Esther Herzog—Making a Difference

Published on Mar 27, 2015.
It is true that big things sometimes come in small packages—or envelopes. Last fall a small, insignificant letter arrived in the nursing department that has had a big impact on nursing at NNU. It was a card from the family of Esther Herzog, a 1947 graduate of NNU and a 1953 graduate of the Samaritan School of Nursing. With the card came a check for $25,000 to be used to further nursing education at NNU.

Esther’s niece, Maree Christian wrote: “Esther was proud to be alumni of NNU and wanted to bless you with a gift upon her passing. Thank you for continuing to make a difference in the lives of young people today and providing a place that empowers them to go forth, in the name of Christ, and make a difference in the lives of others.”

Esther Herzog was a native of Seattle, Washington and the youngest of six children. She grew up during the Great Depression. As a teenager, Esther spent her summers working at Harborview Hospital as a nurse’s aide, earning money to go to college. After graduation from high school, she attended Northwest Nazarene College. In her first year of college, Esther cut her hair into a bob and was afraid to go home at Christmas for fear of her parent’s disapproval – but she did it anyway! Esther graduated from NNC after two years with a Bachelor of Science degree. She returned to Seattle and worked at Harborview Hospital as a practical nurse to earn money to attend nursing school. She returned to Samaritan Hospital in Nampa to complete the five years of nurses’ training, graduating in 1953.

As a nurse, Esther worked in surgery. After completing advanced training in public health at the University of Washington, she worked for the Seattle School District for 28 years. She never married and never had children of her own, but had a deep and wide fan base of family and friends throughout her life of 87 years. 

The money given by the family of Esther Herzog has enabled the Nursing Department to remodel an under-utilized teaching assistant office/copy room into a state-of-the-art simulation debriefing/conference room that will enhance the quality of the debriefing experience for students and faculty. The funds provided for removal of a wall to create larger space and renovation of the room. Additionally, the funds provided for the purchase of a large conference table and chairs. At one end of the room is a big screen television that is used during debriefing for students to replay their recorded simulation. Being able to review the simulation enables students to think through and critique their actions as well as identify cues in the simulation that may have been overlooked. When not being used for simulation debriefing, this room can also be used as additional space for small meetings or group work.

The name ”Esther” means “star.” Esther Herzog will continue to shine through her generosity to the NNU Nursing Department and the continuing impact that her gift will have in making a difference in the lives of nursing students for many years to come. 

About the Department

The Department of Nursing at Northwest Nazarene University provides undergraduate, degree completion and graduate programs related to the professional field of nursing. We are nationally accredited and offer programs that can meet the needs of students in a wide variety of settings.