Sheila Holmen always had a calling to be a nurse.

“I knew that I wanted to be a nurse at a very young age,” said Holmen, a psychiatric nurse at the Arizona State Hospital (ASH). “It’s not something that I can really explain or understand, it is just something that’s inside of you. I had many people in my life that used to fuel that fire in me and tell me that I should be a nurse.”

After 19 years – in settings that include Hospice, a crisis pregnancy center, and inpatient and outpatient psychiatry – she continues to love the work she does each day.

“I love people. My nursing career has allowed me to cross paths with hundreds of patients and their loved ones throughout the years. I hope that I have helped to make a positive difference in their lives in some way and I look forward to continuing that journey.” 

Holmen has worked at ASH since moving to Arizona from North Dakota in 2017. She considers it her “absolute favorite” place to work as a nurse.

“I feel that the work team at ASH has some of the best people I have ever met. Staff that are dedicated to ASH have a special heart and it shows in the way they care for our patients,” she said. “I also feel that my coworkers are family and I feel so blessed to work somewhere that you know you will be supported throughout your day. 

ASH – which provides long-term inpatient psychiatric care to Arizonans with mental illnesses who are under court order for treatment –  is not always an easy place to work, Holmen said. “But knowing you are not alone makes the hard days better. I have never encountered a supervisor or manager or admin staff that did not have an open door policy and make you feel comfortable talking about anything you need to…I absolutely love my ASH family.” 

Holmen has continued her education throughout her career. She began as a certified nursing assistant, then became a licensed practical nurse and eventually completed her associate and bachelor’s degrees to become a Registered Nurse. More recently she earned a Master’s of Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)  from Grand Canyon University.

As we wrap up National Nurses Month, we recognize the contributions of Sheila and all our nurses at ADHS and ASH. Their dedication is appreciated and vital to the health and wellness of all Arizonans..

“The nursing field has so many options and that is something that I absolutely love about this career choice. Working for ASH gives you opportunities for growth, as there are different areas of leadership to be able to get involved in and gain experience from.”

“When I moved to AZ and got settled, I started looking into state nursing jobs and behold I found ASH and I am so happy that I did,” she said. “There are so many things I love about ASH and will forever be grateful for the friendships I have made here and the experiences I have had.”

Learn more about job opportunities for nurses (and others) at ASH and ADHS on our website.