EPISODE 013: A Nurse’s Advice - After Realizing You Want to Make a Difference, How to Start Serving the Homeless


This week, Karen Holden opens up about her nursing career and how being a nurse in the operating room is helping a person when they need it the most. Karen feels passionately about being the patient’s voice, being on their side, and making time in her care as easy as possible. Karen details a harrowing moment with a patient in her career that turned into a positive outcome.

In this candid conversation, Karen also explores what it means to not only be a voice for the patient, but how to make other staff members’ lives better. This mentality touches many aspects of Karen’s life as she works with her staff and other hospital staff to find creative ways to help those in need, even if not in the hospital. She organizes charity drives and fundraisers to support healthcare for those who can’t afford it.

Tune in to hear Karen explore what it means to be homeless and detail some of the creative ways she’s found to help. 



  • What Karen’s original idea of what being a nurse was - and it’s hilarious - you want to hear this.

  • What inspired Karen to be a nurse.

  • How her career turned toward the Operating Room.

  • How to know if you’re called to be a nurse - it was more of a natural progression for Karen rather than an aha-calling moment.

  • Caring not only about patients, but making a difference for the staff members.

  • The realization of wanting to make a difference.

  • A real patient outcome story that sticks out in Karen’s mind - when all hope was lost a miracle occurred. 

  • An example of how a surgery team decides its time to stop in a precarious situation - it’s not about giving up.

  • Prayer in the operating room.

  • How Karen deals with harder outcomes. 

  • Work overload and burnout for healthcare professionals and the issues that contribute to that.

  • Why holidays are busy for healthcare professionals.

  • What does home mean and being at home mean?

  • Charity work for the homeless.

  • How to make blessing bags.

  • How an esteemed doctor realized he was the person for a job to give the homeless basic primary care and opened the Healing Community Center that Karen donates to.

  • An example of how doing the right, heart-based thing can grow beyond your dreams.

  • Tips for how Karen organizes donations and fundraisers.

  • How does a person become homeless?

  • The effects of being homeless on physical and mental health.

  • The concept of a food desert.


  • Once you know where to start, it gets easier. For example, find a good deal on supplies and start donating or handing them out.

  • “It’s not our job to judge, but if you can help, why wouldn’t you?” - Karen Holden

  • Socks, shoes, personal hygiene, and transportation are areas you can start helping in if you’re looking for ideas.



Brandi FleckComment