While she did not begin her career as a nurse, Jennifer Liehr, MSN, RN, CCLS, is certainly proud that her journey led to becoming a nurse. Currently a manager for Home Care at Cleveland Clinic, she shares her professional path and explains why she made the right choice.
I did not start out in nursing, but spent my first years of practice as a Child Life Specialist. As I loved working with children and decided I wanted to spend more time doing just that, I went back to school and became an elementary education teacher. However, I found that my heart was in healthcare, so back to school I went for my nursing degree. What a great decision that was. I have had the honor of providing care to our most vulnerable patients and their families. As a home care nurse, I have the privilege of seeing patients where they live–in their homes, with their families and their personal treasures. It is difficult to try to describe how special it is to be accepted by these home care patients–not just welcomed but also trusted.
I have now transitioned into management and find that working with nurses as well as finding time in the field is truly inspiring. Knowing the challenges that the nurses face and having walked in their shoes, I feel that I can offer education and support. I went on to earn my master’s degree. The education I received really prepared me to be a nurse leader. I aspire to be that light at the end of the tunnel for the staff and for our patients. I plan to pursue more education to fulfill that desire.
When asked what I do for a living, I am so proud to say I am a nurse. Who else has the privilege of serving others the way we do! Through not just my Child Life experience but also through family experiences, I learned to value the work that nurses do. My mother is a nurse, my niece is a nurse, and my nephew is in nursing school. If asked about a future career, I always suggest nursing. We need to keep our coffers full–let us each try to replace ourselves in nursing.