortunately, she is starting to feel better and hopefully expects to continue her track to wellness, sometimes using her hobbies of cross-stitching and making other crafts to relax. Ms. Morris advises nurses and everyone in any profession to take care of themselves, be dedicated, and make sure the career they are in is what they truly want to do.


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