Many of Independence Plus, Inc.’s patients and staff know Zandra, RN, BSN, as a great nurse with a positive attitude and a calming bedside manner, focused on learning as much as she can in order to best care for her patients. After working with her and hearing everyone else’s feedback on who Zandra is and what she does, we decided to interview and then hire her as our new Home Nursing Residency Manager.
Zandra has continuously worked hard to earn her RN, enter our Home Nursing Residency, and then finish her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. She was a member of one of our earliest Residency cohorts, a program created to train newly-graduated nurses to become specialists in directly caring for our medically complex, ventilator-dependent adult and pediatric patients. Zandra is excited to get a chance to bring her passion for education and patient care to the forefront as she takes over leading the program from Brittany, RN, who will be leaving her role in August to prepare for graduate school.
Brittany says the leadership of the Residency is integral to its success, and she couldn’t be more pleased to leave it in the hands of Zandra. “Recruiting and training our own nurses provides better, more consistent care for our patients. Zandra has been through the program and is a great fit to teach our new graduate nurses how to provide the highest quality of skilled care,” she said.
We caught up with Zandra during her first week on the job to see why she chose to work in Home Nursing and to hear her advice for new nurses.
Q: Why did you become a nurse?
A: I became a nurse because I am passionate about helping others.
Q: Why did you choose to work in Home Nursing?
A: I chose Home Nursing because I loved the concept of 1:1 care and the ability to get to know my patients and the many aspects of their care.
Q: Tell us a little about your experience joining IPI as part of our Home Nursing Residency Program.
A: I learned about the Nurse Residency Program through a personal friend from nursing school and at the time a current resident. She described all the training and ongoing support IPI offers residents and then referred me to the program. I was sold!
Q: What made you want to take this position as Home Nursing Residency Manager, and what part of the job are you most looking forward to?
A: The patients and residents were my main motivator for taking the Home Nursing Residency Manager position. While nursing in the home has its challenges for patients and their families, it is rewarding to see how nurses not only help patients remain at home with their loved ones, but also lead inspirational lives. I have also gotten to watch many residents grow into awesome nurses from this program, which is extremely rewarding. I am looking forward to continuing this program in the spirit that has made it so successful – helping create and support well-trained nurses focused on delivering excellent patient care.
Q: What is something about you that would surprise people?
A: Something that surprises people? Several of my patients have been surprised by how many movies I am unfamiliar with – mostly because if I have that length of time I opt for naps!
Q: Who inspires you at work?
A: So many people inspire me at work, first and foremost, my patients. They have amazing stories and will always drive my work. I have also had the privilege of working along great nurses, both field nurses and residents, who have taught me a lot.
Q: Who inspires you outside of work?
A: Outside of work I am inspired by my son and family the most.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: While I have personally been able to accomplish some of my bigger goals, I will always be most proud of my son and my family.
Q: What are you planning to do next?
A: Oh my gosh, what am I doing next? That is a good question. I have not gotten that far – I am focusing and looking forward to my new role with IPI.
Q: What words do you live by?
A: “Don’t worry about how long it takes to achieve your goals. Time will pass anyway.” In nursing – and in life – if you focus on your goals it will help prevent the process to get there from getting overwhelming.
Q: What advice do you have for new nurse graduates?
A: Aside from considering our Nurse Residency Program, I would recommend that new graduate nurses remember to take a step back from time to time and look at the big picture. Nursing can be overwhelming so it is important to keep your personal perspective in mind of the nurse you want to be.
About IPI’s Home Nursing Residency Program: Our Residency offers RNs/LPNs with less than one year of experience the opportunity to be fully immersed in Home Nursing, with an intensive classroom program followed by a pre-employment course, ventilator training, two weeks of educational site visits and up to 64 hours of training in the field with a nurse preceptor. Upon successful completion, Nurse Residents independently care for patients living at home, with 24-hour clinical support always engaged. Five cohorts complete our Residency program annually and we are currently recruiting for the next cohort, which begins in late September.
For more information about the Home Nursing Residency program, click here. To apply for our next cohort, visit www.IndependencePlus.com/Resources/Careers and apply for one of our new graduate RN/LPN opportunities or call 708.366.4500 (option 1).