There has been an increase in attention toward getting into the nursing field with government initiatives in healthcare and nursing grants. However, with an influx of people going into the nursing field, there is also an increase in the amount of education that is required in not just obtaining a worthwhile position but also maintaining one. Jodi S. Joyce is the associate vice president for quality and patient safety at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (UIHHSS) in Chicago. Jodi can give some insight on how furthering your education can help with your overall success in the nursing field.


Associate Vice President Jodi S. Joyce (photo courtesy of Jodi S. Joyce)

Associate Vice President Jodi S. Joyce (photo courtesy of Jodi S. Joyce)

What is your current role in your position with UIHHSS? 

“I am currently working at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. I started in the newly created role of associate vice president for quality and patient safety at UIHHSS in October of 2012. I became the interim chief nursing officer (CNO) in June of this year when our previous CNO retired.” 

What was it like in your early years in nursing? 

“I started my career in nursing after graduating with my bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from Northwestern University in Chicago. I worked as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse at Loma Linda University Medical Center. After two years as a bedside nurse and charge nurse in Loma Linda’s NICU, I became the manager of the NICU at the University of California-Irvine Medical Center for the next two years. I subsequently worked part-time as a bedside nurse at Stanford University Hospital’s NICU during graduate school.” 

How did your career expand after choosing to further your education? 

“After completing my master’s degree, I worked for five years at APM, Inc. I also co-founded KP’s Care Management Institute (CMI), served as CMI’s director of operations and held a number of different leadership roles aimed at improving care processes and health outcomes. I worked as the vice president for quality and patient safety for Legacy Health before taking my current position.” 

How has your education helped with your overall success? 

“I have a bachelor of science in liberal arts, bachelor of science in nursing and a master’s in business administration from the best universities online. It gave me a very firm footing as a clinician, caregiver and individual contributor in healthcare. My MBA helped me understand the financial and operational realities and opportunities of the health care industry and prepared me to work effectively as a business leader with senior executives and governing bodies. My education has given me both knowledge and perspective about what is required and possible in leading the healthcare industry to new levels of performance.” 

What advice would you give others considering the nursing field? 

“I would encourage people to consider only BSN programs, as opposed to associate degree in nursing programs. This provides a stronger knowledge base and practical experiences. It also helps in preparing for the rapid shift that is occurring in health care which considers the BSN the minimum educational requirement to enter the field.”

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on

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