Amanda Saltmarsh's parents are very proud of her. They revel in her success — and the career she has chosen.

That pride led to Doug Croft, Saltmarsh's father, to nominate her for recognition during the Salute to Nurses at the thekansan.com. And while, as a father, he might be a little biased about how good she is, he does hear from others about his daughter's work.

“She is the best nurse to have in a time of need,” Croft wrote. “I have heard this from friends, as well as complete strangers, over the years. It is a very proud feeling when people go out of their way to thank her for taking care of them or a family member when we are out in public.”

For the 30-year-old Saltmarsh, nursing is a natural career.

“I always knew I wanted to do something medical,” Saltmarsh said. “I grew up in and out of doctor's offices. Nurses are what stood out to me. The compassion that they show.”

She is a lifelong sufferer of Rheumatoid Arthritis. That, however, is not something she lets get in her way or keep her down.

“My patients come first,” Saltmarsh said. “I think of my patients. I might struggle pain-wise or fatigue wise, but darn it, I will take care of my patients and not let them know that something is wrong.”

Saltmarsh currently works in the Inpatient Rehab Unit at Newton Medical Center. Currently, she serves as a daytime charge nurse. She started at the medical center as a certified nurses' aid, and has worked in other departments during a 10-year career with the medical center.

Her current post is one she finds rewarding, especially seeing people get better.

“I love seeing patients go home,” Saltmarsh said. “... I think nursing is a very rewarding career. People who are not compassionate and are doing it for the money are not doing it for the right reasons. To be able to see a patient go from their worst time, maybe not being able to walk or communicate, to walk out of here and be doing 10 times better — it makes the day better. I get to go home to my family. I want them to go home to theirs.”

Her aunt was a nurse, graduating from a diploma program. Saltmarsh is the first member of her family to graduate from a collegiate nursing program.

It's not the first place she has worked. Saltmarsh graduated from Hesston College in 2008. Since then, she has worked in the outpatient medical unit, inpatient medical unit and generations unit at Newton Medical Center. She has also worked at Via Christi St. Francis and Asbury Park retirement community. 

“I started on the surgical unit (at Newton Medical Center),” Saltmarsh said. “I transferred to an ortho-unit in Wichita, part of my wheelhouse I have already been in. I did some (geriatric psychology) and now I am on rehab, which is back to my wheelhouse. I get them better, and see them progress through the most trying time of their life. I see them get to go home and be with their family.”

Saltmarsh will do paperwork on her days off, often bringing her three-year-old daughter along. She said her daughter loves going to the hospital, and has already said she wants to be a nurse like her mother.

“Since becoming a nurse, she has always given her patient's care her utmost attention and her patient's and their families her utmost respect,” Croft wrote in her nomination. “She has always worked well with the doctors, physician's assistants, management, her peers and subordinates that she has worked with over the years, giving them the same respect.”