Our People

Why I Came, Why I Stayed: Methodist Lets Its Outstanding Care Speak for Itself, Teri Bruening Says

Published: March 15, 2023

In “Why I Came, Why I Stayed,” you’ll get to know people who are making a difference every day at Methodist and how they contribute to providing The Meaning of Care. To explore career opportunities at Methodist, visit bestcare.org/jobs.


Teri Bruening, MSN, RN-BC, CNE
Vice President of Patient Care Administration and Chief Nursing Officer
Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital


Tell us more about yourself and your background with Methodist.

I started my education in nursing in the 1980s at the College of Saint Mary, earning an associate degree in nursing, followed by a Bachelor of Science in nursing. While going to college, I became a nursing assistant at Bergan Mercy – before its many name changes. I earned my Master of Science in nursing years later, studying alongside my four children at the kitchen table. 

I began my professional career as a staff registered nurse (RN), then became an RN coordinator, hospital supervisor, unit manager and operations director, and chief nurse executive – all at Bergan Mercy. I became a gerontological certified nurse as soon as I had the practice hours early in my career and a certified nurse executive after I joined the Methodist family. 

My husband, Paul, and I have seven children and six grandchildren, and spending time with them is my favorite pastime. Sleepovers with the grandchildren are so much fun!

I also enjoy traveling. My favorite destinations include Thailand, Peru, Belize and several countries in continental Europe. One of my favorite trips was a pilgrimage to Medugorje, a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In my downtime, I enjoy reading, long walks, swimming and baseball.


What attracted you to Methodist?

I really had no plans to leave Bergan until I was being recruited to a health care role in Bend, Oregon. If you know Bend, Oregon, you understand why it’s appealing – ocean on one side and mountains on the other. But I didn’t relocate. However, I began to think about my career and a possible change to my resume. That’s when a colleague told me about the VP/CNO position at Methodist. 

Ironically, I never really applied for one of the positions I held at Bergan. I was always asked to take new positions. Even when I became a nurse assistant, a priest from my hometown introduced me to the director of nursing, and I was hired on the spot! I did apply for the VP/CNO role at Methodist, and I have been grateful for each of my 13-plus years in this organization.

I had always heard positive comments about Methodist – from friends, family and providers who practiced at both hospitals. I had visited family members who were patients at Methodist Hospital and was captivated by the nursing care and compassion. Being the first NICHE and Magnet hospital in Nebraska speaks volumes.


What is it about Methodist that keeps you coming back?

I appreciate that Methodist Hospital is a humble organization. Our care is compassionate AND cutting edge, and we don’t push that in our community in a flashy way. We pull the community in with outstanding experiences.

I stay at Methodist because of the culture – though it’s our tagline – Methodist IS The Meaning of Care. Methodist is patient centered as well as people centered, putting our workforce first – which at the end of the day is the best for patient care and outcomes. Though it’s something that has to be worked at every day, 24/7/365, providing the environment where staff and providers can thrive is what sets us apart. I stay at Methodist because of the people: my team, my colleagues, my boss and the staff that show up every day to make a difference!