Never Say Never When It Comes To Your Nursing Career

By Jeanne Reeves, RN, BSN, MS
Vice President of Nursing, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

When I think about the twists and turns my nursing career has taken over the years, I’m reminded of the famous Beatles song, “The Long and Winding Road.” From nursing school graduation in Kentucky in 1985 to caring for patients in a med-surg and ICU hospital setting to becoming a traveling nurse to then being promoted to management, I never could have imagined all of the opportunities I’ve experienced. And my greatest achievement came five-and-a-half years ago when I took my current position as chief nursing officer for a brand-new hospital, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

My decision to become a nurse was made at a very early age. I became septic and was in and out of the hospital over the course of almost two years. When my mom had to leave for the day, the nurses became my family, watching over me and giving me great care. I never forgot that experience. To me, even at that young age, there was no greater calling than to give of yourself when people are at the frailest point in their lives, caring for them and nurturing them back to the highest level of health possible.

New graduates often ask me what was the best career advice I received? Three things come to mind:

  • Never say never. I remember, as an eager new graduate, resolutely stating that I never wanted to leave the bedside. But the opportunities that became available to me enabled me to develop into a leader. And I’ve found that leading bedside caregivers is as rewarding as being at the bedside.
  • Don’t limit yourself. Be open to new experiences. We’re all products of our environment and experience. You may be surprised what you learn by stepping outside your comfort zone. I think being open to new opportunities has made me a stronger leader and person.
  • Never stop learning. If you ever get to the point that you think you know it all, think again. Everything in health care continues to change. We can’t stay stagnant while remaining true to our calling to provide the best care possible to our patients.

If I were a new nurse just embarking upon my career and looking for stable, long-term employment, I would look for an organization that:

  • Provides a positive work environment.
  • Provides the resources for and encourages continual learning.
  • Invests in its employees, personally and financially.
  • Provides employees with the flexibility they need to succeed.
  • Walks the walk of being truly patient-centered.

I’m so glad my career path brought me to Methodist Mansfield. Ultimately, we’re here for the patients and to give them our best. As a nurse at Methodist, you’ll be cared for just like we care for our patients. We really are a family.

If you’re ready to follow a new career path, then it’s time to choose Methodist. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

EOE/MF/D/V

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