Currently a Nursing Professional Development Specialist on the Main Campus of Cleveland Clinic, Michelle Crespo, BSN, RN, recounts the progression of her nursing career. She challenges all nurses to explore the many areas in which nurses practice.
In 1991, I began my over 25-year career at Marymount Hospital as a nurse’s aide. Within 4 years, after receiving my BSN from Ursuline College, I continued on, now as a registered nurse. After working on several units as a staff nurse at Marymount Hospital, my career then took different path. I ventured to outpatient Neurology as a nurse clinician. I transferred to the outpatient Head and Neck Institute as a department assistant and then became a Nurse Manager for the Head and Neck Institute. Two years later, Quality and Patient Safety seemed to be calling my name. I soon learned the role of the Accreditation RN and built on my knowledge of accreditation and regulatory standards. I learned more about the significant and crucial role they play in hospital systems and in patient safety.
In 2015, after almost 18 years at the Cleveland Clinic main campus, I accepted the role of Coordinator of Accreditation and Patient Safety for Marymount Hospital. Eventually I focused on Patient Safety and held the title of Patient Safety Officer for 3 years. The goal of my experience at Marymount was not only to perform the administrative duties of the Patient Safety Officer, but also to ensure that Marymount’s employees understood “the why” behind the many safety initiatives. Education, information sharing, and follow up of safety events helped to improve patient safety and the well-being of the Marymount caregiver.
In December of 2018, I graciously accepted the position of Nursing Professional Development Specialist at the Cleveland Clinic main campus. My past experiences at the Cleveland Clinic have molded my career path in a way that has led me to the Nurse Professional Development Specialist role. I am blessed to have been given this opportunity to move in the direction of educating staff so that they are prepared to provide safe and effective care to our Cleveland Clinic patients.
I encourage every nurse to have the ambition and strength to reach beyond your comfort zone and to venture into various areas of nursing. Becoming a nurse educator is the career path that I have always hoped for and it continues to allow me to grow and excel at the Cleveland Clinic. The phrase, “It takes a village” represents my Ambulatory Nursing Professional Development team. We work so well together to create educational opportunities for our caregivers and assure that they will thrive and succeed in their practice. We are committed to teamwork and success for everyone, including ourselves. I can say that I am extremely proud to be a part of this professional and enthusiastic team and the Cleveland Clinic.