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The Opportunities of Nursing
I stand in awe of nursing now more than ever. It is so technologically advanced, so much faster. The patients we’re seeing are so much sicker. Yet, I am just amazed by good nurses and what they can do.
Nursing offers countless options, from the hospital bedside, to public health, to research and teaching. You can focus on specialties within a hospital – critical care, emergency services, perioperative nursing – or you can pursue advanced degrees to become a nurse anesthetist, a nurse practitioner, or a nurse midwife.
It’s important to have a solid education and clinical background. Some of the best nurses start out as teen volunteers, become nursing techs, then are brought in as a new nurse. Working from the ground up, they have a true appreciation for the profession plus a great deal of experience.
Equally important are the people skills — the traits of compassion and patience. If you don’t have those you just won’t be a good nurse. A nurse is the spokesperson to the physician and to other hospital departments. You are who the family frequently depends upon. Good nursing is extremely difficult. It’s a gift.
The Flexibility of Nursing
Nursing offers a great deal of personal and professional flexibility. You can do it anywhere, whether you're in a rural community or a city. If you need to work just weekends or just nights, nursing allows you to do that.
At some point, many of us have had to uproot and move due to family considerations. Reston Hospital Center is s proud affiliate of HCA, one of our nation's largest healthcare organizations. Across the U.S. and Europe, more than 185,000 people in 183 hospitals and 83 surgery centers have chosen to be a part of our company.
One distinct advantage our nurses have is the ability to transfer to another HCA without losing benefits or years of service. In fact, we even have a relocation service to help with the transition, so moving becomes a more manageable event. It's just another beauty of nursing, particularly at Reston Hospital Center.
Nursing at Reston Hospital Center
It's often difficult to effectively articulate what sets a hospital apart as an employer. It's something you have to experience to fully understand.
I do think that Reston Hospital Center is a special place, and it all starts with the leadership of the nursing directors. They are so experienced, not only by their years of nursing and longevity, but by their clinical backgrounds. Every single Reston Hospital nursing director can go in and work side by side with the staff nurse. They have the respect of their staff.
Reston Hospital Center remains market competitive with salaries, benefits, and flexible scheduling. Almost 100% of our nursing units work under the shared-governance model where the staff nurse has a voice in how the unit is run. Staff nurses have the freedom to self-schedule, and to work on team operations and other committees.
Our nurses also are involved in performance improvement activities. That is part of a nurse's Clinical Ladder journey. I think it's important to recognize professional advancement, particularly for nurses who work at the bedside. The Clinical Ladder promotes that effort. That's where most of us can touch patients' lives.
Education plays an important role at Reston Hospital Center. We closely collaborate with area nursing schools - George Mason University, Marymount University, Northern Virginia Community College, and Shenandoah University. Many nurses take classes right here on our campus. Many nursing students do their clinical rotations through our hospital.
Given the nursing shortage nationwide, we develop creative solutions to help our staff achieve their professional goals. In addition to offering tuition reimbursement, we cultivate our own professionals. One example is our Surgical Tech Fast Track program, which provides our employees the opportunity to advance without forfeiting their income while paying for school. Through our HCA Cares program, workers displaced by the fallout of 9-11 have received scholarships to retrain for a healthcare career. We also work with local schools to introduce at-risk young people to healthcare careers.