The Importance of Caring: My Journey into Nursing – Sue Deyke

By Ashley Strehle Hartman, freelance writer
for Columbus Community Hospital  – Columbus, Nebraska
Published on the Columbus Community Hospital website, December 2018

Sue Deyke’s career in nursing started with a little help from a friend.

Like many teenagers, Deyke went to college not really knowing what she wanted to do. She knew she wanted something in math or science, because she had always enjoyed those fields, so she sought a natural science degree – but she didn’t really know what to do with it.

At the time, Deyke’s friend was going to nursing school and Deyke decided to join her. This would prove to be a good decision.

Deyke, MSN, RN, CEN, is now the emergency department director and emergency manager at Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) and she’s loved “every minute” of her more than 30 years in nursing.

She started working at CCH in 1984 and left briefly in 1998, before returning to CCH in 2004. Over the course of her career, Deyke has also worked in outpatient surgery and intensive care at CCH, as well as a cardiology position elsewhere.

“I really loved every little aspect of nursing that I’ve tried,” Deyke said. “They all have their own unique characteristics.”

Deyke was made the CCH emergency department (ED) director in 2004 and she’s held – and enjoyed – the position ever since.

“That turned out to the niche that I was the best at,” she said. “I enjoyed that type of environment. I really just love the constant movement and the opportunities to have the unexpected show up and to be able to think through that.”

As ED director, Deyke’s job is to help her staff members prepare for the unexpected.

She’s responsible for the department’s day-to-day operations, such as staffing, budget and equipment purchases, as well as the management of the trauma and stroke specialty areas of the ED.

In her other role, as CCH’s emergency manager, Deyke has oversight of CCH’s hospital-wide emergency operations plan which dictates how the hospital handles disasters and other events that could affect hospital resources.

Deyke has plenty of experience with emergency health care. Before taking on her role as ED director, Deyke had worked in CCH’s ED from 1991 to 1998.

She has also done specialized training specific to emergency care, such as the Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum (TNCC), the Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course (ENPC), as well as training in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).

All of these courses are required of nurses who work in CCH’s ED and they’re part of the reason Deyke thinks CCH has some of the best nurses in the state. She said CCH has always been very supportive of employees’ education, especially of employees getting specialty training in their fields.

“That’s an amazing benefit and it’s a benefit to the community, because I strongly feel that the nurses here in Columbus are as strong as they are in any tertiary center in the state,” she said. “I can definitely see that we have good education here, and as a result, we have a really strong nursing profession.”

Deyke, herself, went back to school with the assistance of CCH. In addition to her specialty training required of all employees in the ED, Deyke also has a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and was certified by the Nurses Credentialing Board as a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN).

All of this training helps Deyke in her role as ED director. It also helps her care for patients herself – which is one of the things she enjoys most about her job.

“As a nurse, you have this amazing opportunity to be with people at their lowest moments and their most amazing moments and that’s so fulfilling, as a person, to be part of that,” she said. “It just fills your soul.”

To learn more about Deyke, or the services offered in CCH’s Emergency Department, visit