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Who am I? I began my journey into nursing by enrolling with the specific goal of becoming a labor and delivery nurse.

Based directly on a negative experience that I encountered during the birth of my second child, my intention was to somehow right the wrong by making sure other women did not go through what I had experienced. Even though new graduates were not permitted at the time to move directly into a labor and delivery position, I somehow convinced them and began my career there. I worked seven years on the floor, delivering what I hope was excellent, safe care, along with patient and family involvement; in what is clearly one of the most life-changing experiences of a persons life: the birth of a child. Due to the commitments of my own growing family, I made the decision to move into the ambulatory care world and worked nearly ten years serving the under-served population of women in a busy, midwifery based OB/GYN office. I roomed patients, performed non-stress tests, took histories, assisted with procedures, and worked in an extremely busy telephone triage room along-side two other nurses. Eventually, I moved into a supervisory position, managing the clinical staff, the clinical arena, and quickly learned the world of management and leadership. Being able to positively affect the staff and patient outcomes; problem-solving; developing physician relationships; and becoming the person to call when nobody else could deal with a specific personality, quickly became my forte. To gain more management experience, I reluctantly accepted a position with a family practice where I worked nearly three years gaining insight on financials, practice goals, and regulatory bodies. Although I dearly missed Womens Health, this period of time gave me an understanding into a world not previously seen through my eyes. It was invaluable. Following this practice management time period, I was offered and accepted a position in Operations Management at Spectrum Hospital. Although I live in Kalamazoo, I took on this challenge as a way of gaining more management and leadership experience. As I missed being more involved in nursing, I then accepted a position as a nurse educator, which is where I am currently involved. As an educator, being able to introduce or reinforce an idea, practicing safety and quality measures, and being a change agent for best practices, has lighted yet another fuse under me. My future goals are to finish my Masters Degree in Nursing Education. The time to complete this will take me to my retirement age. At that time, I will retire from hospital work, and pursue teaching obstetrical and gynecological nursing at a local university a few days per week. Even as I age, I do not foresee my passion for patient advocacy becoming any less potent. It is my fervent wish to instill passion in each of my students so that they uphold this art of nursing for the future that I hold so dear.