Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is lucky to have some of the best and most dedicated nurses around. Day after day they continue to provide exceptional care to each and every patient and family that walks though our doors. Find out what makes them great and why they do help create the little, big and amazing things that make Children's, Children's.


Melissa Steger is a Neonatal Clinic Nurse Specialist for the neonatal units in Minneapolis. She is also a Wound Ostomy provider and a member of the Skin Integrity team at Children's. Steger has known since middle school that she has wanted to be a neonatal intensive care nurse due to her love for babies. Working with patients and their families, along with supporting staff to provide the best evidence based cursing care possible is what drives Melissa to continue to be an amazing nurse, day after day.

Melissa sees firsthand how donations are impacting her patients every day. From the private patient rooms that allow a family to be more comfortable during their stay, to research and amazing programs like music therapy, the generosity of the community is felt everywhere.


Mary Parker is an assistant nurse manager in the pediatric epilepsy unit in St, Paul. She has had experience in a variety of areas throughout the hospital in her nearly 39 years at Children's, but has found that her true passion is in neurology. Parker is also helping to plan for the new neuroscience unit that will be opening later this year.

Being the oldest of 7, Mary has grown up being a natural caregiver. And her she is now, two months from retirement after spending nearly 40 years providing heartfelt care for countless patients and their families.


Kathy Smith is a patient care manager for the medical/surgical unit in St. Paul. As a sophomore in high school, she decided that nursing was going to be her career and has loved it ever since. Kathy appreciates the opportunities that she can provide from new graduate RNs and watching them to become successful professionals.

Kathy is looking forward to completing their new unit on the sixth floor of St. Paul. Thanks to generous donors, each patient will now have their own private room creating a better healing environment for the kids.


Karen Martin is the manager of the newborn intensive care unit in St, Paul. This involves working with staff and families to care for babies that are born too early or have other complications at birth. When Karen was 13 years old, she was a patient at Children's. From that time on, she knew that she wanted to return to Children's to care for kids. Karen really treasures the time that she can spend listening to families share their story and helping to make a difference in their lives and is truly inspired by the strength and courage kids show her everyday.

Kangaroo care is an important part of family care that Karen and her co-workers encourage everyday. Thanks to generous donors, her unit now has kangaroo chairs that help parents hold their babies skin-to-skin to help them continue to grow. These, along with other at-home comforts make a family's time in the hospital just a little bit easier.


Karen Jackson is the Clinical Educator in the neonatal intensive care unit. In her position she get to work with new hires and students looking to soak up every ounce of information possible. She also continues to work with current staff on continually growing their knowledge to provide the best possible care. But nothing beats those times when she get to work directly with a baby and their family.

Seeing first hand how impactful nurses can be on a patient and their family, Karen decided as a senior in high school that she was going to pursue a career in nursing, a decision that she is proud of. She loves to see the impact, big or small, that she has on a family.