Jamie H., LPN
Like many young people, Jamie wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do for a career. She started going to college to be a teacher, but that was short lived. She questioned her decision almost right away, feeling that teaching wasn’t her passion. So, what was?
At the same time she was contemplating her future, her aunt was battling cancer. Jamie spent a lot of time with her aunt in her final days, and witnessed firsthand how much the hospice nurses helped her. This experience triggered an epiphany in Jamie.
“It was my lightbulb moment,” explains Jamie. “After seeing the difference the nurses made in my aunt’s life, I knew I wanted to do something that helped care for people.” Although she wondered if nursing was her destiny, she just wasn’t quite sure she was ready to dive into a nursing career—yet.
Testing the waters
At first, Jamie worked as a certified nursing assistant to see if she could “handle” what it took to care for people. And guess what? She more than ‘handled’ it; she excelled and loved it. Soon after, she earned her certificate as a home health aide (HHA), and then joined BAYADA in October 2006. Since then, she hasn’t looked back—only ahead.
“At the time, the Burlington visits office was in development and I was part of the team that helped open it,” Jamie remembers. “I was the only HHA then, so I had a lot of clients to see. I loved it!”
And they loved her. Jamie was named HHA Hero of the Quarter—BAYADA’s flagship recognition program for clinicians—for the compassion, excellence, and reliability she brought to her role.
Onward and upward
Now there was no question in her mind: Jamie was ready to pursue a nursing career. She enrolled in nursing school, studying for her LPN degree at night while working as an HHA during the day. She had the scheduling flexibility to do so and the support of her team to keep her motivated. It was a win-win.
Jamie earned her LPN after two years and with some extra training from her BAYADA Clinical Managers, she immersed herself in a nursing career. “I love the pace of the Home Health practice, where I cared for a variety of people and got to see the progression of their recovery,” shares Jamie. “I felt continually challenged, as each client’s needs were unique.”
In 2015, with the encouragement of her team, she became a Transitional Care Manager, working with referral sources such as hospital and rehab facilities to help transition clients home after discharge.
“Now I see the whole other side—the business side—of the work we do,” explains Jamie. “I love establishing relationships with the referral sources, yet I still have client interaction.”
Jamie’s a people person—that’s why she’s so good at what she does—and enjoys the connections she makes. She often visits with clients before they are discharged, helping them feel comfortable and confident that BAYADA will help them continue their recovery safe at home.
“Every day is different and every day is a challenge—and that’s what I love about it. I help create customized solutions to help people succeed at home and that’s what it’s all about.”
There’s no doubt in Jamie’s mind that she made the right decision to be a nurse. Any other plans on the horizon?
She’d like to go back to school for her RN and BSN one day, but for right now with a busy job and three children, she’s just happy to be loving what she does!
Hometown: Cinnaminson, NJ
Education: I earned my LPN at the Burlington County Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Medford, NJ. I’m planning to go back to school for my RN when my kids are a little older.
Advice to my younger self
Home nursing is for you if you love people and the Golden Rule. Some of the most rewarding moments come when your client looks forward to your visit, when you see their life improve, and when you can just watch their body relax because you listened and reassured them they’re not alone.
Don’t wait to make more time to care for yourself. Working out gives you balance, lets you escape the daily grind, reflect on your day, and think clearly about how you can improve for a better tomorrow.
The medical field is always changing. Embrace it, and use the tools available to you to accept every new challenge and set goals for yourself to become the best nurse and best person you can be.