Havran Sisters

As they grew up in Norway, IA, watching their mother, Lori Havran, develop her nursing career, Amber Havran Dibben ’09, ’12 MSN and Connie Havran ’13, ’16 MSN both decided early on that they wanted to become nurses, too.

“I knew it was a career that offers a wide path of opportunity,” says Amber, “and combines compassion with the sciences.” 

As the oldest, Amber was the first to begin her search for an institution offering excellent nursing curriculum that would help her become an outstanding caregiver. 

“Ultimately, I chose Mount Mercy for its strong nursing program,” she explains. Mount Mercy integrates high-quality theoretical nursing content with clinical lab simulation and hands-on experience to give nursing students a real-world glimpse into their future careers. With faculty who also serve as nurses at local hospitals and health care facilities, students get to learn from professionals with bedside experience. 

With an emphasis on faith-based service, Mount Mercy also felt like home to Amber. “I was inspired by Mount Mercy’s rich history and its ties to the Sisters of Mercy.” 

Amber and Connie Havran

Mount Mercy prepared me to enter the professional world of nursing, and gave me the tools and resources I needed to succeed.

Amber Havran Dibben ’09, ’12 MSN
Major: Nursing/Nursing Education
Professional Development Department Manager
UnityPoint Health–Allen Hospital
La Porte City, IA

“I wanted to attend a college where I could receive a nursing education, but also deepen and strengthen my faith.”

Connie Havran ’13, ’16 MSN
Major: Nursing/Health Advocacy
Quality and Operational Improvement Coordinator
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics
Iowa City, IA

Connie, who is four years younger than Amber, remembers visiting her sister when she attended Mount Mercy. “Going to see the campus made me realize there was something special about Mount Mercy,” Connie explains. While participating in a service event with her sister, she remembers thinking about how neat it was to see service held at such a high level of importance in an academic institution.

“I ultimately also chose to attend Mount Mercy due to its Catholic background, being founded by the Sisters of Mercy,” says Connie. “I wanted to attend a college where I could receive a nursing education, but also deepen and strengthen my faith.” 

The lessons they both learned during their time in the nursing program still stick with them today. 

“Mount Mercy prepared me to enter the professional world of nursing, and gave me the tools and resources I needed to succeed,” says Amber. “Today, I continue to strive for professionalism in nursing. In our ever-changing health care system, it’s important to aim for top quality and evidence-based decision making to support our profession and care for our patients.” 

One reason she believes that the nursing program at Mount Mercy is successful is because it supplements core curriculum with extracurricular activities. The Mount Mercy University Association of Nursing Students (MMUANS), for example, gives nursing students an opportunity to network and promote the nursing profession across campus and the community, as well as attend state and national conventions, and organize and host blood drives, fundraisers, and socials. 

Today, Amber is the manager of the professional development department at UnityPoint Health–Allen Hospital in Waterloo, IA, after previously serving as the organization’s professional development coordinator. She manages initiatives such as the preceptor education program, which allows nursing students to work under the guidance of an experienced clinical coach. 

Connie works as a quality and operational improvement coordinator at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. She collects, submits, interprets, and analyzes data from the Pediatric National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP); she also collaborates with pediatric surgeons to maintain the Pediatric NSQIP database and provide actionable clinical information for performance improvement. 

“The value of service has been engrained in me through Mount Mercy,” Connie says, “as well as being an active member of the community. I look forward to starting a family and instilling these values in them as well.” 

As Mount Mercy graduates, Amber and Connie are proud of the friendly sibling rivalry they’ve formed with their third sister, Nicole, who is also a nurse but graduated in 2011 from a different college. “Mostly, we compete to see which apparel we can get our parents to wear,” says Amber. 

To the Havran family, Mount Mercy University represents a standard of excellence in education. “Amber and I both received our BSN and MSN degrees from Mount Mercy because we know that a Mount Mercy education is a cut above the rest,” says Connie. “Mount Mercy is a great place to grow as a person: intellectually, spiritually, and socially.”