The Importance of Caring: My Journey into Nursing – Lisa Perrin

By Ashley Strehle Hartman, freelance writer
for Columbus Community Hospital  – Columbus, Nebraska
Published on the Columbus Community Hospital website, March 2019

Lisa Perrin, BSN, RN, CCRP, chose to pursue a career in health care for the same reason many people do – she wanted to help people.

Inspired by her aunt, who was a nurse, Perrin decided to major in premed when she entered Central Community College in Columbus.

“I always wanted to help people,” she said. “When I started, I had actually started premed, but then I found that I loved patient and bedside care and that led me to nursing.”

Perrin went on to get an associate degree from Central Community College-Columbus and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

She started working at Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) in 2002 as an aide while she waited for her license for her RN. The following year, she started working as an RN in CCH’s intensive and acute care units.

Perrin has been with CCH ever since.

Over the years, she has served in a variety of positions at CCH. Perrin was clinical coordinator for the hospital’s intensive care unit and house supervisor before she moved into her position as manager of the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department four years ago.

Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems, including those who have had heart attacks and coronary bypass surgery. They also help people with pulmonary problems, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory issues.

CCH’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department offers exercise, education,
counseling and support tailored to patients’ abilities, needs and limitations.

Staff also assist patients with stress and nuclear stress testing. All of this helps patients with heart and pulmonary disease recover faster and achieve better health.

The department is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). Programs that are certified by AACVPR are
recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.

As manager of CCH’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department, Perrin oversees the department’s staff, budget and equipment, as well as assists with patient care.

Though Perrin enjoys her job, it’s not one she would have foreseen for herself back when she decided to go into health care, just out of high school.

“I never thought I’d see myself in leadership,” Perrin said. “But with each job, I found myself wanting to help improve the systems, processes and staff education, and I learned new skills with each position which has led me to this one.”

Perrin was able to move into a management position, in part, because of support she received from CCH.

“They’ve given me encouragement and education to become a better leader and a better employee,” she said.

That’s one of the reasons Perrin enjoys working at CCH, another reason is because of her fellow employees.

“It’s like working with family,” she said. “Everybody gets to know everybody and it’s a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere.”

Perrin is glad she came to work at CCH and she’s glad she chose a career in health care – a job that allows her to help people each day.

“Health care has such a wide variety of positions. It’s not just bedside nursing,” she said. “There’s working with computers, accounting or housekeeping, and each role lets you help people in our community.”

To learn more about Perrin or the services offered through CCH’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department, visit