CANTON, S.D. (KELO) — National Nurses Week is celebrated each year during the week leading up to May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who’s recognized as the founder of modern nursing.

Amanda Petrik is the Director of Nursing at Good Samaritan Society Canton. It’s a job she’s held for two years after working everywhere from cardiology and dialysis to the ER and ICU.

“I just love learning, so the more diversity and things that I’ve learned has molded me into the nurse I am today,” Director of Nursing Amanda Petrik said.

Petrik says watching her mom, who was an LPN, motivated her to become a nurse.

“I remember her graduation when she got her RN, I was four years old. I remember her studying and I remember just the excitement she had and the humble person she is and she’s the best role model,” Petrik said.

However, it took a few years to pursue that career path.

“I started in cosmetology,” Petrik said.

Another career choice influenced by family.

“My grandma Donna, she did hair, so it’s kind of like follow my family, ‘what did my family do, that’s what Amanda’s going to do’, I don’t know (laugh),” Petrik said.

Amanda has been a nurse for eight years, but she’s been a hairstylist for more than two decades.

“I still do hair. I do hair for residents, I do it for family at home,” Petrik said.

She does prefer one job over the other.

“I like being a nurse. I mean they both require you to listen,” Petrik said.

“The staff is great here, they’re real great,” resident Bill Johnston said.

Bill Johnston is originally from Emery but has been a resident in Canton for two years. He says Petrik helped walk him through a recent knee surgery.

“That was real nice that she went and searched around for different places that could do it,” Johnston said.

It’s all part of a day’s work for Petrik.

“This is the best profession anybody could go into because you get to make those connections with patients, families, and staff that’s incomparable to any job that I’ve ever had,” Petrik said.

Petrik has also taught clinicals for SDSU and was part of the performance improvement program at Sanford during her time as a nurse.