"Nursing has allowed me MANY opportunities to do many things! All of these opportunities in ONE work environment where I have been employed for the last 25 years!"

Role Model Photo Jeanne Griffith

Health Field: Health Care Services Administrator

Number of years in the profession:
30 year

Years in College: 6 years

Professional Credentials:

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
When I was deciding the direction I wanted my career to go, traditional career options for women were all I really knew, such as, teaching, nursing, or being a secretary. I loved biology in school and the human body fascinated me. I did not want to become a doctor but nursing...that felt right.

What other careers did you consider?
I also thought I would love to teach. In fact I went on for my masters in hopes of teaching at some time in my career.

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
As I mentioned above, I loved biology and the human body. What a wonderful creation our bodies are! My mother encouraged my aspirations to become a nurse and being pragmatic, I wanted to pursue a career where I could be assured of finding work anywhere! Little did I realize how true that would be in this time of nursing shortages!

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
I volunteered as a Junior Volunteer at our hospital to see if I would like working in a hospital setting. I went to university right out of high school, taking a summer job as a nurses aid in a long-term care facility. I knew that if I could handle working as a nurse aid in a nursing home, I could handle ANYTHING! I continue to greatly admire and respect our nurse aid staff!

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
I was very fortunate to have family support - financially for my undergraduate studies and emotionally for my graduate studies. My graduate studies began later in my life when my children were nearly grown. I was able to benefit from a small work scholarship program that my job offered to complete my masters degree. This allowed me to save enough money through a semester so that I could afford to take another class or two until I completed my masters program.

How did you overcome these challenges?

Was your family supportive of you through your college (or other training) years?

Did you have a job and work while you were going to college or other training? No

Present Career as a Health Care Services Administrator

Describe an average work day for you.
I am the Chief Nursing Officer at a rural community hospital. I am responsible for staffing a medical surgical unit, ICU, ER, and Surgical/recovery unit, as well as an assisted living wing. I work on quality issues in care and meeting regulatory standards for CMS and TJC. I am responsible for maintaining a working budget for all nursing areas. I facilitate or attend several working departmental teams to promote safety, infection control, quality, and peer review.

How many hours do you work in an average week?

What kind of health care setting do you work in?
Small hospital

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
I see the following strengths needed for this type of career: *People skills *Ability to multi-task *emotional maturity *ability to delegate and team lead *time management/able to prioritize *good leadership skills *knowledge in the field

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I find the people I work with and the relationships that have developed to be the most rewarding part of my job.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Opportunities abound for anyone interested in the healthcare profession. Nursing is hard work and can certainly be stressful but the rewards are wonderful and opportunities are endless!

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?
Again, I chose what I knew as available career opportunities 30 years ago. Now there are many directions that young people can aspire to. Would I choose the same career path now as I did 30 years ago...I do not know. But what I do know is that nursing has allowed me MANY opportunities to do many things! I started as an OB nurse and charge nurse...I was asked to become the Quality Assurance Director...then I was asked to become the Director of Home Health. My role expanded to Director of Community Services which included two home health agencies and two rural health clinics. I then took the position as Total Quality Management Director which led to my current job as Chief Nursing Officer. All of these opportunities in ONE work environment where I have been employed for the last 25 years!

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?

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