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Honoring nurses
NatioNal Nurses Week
May 5 – 11, 2021
Presenting sPonsors:

In these unprecedented times medical professionals are more
important than ever.This is the story of one of the 10 nurses
being honored who has gone above and beyond the call of
duty to support our community.
All 10 nurses inspire us and remind us what exceptional work
all nurses do for Billings and the surrounding area.
We have compiled a video introducing these wonderful nurses to you and
sharing their stories.Visit to watch the video of the
2021 Honorees. Check the Billings Gazette daily as we introduce a new Honoree
to you each can see all 10 Honorees in the Honoring Nurses special
publication in the sunday, May 9th Billings Gazette.
Carmen Cox, BsN, rN
st. John’s united
NursiNG ProGraM:
Montana State University-Billings
FoCus: Assisted Living/Geriatrics
years oF serViCe: 10

By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer
Nursing continues to attract a growing number of nontraditional students. Carmen Cox, a
registered nurse at St. John’s United was one of those students. She had an inkling she wanted
to be a nurse right out of high school and thus, she worked as a certified nursing assistant
(CNA) for a time.
“I worked as a CNA for a bit and then life just sort of happened,” Cox said. “I focused on having
a family and other things, but then I had a friend who started working at St. John’s as a CNA
and she absolutely loved it. And that sort of drew me back in. I applied and started working at St. John’s as a CNA and loved it, too.
That passion and drive inspired me to go to school to become a licensed practical nurse.”
Ten years and a couple of different positions later, Cox remains at St. John’s and recently wrapped up another round of education —
she received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing last month.
Working in geriatrics was at the top of her list. Cox enjoys forming relationships with her patients and truly getting to know them. She
said it feels like home.
“I have so many grandma and grandpas working in assisted and independent living,” Cox said. “In some areas of nursing you may
only have a patient for a day or two, but I get to know each of my patients on a family-type basis.”
Keeping the golden rule in mind, it’s easy for Cox to think about her grandparents and how she would want them to be treated in a
similar environment. It’s also made possible when her mission is the same as her employer: to treat people with hope, dignity and love.
Those qualities were especially crucial to possess throughout the pandemic. Seniors are often lonely considering their living
arrangements or medical circumstances, but the isolation they experienced during the height of COVID was unbearable at times.
“It was hard on our residents and the staff,” Cox said. “Our residents couldn’t dine together, have visitors or family . . . they were stuck in
their apartments for large periods of time. It made our interactions with them even more important.”
When asked about how she persevered through such challenging times, Cox attributed her resilience to the commonality of nurses
being like warriors and simply pushing through. “I also leaned on my support system and had to find ways to take care of myself.”
Before COVID, during and moving forward, Cox strives to listen thoughtfully to each of her residents and let them guide what their
needs and desires are. She is beyond committed to their healing, meaning and purpose in life.
“COVID stretched many nurses and only made us stronger,” Cox said.

title sPonsors:

ContriButing sPonsors:
City Brew
Don’s Car Wash
Gainan’s Midtown Flowers

Montana Hospital Association
Rocky Mountain College

eDuCAtionAl title sPonsor: