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Chicago Nurse Sees Degrees As Vital For ‘The Big Picture’ Of Patient Care

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

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With the recently announced expansion of four hospitals in Chicago’s West Side, demand for nurses will continue to grow. If you’re pursuing a career in nursing, you might be interested in seeing where this career path could take you. Patty Nedved, associate vice president and director of professional nursing practice at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, offers an inside look at a career in nursing.

Patty Nedved, associate vice president and director of professional nursing practice, Rush University Medical Center (photo courtesy of Patty Nedved)

Patty Nedved, associate vice president and director of professional nursing practice, Rush University Medical Center (photo courtesy of Patty Nedved)

Nedved is a registered nurse and has a bachelor of science in nursing, as well as a master of science in nursing. She also has national certifications in executive nursing practice. In a typical day, Nedved’s duties may include attending meetings with other colleagues in the medical center, ensuring there is staff training in place and researching new requirements and technologies.

What continuing education is required for your specific role?

“I need to complete continuing education units — CEUs — to be registered as a nurse. I also need CEUs to maintain my certification in executive nursing practice. To do that, I choose to attend two to three national conferences per year, and I’ll present at those conferences. Finding the time is the biggest challenge. Luckily, there are online continuing education courses that Rush offers. I would also love to read all the latest literature, but I need to find the right balance.”

How do you keep your skills up to date?

“I attend national conferences and submit abstracts. I also publish articles and read literature on nursing to pick up the best practices. We also do benchmarking across the country, where if we’re looking to change a practice, I’ll go online and see what other medical centers around the country are doing and talk to those centers.”

How has education prepared you for your role?

“My bachelor of science in nursing from online nursing programs prepared me by helping me see the big picture. It has also helped me be an advocate for my patients. My master of science in nursing helps me see the business end of things, like budgeting. It also helps me work efficiently at reviewing different models of care.”

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.