Stephanie Shore Jewett, RN, MBA
I was born and raised in Iowa and I was very close to my grandparents. I believe nursing was always in my ‘blood’, as I would help my grand folks as they started to age. I noticed little things like limping carrying in the groceries, a dirtier house than normal, older food in the refrigerator, less than perfect hearing, hair turning grey, naps during the day, a surgery for a temporary colostomy, oxygen to breathe, falling on the ice, and the list goes on and on.
Initially I thought I would be a veterinarian and headed to Iowa State University with a major in zoology. It became clear after a year that I was in the wrong field, but continued to take my ‘core’ courses until after year two. My next step landed me back in my home town to enroll in a three-year nursing program – alas, I found my niche.
The studying was quite intense and some days I wondered what I had gotten myself into – dealing with peoples lives no less! But as time went on, I loved everything about it, particularly helping those in need. However, I couldn’t place a finger on which field of nursing I wanted to specialize in, so I took the first opening at the hospital, which happened to be a 3-11:30 p.m. shift on the med/surg and oncology unit. Wow – what an eye opener! Extremely ill people needing chemo and/or radiation, blood, platelets, psychological counseling regarding the stages of death and dying, etc. It was here that I learned true empathy vs. sympathy.
My next journey was at the same hospital working as a private scrub nurse for a world renowned plastic surgeon. Again – true eye opener and I loved it. I had chosen surgery in the third year of nursing school as my independent study, so I actually felt quite comfortable in the O.R.
I started to take classes at a local college while working full-time to get my BSN because I had only received a diploma in nursing when my life took yet another turn. My father suggested that I come and learn the family business (lumber) which was founded in 1879, and I felt compelled to do so. This is where I learned business from the bottom up. I stayed with the company for a period of five years, while continuing to keep my nursing skills alive by working p.r.n. as a float nurse. This was also great, because I felt comfortable in any setting where they (the hospital) needed help.
When the lumber company merged, I went back to nursing full-time. In the course of the next ten years, I enjoyed becoming a mom of two wonderful sons while discovering part-time work in the fields of psychiatric nursing, in-home care focusing on hospice work, school nursing, a DON for a long-term care facility, a medical transcriptionist, a legal-nurse consultant and an Administrator for a same-day orthopaedic surgery center. By this time I had also continued my studies to receive my BSBA (business) rather than my BSN and started to plunge into my MBA at the ripe old age of 49. I did receive some financial assistance from the surgery center, but still owe school loans to this day.
Fast forward a few years to the present … I am now taking on yet another career -blogging! A welcome new vision after raising two sons and a dog alone, while continuing my love for education and still learning the enormous field of nursing. My hope today is to share some of my experiences, through words, with other colleagues, caregivers, moms, patients and the general public. I truly appreciate your following and hope you will consider linking to my site. Stephanie