Helping our tiniest patients

Stella Mae and NursesEach day, Carolyn Kluss, Rose Moshou, Nicole Norsted, and Ann Stanoch are entrusted with caring for babies whose lives hang in the balance.

As nurses in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, they work with critically ill or premature infants who face a host of issues ranging from birth defects, infections, and heart malformations to feeding and breathing challenges.  

But even with the ups and downs that come with working in the NICU, Kluss, Moshou, Norsted, and Stanoch could not be better suited for their jobs.

Kluss, for example, became passionate about pediatric nursing after working as a nanny for two years for a girl with special needs. And Moshou is so passionate about helping others that after working as a seasoned professional in medical sales, she made a career change to nursing.

Another common motivator for the four nurses is the personal connection they build with families that are sometimes in the NICU for months at a time. One of the things that Norsted loves about her job is the opportunity to practice primary nursing, which allows the same nurse to care for the same patients throughout their NICU stays. “It allows us to get to know our patients really well and to form a bond with their parents and family members,” she says.

Kluss, Moshou, Norsted, and Stanoch were nominated for their “strength, dedication, intelligence, compassion, and humor.” The nominating family, whose baby was born prematurely at just 12 ounces and stayed in the NICU for eight months, writes, “It’s just ingrained into their DNA to be our superheros of the NICU.”

“After all that this family has endured and all the people they’ve crossed paths with during their nine-month stay, it blows me away that they thought of us,” says Moshou.


Dani Wiklund
After working in entomology for a number of years, Masonic Mission Awardee Dani Wiklund was ready for a different profession, one grounded in both... Read more
Masonic Mission Award
When it comes to making hospital stays a little less scary, Masonic Mission Awardee Amy Higgins has just the right touch.