After graduating from Independence Plus, Inc.’s Home Nursing Residency and working in the field with our medically complex patients, Gwen S., RN, quickly became known to her colleagues as a nurse with a passionate and committed attitude. Her patient-centered focus not only gained her the respect of IPI’s entire clinical team, but also made her the perfect candidate when a clinical manager position opened recently. “Gwen is spoken of highly by her peers,” said IPI’s Director of Clinical Services, David Miller, DNP, MSN, RN, CNL, CRRN. “She was chosen for this role due to her proven dedication to patient care and her initiative in pursuing advancement within IPI. She believes that she can make an even bigger difference for our patients by coordinating multiple patients’ plans of care.” We sat down with Gwen last week to learn more about why she chose to work in home healthcare, what her new role entails, and what advice she has for new nurse graduates.
Q: Tell us a little about your background and what brought you to IPI.
A: I have a background in EMS as an EMT-basic; I worked as an ER tech, and as a CNA in an inpatient behavioral health unit. I came to IPI looking for my first job as an RN and was impressed by their nurse residency program and the quality of training I would receive.
Q: What made you want to be work in home healthcare?
A: Honestly, I did not have any experience in home healthcare and did not know exactly what to expect, but I fell in love with it when I started working as a nurse resident. The ability to take care of the whole patient, to know them and their families personally, and provide care on a very individualized and personal level reminded me of why I wanted to become a nurse in the first place.
Q: What does your job entail and what do you enjoy most about your role?
A: My current job as a clinical manager entails managing individual patient’s cases as well as the nurses working on those cases. I have learned so much since stepping foot in the office as a clinical manager. It is very interesting to learn the ins and outs of how our company provides services to our patients from this end of the process. I have really enjoyed gaining a greater understanding of how IPI functions and how we all work together to organize care for our patients.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: I am very much inspired by our patients and their families and their strength, commitment, and determination.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: Nursing school was probably one of the most difficult things I have accomplished.
Q: What words do you live by?
A: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” –Nelson Mandela
Q: What is the one thing about yourself that you think people would be surprised to know?
A: My favorite thing to do is going on road trips with my husband and my son. I also really love camping and hiking.
Q: What advice do you have for new nurse graduates?
A: Do not avoid tasks and procedures you are uncomfortable with; face them head-on. Be sure to utilize your fellow nurses, ask for advice, research things, and practice whatever skill it is whenever you get the opportunity. This is the only way to dispel your fears and gain confidence as a nurse. As nurses we all must commit ourselves to continue learning all the time and to keep improving our practice.
Editor’s Note: For more information on IPI’s Home Nursing Residency, from which Gwen is a graduate, click here.