Nursing was not always the first career choice for Amy Ross, a nursing supervisor at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC). She originally wanted to be a dietitian.
Her college roommate was studying nursing, and when Ross learned of all the things her roommate was doing as a nurse, Ross decided to switch her major.
“I’m so glad I did,” says Ross, who has been a nurse since 1990. “There is nothing else I would rather do. There has never been one day that I regret making the decision to become a nurse.”
Ross first earned an associate’s degree and later went back to school to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Drury University. Her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is from Central Methodist University. Ross also has a certificate in clinical nursing leadership.
In 1998, Ross joined the PCRMC nursing team. She began as a nurse in PCRMC’s operating rooms. She later transitioned to a nursing role in medical oncology and then became a nursing director in that department.
Ross now works in PCRMC’s Nursing Administration Office and has been in her current position as a nursing supervisor for about three years. Additionally, she works one day a week in PCRMC’s Patient Access Services Office, which helps patients transition between other facilities and PCRMC.
“I love this job,” Ross says. “I am constantly learning new things, and as a nursing supervisor, I get to interact with nurses in all units and on all floors.”
While she left for a short time to take a nursing job in the St. Louis area, Ross has been employed by PCRMC for most of her career.
“This is one of the best places to work. The employees really care about each other here, and the leadership is very supportive of the nursing staff. Nursing administrators at PCRMC are accessible, too.”
Nurses work in several different care settings, not just hospitals. There are nurses in the anesthesia units, doctors’ offices, homecare and hospice settings and other areas. Additionally, Ross says PCRMC nursing leaders can be accommodating to nurses’ schedules. PCRMC offers tuition reimbursement, which Ross utilized when pursuing her nursing degrees.
While Ross says nurses will likely experience hard days, overall, the job is worth it when those difficult times occur.
“It’s a good feeling when patients and their families thank you for making a big impact on their lives,” she says. “Nurses really get to touch the lives of everyone.”
Outside of PCRMC, Ross likes to stay healthy and enjoys running, which she says is a stress reliever. She has been running for almost 30 years now. She started running about 2 to 3 miles at a time and has built up her stamina.
In April of 2018, Ross participated in the Boston Marathon. She completed the race with a time of 4 hours, 44 minutes.
“This was something that has been on my bucket list,” she says. It took her 6 years to train and qualify for the event. Despite running through the cold and rain during the marathon, Ross says it was an experience of a lifetime.
Ross encourages her fellow colleagues and patients to exercise. “It doesn’t have to be running. Just find an activity to do for about 30 minutes a day. It makes you feel much better,” she says.
Nurses spend a lot of their time giving of themselves to patients and their families during their jobs. Ross says it is important for nurses to take time for themselves, too.