Betsy Carlson Celebrates a Remarkable 55 Years of Service at MeritCare

Betsy Carlson has seen many changes during her 55-years as a Registered Nurse at MeritCare, but one thing that has never changed is the focus on patient care.

Betsy Carlson has seen many changes during her 55-years as a Registered Nurse at MeritCare, but one thing that has never changed is the focus on patient care.

Many patients have come to trust her dedication and ask for her by name. "Patients always say that I really run a tight ship," she says.
Betsy feels the most rewarding aspects of her career have been the strong relationships she has built with countless patients, sometimes watching them grow from children into adults and later treating their children as well.

A native of Nekoma, N.D., Betsy always knew she wanted to be a nurse. Her parents, however, encouraged her to pursue teaching. Walking the three-quarters of a mile to the mailbox to send in her teaching application one day, she realized she needed to pursue her dream. She walked back home, set her application on the table and told her parents she was going to be a nurse or she wouldn't be anything. At her high school graduation that spring, the superintendent remarked that Betsy was the only graduate who really knew strongly what she wanted to do.

After graduating from Deaconess School of Nursing in Grand Forks, N.D., Betsy began her career at St. Luke's Hospital as an R.N. in the operating room. She later transferred to the clinic and has worked in internal medicine, OB/GYN and ENT.

Her role as a nurse has evolved in many ways. In the beginning of her career, Betsy recalls assisting with many routine procedures right in the office that are now scheduled as outpatient procedures. However, many of the biggest changes in her job have involved new technology and the increasing use of computers.

With no immediate plans to retire, Betsy says she still loves her work and will continue to take things one day at a time. "MeritCare is an interesting place to work and I still see something new everyday," she says. "I enjoy working with patients; just helping people. It's all about patient satisfaction."