Nursing Professional Development Week is celebrated every year during the third week of September and recognizes the work done by nursing professional development practitioners. On behalf of HCA Healthcare Nursing, we continue to celebrate your achievements and we are proud to highlight our very own, Jimmy Hall, EdD, MSN, RN-BC, senior director of clinical education programs at HCA Healthcare's Center for Clinical Advancement in Nasvhille, TN.
Please take a few moments to learn more about Jimmy, his nursing career path below and why he encourages you to never stop learning.
1. Why did you choose to be a nurse?
At age eleven, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Because there were no pediatric rheumatologists in my home state, I was forced to go to an adult provider who did not have the rapport any patient, adult or child, deserved to receive (it was NOT an HCA Healthcare facility). As I got older, I encountered a caregiver who had the biggest smile that I can still see to this day. Instead of dreading my office visits, I actually looked forward to seeing her so I could tell her all about what was going in my world and could hear about her grandchildren. I knew I could have this same impact on others if I worked in healthcare so I decided to pursue a career in nursing.
2. When and where did you begin your career with HCA Healthcare?
I joined the HCA Healthcare family in 2011 as the director of education at TriStar Health's Cartersville Medical Center.
3. Have you taken on new roles since being hired?
Yes, I have been fortunate to continue my career with HCA Healthcare by moving to TriStar Skyline Medical Center as director of education and later joining Physician Services Group (PSG) as a division director of quality.
4. Which national certification (if applicable) did you choose and why?
I have the Nursing Professional Development Certification (RN-BC). I pursued this certification because it focuses on advancing the field of nursing education and validates the educator possesses a minimum level of clinical knowledge and skills.
5. What have you learned about nursing during your career?
I recall my first few months as a nurse - I was not the most skilled, especially at starting IVs. Therefore, I would always look up to the more experienced colleagues for guidance. Although I was not the most skilled, I had a secret weapon - I was a great listener to my patients and truly tried to empathize with each of them. A few months into my nursing career, I started receiving several letters of "thanks" from my patients and/or their families. The colleagues I had been looking up to were not getting these type of letters - Little did I know, these colleagues were now envious of me getting these letters of kudos. Before long, they were asking me for advice so they could begin getting letters. I learned quickly that just because a nurse is skilled, he or she may not have the impact on our patients as they face these difficult times.
6. If you weren't a nurse, what would be your profession?
While in high school, my "career for a day" job was as a disc jockey for the local radio station. If I were not a nurse, I would probably be a tour guide or historian for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I have always had a love for country music and its history which is what led me to Nashville. When I am away from work, you can often find me walking around inside of one of the country music museums (CMHOF, Patsy Cline, George Jones, etc.) in downtown Nashville.
7. What does caring for and improving life mean to you?
For me, "caring for and improving life" means caring for the whole patient. Whether a patient is being prepared for discharge or whether he or she is in the final days of life, as healthcare providers, we need to care for the patient physically, mentally, and spiritually. I feel every patient deserves to have the highest quality of life we can provide.
8. Tell us about a significant moment that made you proud to be a nurse.
A few years back I was attending CMA Fest and while standing in a long line (in near 100 degree temps), the person next to me passed out. Just like everyone around me, I couldn't believe what happened, but I immediately assessed the girl and found that her pulse rate was extremely too fast. After a few seconds, she opened her eyes so I asked her to bear down (vagal maneuver). She did, and her pulse returned to normal. I stayed with her and her mom until an ambulance arrived a few minutes later. I was proud because I felt like I actually had an impact on someone.
FYI - she and her mom refused to go to the hospital because they were determined to attend the CMA Fest event.
9. What's your advice to nurses starting out?
First of all, I would say "Congratulations! You have chosen a wonderful profession." I would then let them know that they'll have good days and bad days but they'll always have a purpose. I'd then remind them to never stop learning. Healthcare is ever-changing, and all clinicians should stay current with evidence-based practices.
Learn more about leadership development opportunities at HCA Healthcare.