Future head nurse
Caring for patients and brightening up their days.
Completing a selective summer nurse tech program at East Jefferson General Hospital.
As her brother recuperated from a car wreck, Heidi Winborne made a career U-turn into nursing.
AAt the time, she was finishing up her bachelor’s in exercise science. But after witnessing her brother’s progress in the hospital, Heidi wanted to be the nurse who sparked breakthroughs in others.
“Just being able to help him, to see that he was getting care and progressing, and to see how good that made him feel, I thought maybe I had been choosing the wrong careers this whole time,” said Heidi, whose medical career has spanned roles from care facility supervisor to wellness coach.
Now she’s following her nursing dream at the University of Holy Cross, recently completing a selective nurse tech program at East Jefferson General Hospital.
Only at UHC: more one-on-one time for complex studies
Heidi considered other nursing programs, but she was drawn to UHC’s small class sizes and family-oriented community. “I felt it would give me a better chance at learning and building a relationship with my teachers and classmates,” Heidi said. “In a subject area like nursing that’s so extensive, UHC has an advantage because it offers small class sizes and instructors who know you individually and who can take more time with you.”
Practice makes perfect
UHC’s nursing lab is outfitted like a hospital room—stocked with needles, IVs, feeding tubes and other supplies—so that students can practice clinical scenarios on high-tech mannequins without real-life consequences. “We can practice catheterizing the mannequins and taking vital signs,” Heidi said. “The mannequins can talk to you, and it’s pretty real-world. You have to be on your toes, think quickly and use your critical-thinking and nursing assessment skills.”
Getting right to work
Following her clinical rotation at East Jefferson General Hospital, Heidi was selected for the hospital’s full-time nurse tech program, available only to nursing students entering their senior year. “We take on the plan of care for the five or six patients that the nurse manages,” Heidi said. “It gives you a real-life picture of doing a 12-hour shift as a nurse.”
By completing EJGH’s program, Heidi became a certified nursing assistant and plans to work part time as a PRN while she finishes her nursing degree.
Taking the temperature of leadership
During the research-intensive phase of UHC’s nursing program, Heidi analyzed ways to improve nurse retention. When she took a closer look at what keeps nurses on staff, she found that they care more about their relationships with managers than their own salaries. “My research found that if nurses have a manager who they feel is involved in day-to-day workings on the floor and who actually cares about them as a person, they would feel appreciated and would stay,” Heidi said. “I saw that many nurses aren’t in it for the pay.”
She’s already thinking about how she can become a valued leader for other nurses. “In the past, I’ve been in situations where I felt that managers didn’t really appreciate me or see what I was doing to positively benefit myself or my work,” Heidi said. “Once I become a leader, I will use the tools from my research to reach my staff nurses and show that I genuinely care about them.”
UHC’s nursing lab
This high-tech clinical setting is outfitted just like a hospital room. Responsive mannequins help you practice various patient scenarios.
You’ll build experience in different types of hospitals—from community-based hospitals to VA facilities.
Study a facet of modern-day nursing that intrigues you. You’ll expand your in-depth knowledge of nursing.
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