Alison - Roadmap to a Nurse
Updated: Aug 12, 2020
What do you do for a living? Registered Nurse, Business Development Specialist
What does a day at your job look like?
I’m currently doing program and business development for a large behavioral health hospital. On a normal day, I’m out in the community promoting our programs to potential referral sources, coordinating educational programs, and helping patients and their families navigate our system.
What path did you take to get here?
Graduated high school -->
Got my Bachelor's of Science of Nursing at Marquette University-->
Worked inpatient in Chicago at a free-standing psychiatric hospital, including one of the first AIDS units in the city -->
Moved to Maine to work as a nurse in a summer camp -->
Moved to CA and worked inpatient -->
Moved back to Maine and worked in community settings including home health, prisons, clinics and outpatients settings --> Enjoyed the freedom to travel and always have a job, so moved to WI and worked inpatient/outpatient setting in Madison-->
Had my daughter so made the decision to settle down in IL -->
Worked as a brain surgery Program Coordinator for 10 years in a hospital based neurology practice, specializing in Parkinson's disease and other Movement Disorders --> Changed to a position in Program/Business Development
What are the Challenges of your job?
1. Navigating large healthcare organizations
2. Not being a part of a clinical team that has a direct impact on patients
What are the blessings of your job?
1. Hearing stories about what patients done with their lives after recovery
2. Getting to infuse healing and spirituality into the modern medical model of healthcare
What 3 characteristics do you have to possess or develop to do your job well?
1. You can’t lead with your ego if you’re going to be a nurse. You’re working with people at their lowest and most vulnerable times. Develop your intuition and be open to using emotion, logic, and clarity on how you can affect change.
2. Critical thinking skills for the science AND the art of healing. Every time you’re engaged with a patient you get to make a thousand different decisions about what is in their best interest.
3. Patience – for you patients, for their families, for your co-workers, for your administrators, for yourself, for everyone.
What are 3 concrete things you’d tell someone on their journey to doing your job?
1. Pick a nursing school that aligns with your values
2. Find a way to mix your other interests/passions into your nursing career. Love solving crimes? Consider forensic nursing. Into yoga and spirituality? Check out holistic nursing. Like being on the cutting edge? Become a research nurse. The possibilities are endless.
3. Read the poem Being a Nurse Means by Melodie Chenevert, RN