‘Sister Cucumber’ Is A Transplant Staple

When her co-workers describe Morgan Martin, they say she’s a “transplant staple.” She’s been with IU Health for seven years – always working in transplant.

She spent six years in transplant ICU at IU Health University Hospital – much of that time as a charge nurse – before becoming a nurse practitioner last year.

“From a very early age I’ve always had a keen curiosity in science and how the body works. I can remember asking for microscopes, anatomy/physiology books, figurines, and a real stethoscope for birthdays and Christmases,” said Martin.  “My Grandma JoAnn always wanted to be a nurse but was the youngest of 11 children and was never able to follow her dream.”

In some ways, Martin feels like she’s fulfilling her grandma’s dream. She loves her role of combining a passion for science and working with people.

Martin grew up in Silver Lake, in northern Kosciusko County in what she describes as a family with lots of ties to caregiving. Her father, Morris Jones is a volunteer firefighter, one cousin is a nurse, and another is a nurse practitioner. Her mother is Cindy Jones. Martin has been married for five years to Dan and they have a two-year-old daughter Taytum. 

“She’s the love of my life,” said Martin about her daughter.  She also enjoys family camping trips and attending baseball games especially the Chicago Cubs.

Martin’s known for sharing her fresh garden produce with co-workers – one who calls her “Sister Cucumber.” More than anything, her coworkers know Martin for her devotion to patient care.

“The number one question I get asked is ‘why did I choose to continue my career in transplant after I became a nurse practitioner,’” said Martin.  “Transplant is amazing medicine. It truly changes people’s lives. These surgeries aren’t for the faint of heart, but it’s so astonishing to watch people transform into much healthier versions of themselves.  I really enjoy the mix between medical and surgical nursing/medicine with complexities that match no other.  It’s grueling and intense and feels like home to me.”

One of her favorite stories is about a patient who was gravely ill. His family wanted him to make it to his daughter’s June wedding.

“We did it and it was so rewarding,” said Martin. “He got to go to his daughter’s wedding. It took a lot of care and rehab but I realized then, that’s why I love working in transplant.”

More about Martin:

  • What makes her a good caregiver: “Everyday I left the house for school growing up my mom always used to say, ‘have a good day and be kind to everyone.’  I’ve really taken those instructions to heart.  I think the ability to relate to others, help them have a better day, be present in the moment, and treating others as you would want to be treated helps me to be a good nurse practitioner.”
  • About her mentors: “I’ve had some pretty great mentors throughout my nursing and nurse practitioner career at IU Health.  Someone from every department has influenced my practice in one way or another.  From our surgeons, to x-ray techs, PT/OT, housekeeping, to nurses new and experienced, I strive to care for others like my colleagues and team members do.”
  • Something that would surprise people to learn about her: “As a huge Disney fan, I’ve been known to burst out into some pretty great Disney tunes during patient care.  Now that I’m able to round on the transplant kids over at Riley, I feel that my singing is a little bit more appreciated and accepted with them versus the adults.  It’s pretty popular with my 2-year-old at bath time as well.

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email at
 T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.