Paving My Own Path: Amanda Johnson
Sept. 23, 2022
By Danielle Andersen
As long as she can remember, Amanda Johnson had a dream of being in healthcare. She took a chance on her dream and ventured down that road by going to nursing school.
Through school, she did her clinicals at Knute Nelson, not knowing much about Knute at that time. Then one day, the road Amanda was on took a turn she didn’t expect. Life changed and it brought her down a different path. She changed careers and became a preschool teacher.
What Amanda didn’t know, was that life had a U-turn in store for her. She knew deep down that she wanted to go back into healthcare. She couldn’t ignore it anymore. Her familiarity with Knute, through clinicals, gave Amanda a strong feeling that Knute was where she wanted to be. She said, “My passion for healthcare kept getting stronger. I was now a mom and I needed flexibility in my work schedule. I wanted to have time with my daughter. That was so important to me. In the beginning I just wanted part-time, no weekends, and Knute was able to offer that to me.” She applied at Knute and eight years later, her path keeps bringing her wonderful adventures.
Amanda’s first role at Knute Nelson was a bath aid. She gave residents baths from 7:00 am to 11:00 am. She then moved up to clinical care support, adding responsibilities in the wellness center as well as placing inventory orders for the nursing staff. Her revamp of the ordering process proved to be so efficient that she earned an internal award for saving money for the organization. Her next step was to Scheduling Supervisor and then two years ago she became the Scheduling Manager. She now oversees the schedules of all three Alexandria buildings; Grand Arbor, Nelson Gables and the Care Center.
Her progression of roles came about through trainings offered by Knute Nelson. Amanda recalls, “I have been through many trainings throughout Knute, and I feel like I've actually found myself through those trainings. You learn who you are. I started here at a very young age, so I've grown up with Knute. It's changed me as a person for the good. It's just been fun to just watch myself grow over the years.”
Amanda graduated from Knute’s internal Leadership Academy program in January of 2019. It was a nine-month course that met monthly. She says, “It was my favorite and the most rewarding experience that I've ever had in my career. I've learned how to manage situations within my team and make sure our employees have support.” Amanda has been through several other courses such as mental health awareness, direct care training, among others. “These courses make sure that I’m refreshing my skills as a leader so I can provide the best support for our entire team.”
Amanda’s experience as a care attendant helped her quite a bit throughout her path to where she is today. She notes, “I can relate to our Care Attendants and Nursing Assistants that are working on the floor. I understand what they are doing as frontline workers. It's very humbling being on this end and scheduling them. I think everyone in our field would benefit working as a Care Attendant or a Nurse, for a day just to see what it's like. I believe that training alone, really set me up for success in my growth with Knute Nelson. The great part is I'm still learning every day and every day is different.”
Amanda’s advice to you? “Apply. We have fun here. There are so many opportunities and ways in which you can grow. My favorite part is the camaraderie. I truly enjoy being here at Knute every day. Everyone is very welcoming and kind. Everyone here is just so genuine.”