Becoming a Registered Nurse at Three Pillars

We love to hear heart-warming stories of people achieving their goals. We especially love it when those people achieving their goals are a mother-daughter team at Three Pillars.

​​​​​​​Barb Carstens of Fort Atkinson and Jes Lindemann of Waukesha, both Registered Nurses, are a mother and daughter who work at our Masonic Center for Health and Rehab. Jes, our Restorative Coordinator, started working at Three Pillars in 2005 as an LPN fresh out of college while Barb, our MDS Coordinator, started shortly after as an LPN in 2006. Both worked full time while in school at MATC and now both have proudly achieved that marvelous credential after their name – RN. Want to know the really cool part? They became RNs this month within a day of each other. In fact, they’ve had a bet going for many years about who would achieve their RN credentials first. Jes beat her mom to the punch with graduating from nursing school, but Barb passed her boards and clinched the RN title a mere day before Jes. We say they can call it even.

Barb and Jes were two of four LPNs who passed their state boards and became RNs in one week, and those were four of seven who became RNs in the past year. Later this year, at least two more are on track to do the same. According to Kitty Koloske, RN, Director of Nursing, the support from Three Pillars plays a large part in this.

Koloske commented, “These are staff members who have come up through the ranks here, from CNA to LPN to RN. Our four newest RNs bring a combined total of 25 years of service in the Three Pillars’ nursing department. They are a testament to Three Pillars’ commitment to nursing education.”

Above all, we are honored and humbled that these nurses choose to work here. How are we so fortunate to attract and retain these stellar nurses? We think it is because of our commitment to education, staff enrichment, and quality nursing care.

According to Kathy Bernaden, Chief Human Resources and Compliance Officer, Three Pillars invests about $8,000 annually in our Masonic Center for Health & Rehab employees’ education through our tuition reimbursement program. This program allows our employees to enroll in or continue their college education and accomplish their goals.

In addition to the tuition reimbursement program, Three Pillars’ employees have an annual opportunity to earn scholarships courtesy of the Glenn L. Humphrey Lodge and the Howard and Sheri Cook Scholarship fund.

All four of our newest RNs either used the tuition reimbursement program, earned scholarships, or both. They report that if it weren’t for these programs they would not have been able to continue their education.

Three Pillars also brings education and enrichment on site for our nurses and CNAs. According to LuAnna Lakey, RN, Nurse Education Specialist, our nursing staff receives 30 hours of education and training each year so they stay up-to-date from a regulatory standpoint as well as with best nursing practices. Opportunities include monthly educational meetings, newsletters, online training courses, hands-on Nursing Education Fairs, and regulatory training.

For more about employment opportunities at Three Pillars, visit us online.