Driven to Nursing: How Life Experiences Shape a Career
May 10, 2017
During Nurses Week, and throughout the year, we celebrate our largest group of staff for devoting themselves to improving the lives of children. The care they deliver is not just healing — it can be life-changing for the patients and their family members — in more ways than you might expect. These stories showcase three different paths that led to nursing and delivering that standard of care.
When he was 7 years old, Luke remembers lying in the backseat of the family van. Little did he know the rest of his life would be changed forever when his family was involved in a serious crash. Luke was transported to the hospital with significant abdominal pain. Just before discharge, a family friend - a nurse - convinced the staff to obtain one more X-ray. The X-ray showed his spleen had ruptured and he was immediately rushed to surgery. This was the first time he witnessed the impact a nurse can have.
As high school was ending, Luke reflected on how nurses played a vital role in his health over the years. He decided a career in nursing would be a rewarding career path. During nursing school, Luke was hired as a patient care assistant on the Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s rehabilitation unit. The more he worked on the floor, the more he was drawn to the role of a rehab nurse.
After graduating he got a job on the rehab unit as a registered nurse. Today, he is the Family Resource Center coordinator and he works directly with many families. Nurses gave so much to Luke while he was growing up, and he’s grateful to have a chance to do the same for someone else!
Yvette was visiting a Nationwide Children’s clinic one day with her son. At the time, she held a certificate as a nurse assistant and had worked in a nursing home. While she was at Nationwide Children’s, she stopped in HR to see if there was a chance she could get hired.
Yvette was hired as a PCA on the infectious disease unit. She connected with the patients and families and was seen as a team player. Her manager encouraged her to go back to school to become an RN. Through the support of the hospital’s tuition assistance program and scholarships, she successfully completed her Associate Degree. She knew that in order to grow, ongoing learning was important. She then enrolled in a BSN completion program.
Meanwhile, she was active in her unit and partnered for quality improvement projects for patient satisfaction and plans for the move to a new space. With support in her quest for leadership, Yvette was recently promoted to a supervisory role and continues to pursue her Masters in nursing to continue on the management track.
Many members of our nursing staff are on their “second career,” meaning they previously worked in an industry other than health care and went back to school to become a nurse. My own husband is a prime example of this.
Scott always had an interest in nursing but when he was considering his career options after school, nursing wasn’t a common choice for men. Although he went in a different direction at the time, Scott found his way back to nursing later in life.
Scott will tell you that hearing about my nursing experience helped convince him to pursue his nursing degree, as he wished he had all those years before. After nursing school, Scott worked in the Emergency Department for three years and now works as an ambulatory nurse at Nationwide Children’s Close To Home locations.
Regardless of what inspired our nurses or how they came to us, we thank them for their dedication, compassion and inspiration.
Linda Stoverock, DNP, RN NEA-BC has been senior vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital since 2000. The hospital is nationally recognized as one of the best children’s hospitals by both U.S.News & World Report and Parents magazine.
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