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Learning Center Experience
Tell me a little about your position and what you do on a day-to-day basis.
Prior to this job, I was the associate chief nurse for acute care and long-term nursing services. In my current job, I oversee all the nursing operations which includes hiring, budgeting, staffing methodology, resource allocation and utilization, and maintaining better working relationship with doctors and other allied health care workers. In addition, I assist with the training and development of nurse managers.
What are your customers like? What type of people do you serve?
My customers are both internal and external. The internal customers include all nursing staff, doctors, human resources, logistics, and the medical facility director. The external customers are the vendors, the VA central office, and, most importantly, the veterans.
Who are your coworkers and what type of people do you work with? Are you in a team environment? Do you work independently?
My job entails working both independently and with a group of managers, supervisors, and nursing staff. In addition, I work with facility, pharmacy, and nutrition staffs. Finance department is my partner in the business because I work closely with the department more than any other department.
What keeps you motivated to go to work each day?
The people I work with—they are great and are always there when I need them. The second thing that motivates me is the idea of taking care or helping to shape the future of health care delivery in VA medical centers for our veterans.
What do you like best about your job?
The creative nature of the job could be seen as my number one reason. As a member of the senior leadership team, I also enjoy working with my coworkers, they are fun to be with.
What are the challenges about your job?
There is a significant amount of responsibility that comes with this role. I am accountable for most of the nursing operations, which means I have to see and know what goes on in the service and figure out those that require immediate attention.
Daily challenges are common and I handle them as they come. I don't allow them to stress me out. I seek help when I know I need it, even when its assistance from other VA medical centers.
Reflect back from your first day on the job to now. How have you evolved in your current job? How have you maybe evolved as a person?
In last 2 years I have developed a better way of handling every situation—I know when to react and when not to react. I have also learned a lot about the fiscal needs of the nursing department and how to help manage the resources very well for the sake of the organization. I have developed better listening skills, and how to apply these skills when facing difficult and new challenges.
What advice would you give someone who is seeking the same line of work?
Be focused and get informed. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Learn how to value people and know that the glass is not always half full.
Where do you hope to go with this job, or in your career in general?
As a man of faith, I will seek the face of God and I will go to the next stage when the opportunity comes. The goal is to be an associate director for patient care services one day.
How did your education or past experiences prepare you for this job?
Both have contributed nicely to my progress. I think to be successful as a leader, it is very important to have the education and experience. The combination of the two will help with the career ladder and can also increase the circle of influence that one may have. I have used my education to help the organization and I will continue to do so as time progresses.
What is your proudest accomplishment at the job?
I developed a nursing internship program, started the shared governance model, and instituted the relationship care model in nursing service.
What do you think about the climate for your current industry? Where is it headed?
I feel that the future is bright for health care.
Tell me a little bit about your life outside of work.
I am a proud owner of James Management consultant, FBSLS nursing review center, and staffing agency. I just completed my fourth book on leadership; it is due out in June 2016. When I am not at work I am in my school teaching or in church for prayer meetings and bible study.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I play soccer and basketball and I love to travel with my kids to see different places.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual and not of Kaplan University.
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