Cycle of Care: Davenport native prepares for nursing career at new Iowa hospital

Published: Mar. 1, 2017 at 9:19 AM CST
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A new job is a sort of homecoming for Davenport native, Hannah Zinger.

She will soon be working at the new state of the art University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

After graduating from St. Ambrose University in December, a nursing job is waiting for Zinger.

“To be honest, I didn’t think that I’d be here today,” Zinger said. “I feel very grateful to have these opportunities.”

In this new chapter of her life, Zinger will be working as a nurse, prepping kids for surgery, then working with them in recovery.

“It definitely is a dream of mine and something that I’m so forever grateful to have,” Zinger said.

The St. Ambrose University grad says that dream to work as a nurse, might not have been possible without the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

“My parents were told when I was very young that I may not be able to walk, that my hip dysplasia was very severe,” Zinger said. “It wasn’t until about I was over 2 years old when I finally took my first steps, so I was a late bloomer, but it happened.”

Over the years, the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital became a constant in her life.

“Hip dysplasia is something that is not curable, you’re not just going to go away from the hospital one day and you’re fine,” she said.

She said it was like her home away from home.

“I loved my doctors; I loved the whole entire feel that the hospital gives you,” Zinger said.

Eventually, she was able to give back through the hospital’s annual Dance Marathon at her college.

“Knowing that it helps pediatric illnesses, throughout the children’s hospital, specifically ours in Iowa City, it was without a doubt that I would be helping this organization out for sure,” Zinger said.

Over four years of marathons, Zinger raised more than $5,000 for the kids.

“It inspires you to be a bigger and a better person,” Zinger said.

Others she’ll be working with say these experiences will make Zinger a successful nurse.

“She understands what it’s like to be on the other side of the fence if you will, she understands what it’s like to be a patient and the challenges that come with that and really emphasizes with our patients,” Julie Williams, the Nurse Manager for Prep and Recovery at the Stead Family Children’s Hospital said.

After wrapping up her college career with a nursing internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals, Zinger says she’s ready to start helping others on the road to recovery.

“I think throughout, even being a patient, a dancer and now having my internship up there, it set me up for success and to have that opportunity is absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait,” Zinger said.

Patients and staff began moving into the new $360 million children’s hospital over the weekend of Feb. 25.

Zinger is set to start there in April.