"Set a goal and focus on that goal until you have reached it. Nursing is not for everyone, but if it is your passion, there should be nothing that stops you from becoming a nurse."

Role Model Photo Sherri Welch

Health Field: Registered Nurse

Number of years in the profession:
15 year

Years in College: 20 years

Professional Credentials:
Chief Nursing Officer

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
From the time I was a child, I wanted to be a nurse because of the role models I saw in the physician offices and hospitals.

What other careers did you consider?
Banking, Real Estate, Flight Attendant

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
When I was eight years old, I was hospitalized and had incredible nurses. Since that time, it was my passion and calling.

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
Attending a rural public school, I had few opportunities to prepare for my career in nursing. I worked in healthcare while I was attending Nursing School.

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
I was a single mother of three with limited financial resources. I had to work several jobs while attending school and raising my family as a single mother.

How did you overcome these challenges?
Lots of prayers, family support and student loans and scholarships.

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? Yes

Present Career as a Registered Nurse

Describe an average work day for you.
I am the Chief Nursing Officer for a 150-bed hospital. I work an average of 10 hours per day developing and reviewing policies, handling physician, patient/family and employee complaints and working toward ways to improve patient care in my facility. I am ultimately responsible for about 250 nursing staff.

How many hours do you work in an average week?

What kind of health care setting do you work in?

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
A genuine caring spirit and passion for people.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Having nursing staff openly speak about how happy they are working in my hospital and how they feel valued as a nurse in my facility. Reading cards and letters from patients and patients' families who have been impacted positively by the nursing care in my facility.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Set a goal and focus on that goal until you have reached it. Nursing is not for everyone, but if it is your passion, there should be nothing that stops you from becoming a nurse. There are many more opportunities for financial resources today to go to nursing school as compared to years ago when I went to school. Anyone who wants to be a nurse and is dedicated and diligent in completing the hard work it takes in school should not let finances stand in your way.

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?
Absolutely. I have never done anything in my life that is as rewarding as being a nurse. By rewarding, I do not necessarily mean financially rewarding. Nursing is a great career for several reasons. You not only can find a job almost anywhere you live, but there are also so many different jobs that nurses can do.

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?
Yes. I plan to become Certified in Nursing Administration.

View Other Professionals in this Field
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