Carol Hartig Honored as One of Iowa's 100 Great Nurses

posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Home health nurse Carol Hartig was one of five Spencer Hospital nurses named among Iowa’s 100 Great Nurses in 2020. The 100 Great Iowa Nurses program identifies 100 outstanding nurses every year whose courage, competence, and commitment to patients and the nursing profession stand out above all others. These nurses go above and beyond to contribute significantly to the profession of nursing.


Carol’s first year out of nursing school was spent at Palo Alto County Hospital. In 1984 she joined Spencer Hospital’s team. She retired in 2009, yet as someone who loves caring for people and being busy, she didn’t stay retired for long. She continues to work at Spencer Hospital when needed.

Roles Carol has held: 

Carol has enjoyed a wide range of experiences at Spencer Hospital. She first worked on the medical-surgical unit, and when the hospital’s inpatient behavioral health unit opened, she split her time between the two nursing units. She later became an instructor at Iowa Lakes Community College so switched to evenings, rotating to wherever she was needed, working in every nursing unit except for surgery. She also volunteers for the Free Clinics of Iowa and as a volunteer in Spencer Hospital’s emergency department.

What Carol loves about being a nurse:

“I have always been passionate about the nursing profession. I think what I’ve always enjoyed most is the interactions with patients and their families to make their hospital experience as positive and comfortable as possible. I like the challenges of hospice nursing and being a part of enabling a patient’s death to be dignified and comfortable, making sure their suffering is as minimal as possible and supporting their family at their time of loss.”

What those who nominated Carol had to say about her:

In addition to being a leader and a mentor at the hospital, Carol Hartig played an important role in educating a new generation of nurses. For 25 years she taught at Iowa Lakes Community College in the Allied Health Program and Nursing Program. Many of her students became her coworkers.

Carol always puts patient safety first and is very responsive to the needs of patients, families, visitors, and coworkers. She emphasizes courtesy, attentiveness, and follow through. Her positive and calm demeanor has brought comfort to so many patients and families

Carol Hartig goes above and beyond to promote health and comfort to others not just at work but outside her employment with Spencer Hospital. She volunteers in numerous ways, including playing the piano for patients at Abben Cancer Center and serving as a volunteer nurse at the Clay County Fair. One of her most significant volunteer projects was developing the volunteer services program in the hospital’s emergency room, which specifically uses either students enrolled in a healthcare discipline or retired nurses. Based on the success of this program, Carol was asked to help establish a similar volunteer program at another facility.