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Throughout much of her life, Katherine Hill wasn’t sure
what her vocation would be. Now, as a working mother of three,
she has finally found her calling.
After attaining a bachelor’s degree in elementary education
from USD in 1999, Hill went on to get her associate degree in
nursing from USD in Rapid City in 2003 and a master’s degree
in nursing through the University of Phoenix in 2011.
Her nursing career has included being a staff nurse in the
hospital setting and caring for a variety of patients. She worked
full-time for the South Dakota National Guard for several years
in occupational health and was able to work closely with the
National Guard Bureau and nurses across the country to shape
the occupational health program in South Dakota.
Hill has been a member of the South Dakota National
Guard since 1996. In 2003, during her final semester of nursing,
she was called to duty in Iraq for her first deployment as a medic.
Being away from campus didn’t prevent her from finishing her
degree. She worked closely with her professors and a registered
nurse in her guard unit to complete her clinical experience while
in Iraq. Hill took her final exam in Kuwait and then mailed it to
her instructors in Rapid City, allowing her to graduate and start
her career as a nurse immediately upon her return to the U.S.
Although unable to attend her pinning ceremony, Hill’s
husband was honored in her place and her classmates included
her by mailing her a video of the ceremony.
Today, Hill continues to serve as an officer with the
South Dakota National Guard and is employed in the Clinical
Star Student Serves Her State and Country
Katherine Hill tends to an
Iraqi contractor suffering
from facial burns.
Effectiveness Department at Rapid City Regional Hospital
RCRH) as the stroke quality coordinator, collaborating with
physicians, nurses and administration to ensure that they are
providing quality care to stroke patients. In addition, Hill
coordinates efforts in maintaining RCRH’s Joint Commission
Stroke Certification. She enjoys the quality aspect of nursing
and feels that she can help the entire community by maintaining
solid standards of care in that patient population.
Hill also enjoys speaking publicly about stroke awareness.
Stroke survivors never cease to amaze me in overcoming
challenges that they face every day,” she said. •
The USD Rapid City Student Nurses Association (SNA),
a group that meets once or twice a month at USD’s Rapid City
campus, is an organization that knows how to make a difference.
In spring 2012, the group created Valentine’s Day bags for
patients at Rapid City’s Hospice House and the Sturgis Health
Care Center. They also organized a fundraiser to help fund
necessities for the Hope Center, a homeless shelter.
This spring, SNA also conducted a screening clinic for
parents of General Beadle Elementary School children, taking
blood pressures, glucose checks, height, weight and BMI
measurements and distributed information about diseases
Student Group Provides
Opportunities to Make a Difference
pertaining to these important screening tests.
In May, the group served meals at the Cornerstone Mission,
and this summer, they hosted a blood drive. In the fall, SNA has
more activities planned, including a drive to support low income
school children and assist with vaccine clinics.
Being a part of SNA has afforded students an opportunity
to learn about the needs in the community and participate in
various community initiatives. The group strives to provide
leadership in the community, mentorship in the school and
compassion to all. •